Past Events

Community-building events

The goal of the community-building events is to provide faculty with a forum for collaborating across disciplines to start identifying potential research goals. For each grand challenge theme, faculty may register for the in-person or virtual event. Faculty are welcome to attend events for any challenge of interest to them. Once you’re registered, 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.

Sept. 14 & 15

Faculty speakers:
· Judy Wu-Smart, entomology
· Brian Couch, biological sciences
· Wendy Smith, mathematics and Center for Science, Mathematics & Computer Education


Sept. 21 & 22

Faculty speakers:
· Virginia Chaidez, nutrition and health sciences Watch video
· Katie Edwards, educational psychology View PowerPoint slides | Watch video
· Deirdre Cooper Owens, history Watch video


Sept. 28 & 29

Faculty speakers:
· Shannon Bartelt-Hunt, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering Watch video
· Byron Chaves, Department of Food Science and Technology View PowerPoint slides
· Craig Allen, School of Natural Resources and Center for Resilience in Agricultural Working Landscapes View PowerPoint slides


Oct. 5 & 6

Faculty speakers:
· Gina Matkin, agricultural leadership, education and communication View PowerPoint slides
· Jordan Soliz, communication studies, Communication & Identity Lab View PowerPoint slides
· Colette Yellow Robe, Student Support Services, Native American studies


Oct. 12 & 13

Faculty speakers:
· Eve Brank, psychology, Center on Children, Families and the Law View PowerPoint slides
· Dipti Dev, child, youth and family studies View PowerPoint slides
· Lisa Knoche, Center for Research on Children, Youth, Families and Schools View PowerPoint slides


Oct. 19 & 20

Faculty speakers:
· Jesse Fleming, Johnny Carson Center for Emerging Media Arts Watch video
· Abdelghani Laraoui, electrical and computer engineering View PowerPoint slides | Watch video
· Xia Hong, physics View PowerPoint slides | Watch video


Oct. 26 & 27

Faculty speakers:
· Ross Dixon, earth and atmospheric sciences View PowerPoint slides | Watch video
· Martha Shulski, natural resources View PowerPoint slides | Watch video
· Zhenghong Tang, architecture View PowerPoint slides | Watch video

Other events

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

Grand Challenges Lunch and Learn

Learn about how another institution is focusing on finding solutions to some of the world’s most significant problems. Jennifer Lyon Gardner, Ph.D., will share her experience implementing Bridging Barriers, the campus-wide research grand challenges program at the University of Texas at Austin.

Dr. Lyon Gardner is Deputy Vice President for Research at Texas. Before joining the Office of the Vice President for Research at UT, she founded and directed the Strategic Research Initiatives team in its College of Natural Sciences. She served on the board of directors for the National Organization of Research Development Professionals (NORDP) from 2017 to 2021.

Nov. 2, 11 a.m.-noon

Grand Challenges RFP Town Hall (virtual)

Grand Challenge steering committee members and staff of the Office of Research and Economic Development are hosting a virtual town hall to provide information about the Grand Challenges RFP process and take faculty questions about RFP requirements.

Nov. 16, 2-4 p.m.

Humanizing the Grand Challenges: Partnering to Achieve Excellence and Impact

Join us for a workshop to help the university community understand opportunities, lessons learned and benefits surrounding reciprocal partnerships among scholars in the arts, humanities, sciences and engineering.

Dec. 9, 2-4 p.m.

Centering your Proposal’s DEI Plan in the Diversity Science Literature

This interactive workshop will focus on supporting individuals and teams developing diversity, equity and inclusion plans for proposals with a focus on the Grand Challenges RFP. 

Jan. 12, 2022, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. CST, via Zoom

Grand Challenges Micro Lab

The Micro Lab will help scholars connect and prepare for the first Grand Challenges Catalyst Competition. The Office of Research and Economic Development has partnered with KnowInnovation to create a highly engaging, interactive event that will provide opportunities for networking and developing research ideas in response to the seven Grand Challenge themes. This virtual event will provide the groundwork for an in-person scoping workshop later in 2022.

Feb. 1, 11 a.m.-noon, via Zoom

Grand Challenges Town Hall

Grand Challenge steering committee members and staff of the Office of Research and Economic Development are hosting a second virtual town hall to provide information about the Grand Challenges RFP process and take faculty questions about RFP requirements.

March 8, 11 a.m.-noon, via Zoom

Grand Challenges Town Hall

Grand Challenge steering committee members and staff of the Office of Research and Economic Development are hosting a third virtual town hall to provide information about the Grand Challenges RFP process and take faculty questions about RFP requirements. Register to receive a Zoom link.

April 5, 11 a.m.-noon, via Zoom

Grand Challenges Town Hall

Grand Challenge steering committee members and staff of the Office of Research and Economic Development are hosting a fourth virtual town hall to provide information about the Grand Challenges RFP process and take faculty questions about RFP requirements. Register to receive a Zoom link.

COVID-19 Event Protocol: