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 2022-23 Grand Challenges Catalyst Competition will be released by Oct. 3.


Fall 2022 Schedule of Events

Sept. 13, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.

2022-2023 Launch Lunch

Nebraska Union, Regency Suite

This working luncheon will feature an overview and update on the Grand Challenges initiative. Team members will discuss the initiative’s evolution, share outcomes and lessons learned during the first cycle of the Catalyst Competition, and outline programming planned for the 2022-23 academic year. Attendees also will have opportunities to network and build community around the seven thematic areas. Lunch will be provided.

Registration is required.

Sept. 14, Noon-1 p.m. (Virtual)

2022-2023 Virtual Launch

The virtual launch will feature an overview and update on the Grand Challenges initiative. Team members will discuss the initiative’s evolution, share outcomes and lessons learned during the first cycle of the Catalyst Competition, and outline programming planned for the 2022-23 academic year. Attendees also will have opportunities to network and build community around the seven thematic areas.

Registration is required to receive a link.

Sept. 28, 1-5 p.m. (Virtual)

Brainstorming Ideas Workshop – Session 1

This session also is offered Sept. 29. Choose the session that works best for your schedule.

This workshop will help scholars connect and brainstorm ideas as the university community prepares for the second cycle of the Grand Challenges Catalyst Competition. ORED has partnered with Knowinnovation to create a highly engaging, interactive event that will provide opportunities for networking and ideation around Nebraska’s seven Grand Challenge themes. This virtual event will provide the groundwork for additional online workshops later in the fall semester.

Registration is required to receive a link.

Sept. 29, 1-5 p.m. (Virtual)

Brainstorming Ideas Workshop – Session 2

This session also is offered Sept. 28. Choose the session that works best for your schedule.

This workshop will help scholars connect and brainstorm ideas as the university community prepares for the second cycle of the Grand Challenges Catalyst Competition. ORED has partnered with Knowinnovation to create a highly engaging, interactive event that will provide opportunities for networking and ideation around Nebraska’s seven Grand Challenge themes. This virtual event will provide the groundwork for additional online workshops later in the fall semester.

Registration is required to receive a link.

Oct. 5, 8-10 a.m.

Request for Proposals Launch

Dinsdale Family Learning Commons, East Campus

Join the Grand Challenges team for coffee and donuts to learn more about the seven thematic areas and informally discuss how your research, scholarship or creative activity intersects with the themes. This event also offers opportunities to network with colleagues and begin identifying opportunities for working across disciplines to help solve problems within the challenge areas. The launch is open to the university community; registration is not required.

Oct. 6, 8-10 a.m.

Request for Proposals Launch

Adele Coryell Hall Learning Commons, City Campus

Join the Grand Challenges team for coffee and donuts to learn more about the seven thematic areas and informally discuss how your research, scholarship or creative activity intersects with the themes. This event also offers opportunities to network with colleagues and begin identifying opportunities for working across disciplines to help solve problems within the challenge areas. The launch is open to the university community; registration is not required.

Oct. 11, 10-11 a.m. (Virtual)

Town Hall Meeting

Committee members and Office of Research and Economic Development staff will provide information about the 2022-23 request for proposals and answer questions about the proposal process.

Registration is required to receive a link.

Nov. 3, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.

Developing Your DEI Plan Workshop

Nebraska Union

This workshop will help faculty contextualize grant proposal and research-related planning around diversity, equity and inclusion in literature on broadening participation in higher education and best practices for managing diverse, inclusive teams. Members of teams planning to submit a Grand Challenges proposal in 2023 are encouraged to attend; however, the workshop content is more broadly relevant. Lunch will be provided.

Registration is required.

Nov. 3, 2-3:30 p.m.

Designing and Implementing Research Collaboration Agreements to Support Inclusive Excellence

Nebraska Union

Presenters will share knowledge about research collaboration agreements with members of funded Grand Challenges project teams. The goal is to train and support grantees as they design and implement RCAs for their projects. This session is restricted to representatives of teams that received Grand Challenges awards in 2022. It will be followed by a one-hour virtual session in early 2023, and participating teams also will have the opportunity for one-on-one coaching with workshop facilitators regarding their RCAs.

Registration is required.

Nov. 14, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.

Grand Challenges Lunch and Learn: A Conversation with Awardees

Nebraska Union, Platte River Room
This event is part of Nebraska Research Days.

Faculty whose projects were chosen in the first, recently announced cycle of Grand Challenges grants will offer their tips for success and team development as the initiative transitions into the second phase and beyond.

Panelists:
Katie Edwards, educational psychology
Liz Lorang, University Libraries
Yufeng Ge and Santosh Pitla, biological systems engineering

Registration is required.