The Grand Challenges Initiative

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln community has identified seven grand challenge thematic areas in which to focus its expertise and resources, as outlined in the N2025 Strategic Plan. Now, faculty are charged with imagining how their areas of research, scholarship, creative activity and outreach intersect with these challenges and what specific opportunities within these areas they could work across disciplines to help solve. The Chancellor’s Office and the Office of Research and Economic Development have committed $40 million over four years to invest in strategic, goal-based solutions.

Tell us about your expertise and which grand challenges you’re interested in exploring. This will enable the Office of Research and Economic Development to begin identifying and matching scholars with similar interests.

Information about the 2024 Grand Challenges Catalyst Competition is available on the request for proposals webpage.

2023-2024 Schedule of Events

Sept. 29, 2023

Request for proposals launch date

The 2023-2024 request for proposals is posted on the RFP webpage.

Oct. 10, 2023, 11 a.m. CDT

Town Hall meeting (virtual)

Registration is required to receive the Zoom link.

The Office of Research and Economic Development is hosting a virtual town hall to provide information focusing on the 2023-2024 Grand Challenges RFP and to answer questions about the proposal process.

Nov. 15, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. CST, Nebraska Union, Platte River Room

Grand Challenges Panel Discussion

The Office of Research and Economic Development is hosting a Grand Challenges Panel Discussion to help faculty sharpen their project planning skills for the Grand Challenges Catalyst Competition and beyond and to recognize recipients of planning and catalyst grants from the first two cycles of Grand Challenges funding.

Panelists are:
Tomas Helikar, biochemistry.
Mohammad Hasan, electrical and computer engineering.
Anne Schutte and Nicholas Hubbard, psychology.

Registration is required.

Feb. 15, 2024, 10-11 a.m., via Zoom

Open Office Hour

During this time, representatives from the Office of Research and Economic Development will be online to answer questions about the Notices of Intent to Submit, which are due Feb. 29, and the request for proposals. Full proposals are due April 26.

Registration is required.

Feb. 29, 2024, 5 p.m., CST

Deadline to submit notices of intent

April 12, 2024, 5 p.m., CDT

Application deadline to serve as a peer reviewer

University of Nebraska-Lincoln faculty are invited to volunteer to serve as peer reviewers of planning grant proposals submitted to the Grand Challenges Catalyst Competition in 2024. Reviewers are needed from every discipline at the university.

Information and application form

April 26, 2024, 5 p.m., CDT

2024 proposal deadline