The University of New Mexico is now accepting applications to become a Level 2 Grand Challenges team. The Request for Proposals (RFP) will be open for all interdisciplinary research teams until Monday, May 1.  

Since its launch in 2019, the UNM Grand Challenges program has generated more than $50 million from an initial $2.1 million investment. Currently, the program includes 350 faculty and staff researchers from main, north and branch campuses, and over the last few years more than 1,500 students have participated in some aspect of the program. Grand Challenges teams have achieved many program goals, including greater cross-disciplinary collaborations, community engagement, and increased extramural funding. 

The reimagined UNM Grand Challenges program will continue to foster a culture of research collaboration with broad engagement of researchers at all career stages. The program has three levels:  

  • Level 1: Introduction of new Grand Challenge concept teams 
  • Level 2: Teams implement plans with a focus on answering critical research questions, building capacity for interdisciplinary research, and communicating opportunities and outcomes to the broader public
  • Level 3: Teams move toward large, sustainable research structures such as centers or institutes. 

RFP Details
Interdisciplinary research teams that have interest in becoming a Level 2 Grand Challenges team are encouraged to submit an RFP by Monday, May 1. A cohort of approximately three-to-five teams with diverse disciplinary expertise will be selected for the two-year Level 2 program. Each team will receive up to $200,000 to implement their interdisciplinary research plans. Teams will also receive mentoring and program support provided by the Grand Challenges program and other UNM units. Faculty, staff, and postdocs from all UNM campuses are encouraged to apply with their interdisciplinary research team describing how they plan to tackle different societal challenges that we face on a local, regional, and global scale.

A team does not have to be a Level 1 team to apply. Organizers are hosting an informational session via Zoom, Wednesday, Feb. 1 from 1-2 p.m.

Teams interested in applying should submit a letter of intent no later than Tuesday, Feb. 28 to