Posted October 1, 2021 by Ashley Washburn
University of Nebraska–Lincoln faculty are rising to the grand challenge of beginning to develop projects under the seven thematic areas that will shape Nebraska’s research, teaching and engagement for years to come and ensure the university’s work is positioned to make major societal impacts.
In September, the Office of Research and Economic Development launched a series of grand challenges engagement events focused on informal networking and community building in each of the seven thematic areas: anti-racism and racial equity; climate resilience; early childhood education and development; health equity; quantum science and engineering; science and technology literacy for society; and sustainable food and water security. Read more about each thematic area.
The community-building events, which provide opportunities for faculty to learn more about work underway in these areas and extend their professional networks, will continue through Oct. 27. Both in-person and virtual options are available. Faculty are encouraged to participate in the grand challenge areas that intersect with their expertise, experience or personal interests. Registration and event details are provided on the Grand Challenges website.
Nebraska faculty are slated to give flash talks at the upcoming community-building events.
- Anti-racism and racial equity: Oct. 5, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., or virtual Oct. 6, 12-1 p.m. Speakers are Gina Matkin, agricultural leadership, education and communication; Jordan Soliz, communication studies; and Colette Yellow Robe, TRIO Programs.
- Early childhood education and development: Oct. 12, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., or virtual Oct. 13, 12-1 p.m. Speakers are Eve Brank, psychology, Center on Children, Families and the Law; Dipti Dev, child, youth and family studies; and Lisa Knoche, Center for Research on Children, Youth, Families and Schools.
- Quantum science and engineering: Oct. 19, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., or virtual Oct. 20, 12-1 p.m. Speakers will be announced soon.
- Climate resilience: Oct. 26, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., or virtual Oct. 27, 12-1 p.m. Speakers are Ross Dixon, earth and atmospheric sciences; Martha Shulski, School of Natural Resources; and Zhenghong Tang, architecture.
Additionally, the request for proposals for the Grand Challenges Catalyst Competition is now available. The Office of the Chancellor and ORED have committed $40 million toward the competition, with up to to $10 million available for allocation each year in 2022, 2023, 2024 and 2025. For more information about the RFP, contact Nathan Meier, assistant vice chancellor for research, or Rick Bevins, interim associate vice chancellor for research.
Faculty are encouraged to mark their calendars for related events during Nebraska Research Days.
- Lunch and Learn, Nov. 1, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., Nebraska Union, Platte River Room. Registration is required for the box lunch.
- Grand Challenges RFP Town Hall, Nov. 2, 11 a.m.-noon, held virtually. Registration is required to receive the Zoom link.
The Grand Challenges Initiative is part of the N|2025 strategic plan to increase the impact of Nebraska research, scholarly and creative activity. To learn more about the purpose of the grand challenges, watch this video featuring Chancellor Ronnie Green.