Applications for two opportunities relating to the UNM Grand Challenges are open. These research opportunities are likely to provide students with a great research experience working, and a sense of scholastic achievement.

The Grand Challenges are one of the cornerstones of major research initiatives at UNM. Grand Challenges are problems of global, national, and regional significance. These issues bring researchers together to form solutions. UNM’s Grand Challenges focus on sustainable water resources, successful aging, and substance use disorders.

One of the upcoming opportunities is the National Institute of Health’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) training cohort (NIH SBIR/STTR). The free training will assist students with the creation of a proposal package. Applications are due Jan. 14 (open to all New Mexicans). Those with questions can contact the program manager, Del Mackey at or the NMBSA Executive Director, Stephanie Tofighi at

A second opportunity is through The National Science Foundation (NSF) Convergence Accelerator. The program uses science and research teams to address national societal challenges (similar to the Grand Challenges). The focuses include enhancing opportunities for persons with disabilities, sustainable materials for global challenges, and food & nutrition security.

These Grand Challenge related opportunities are valuable to all UNM students. Proposal development assistance, research experience, and team building skills are some the valuable assets students will gain by taking advantage of these opportunities.

UNM Grand Challenges are focused on finding solutions to some of societies most complex and important issues. A better world starts in New Mexico.