The Office of the Chancellor and the Office of Research and Economic Development have committed $40 million toward the Grand Challenges Catalyst Competition. Up to $10 million is available for allocation each year in 2022, 2023, 2024, and 2025. The 2024 request for proposals was released Sept. 29, 2023.
Two types of support are available through the Grand Challenges Catalyst Competition:
- Planning grants: Proposals submitted in this category must describe the teaming, ideation, and development activities necessary for collaborative groups to coalesce around one or more of UNL’s grand challenge themes. The expected outcome for an interdisciplinary team receiving a planning grant is that they will prepare a catalyst award proposal. Planning grant proposals submitted in 2024 may request up to $75,000 for a project period of no more than eight months.
- Catalyst awards: Proposals submitted in this category must describe a plan of work for implementing a goal-based project developed in response to one or more of UNL’s grand challenge themes. The expected outcome for an interdisciplinary team receiving a catalyst award is that they will demonstrate measurable progress toward their goal and project sustainability. Catalyst award proposals may request the level of support necessary to pursue the project goal during a period that may not exceed five years.
All proposals submitted to the Grand Challenges Catalyst Competition must be goal-driven. Project goals must be specific, measurable, aspirational (for planning grant proposals) or audacious (for catalyst award proposals), resourced, and time-bound. Project goals also must be bold and catalytic. Proposals must not be aimed at incremental advancement of existing work.
For additional information about the Grand Challenges Catalyst Competition, contact: