Since the launch of the program by President Garnett S. Stokes, Grand Challenges teams have achieved the program’s goals, including greater cross-disciplinary collaborations, community engagement, and increased extramural funding. Now, the Office of the Vice President for Research announces an opportunity for additional teams to join the Grand Challenges program.

Moving forward, the reimagined Grand Challenges program will grow and foster a culture of collaboration and team research with broad engagement of researchers at all career stages. The program has three levels: Level 1 introduces new Grand Challenge concept teams to structured team building and planning exercises; Level 2 implements team plans with a focus on answering critical research questions, building capacity for interdisciplinary research, and communicating opportunities and outcomes to the broader public; and Level 3 moves teams toward large, sustainable research structures such as Centers or Institutes. 

The current Request for Proposals addresses Level 1 of the Grand Challenges program.   

Each team will receive $5,000 for team building, convening, and planning as well as facilitation, mentoring, and program support that will position the team for future success.  At the end of Level 1, teams are expected to have (1) a shared vision and aspirational goals; (2) a 3- to 5-year roadmap for advancing research and innovation in their chosen area of interest; and (3) identified external partners and resources needed to support the roadmap, including a funding plan to meet those needs. 

Faculty, researchers, staff, and post-docs from all UNM campuses are encouraged to apply with their interdisciplinary research team and their aspirations for making an impact on the large, societal challenges that we face locally, regionally, and globally. Participation from branch campuses and disciplines under-represented in traditional research is especially encouraged!

Important Dates for the Level 1 Grand Challenge:

Release of RFP: APPLY HERE

Program Information Session: Tuesday, April 19 at the Team Research Symposium

Application Deadline: Tuesday, May 10 at 5 p.m. MDT

Decisions no later than Tuesday, May 31, 2022. If you have questions about UNM Grand Challenges, contact Anita Grierson,