Grand Challenges research program selects five team proposals



From IDS reports

IU’s research program Grand Challenges has selected five teams to submit proposals for funding, according to an IU press 
release.

Launched in September, the program will invest up to $300 million over five years in research projects which deal with pressing issues in Indiana and around the world.

The program will also provide up to 30 new faculty positions and support faculty startup needs, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, equipment and facilities for each funded proposal, according to the release.

The five teams of finalists were selected from 21 teams of IU faculty members, representing 20 schools from five IU campuses.

These teams will work over the next four months with members of the Office of the Vice President for Research and other campus and university offices to develop their proposals.

Preliminary proposals from the 21 teams were evaluated by a faculty review committee. This committee recommended a subset of teams for further consideration to IU President Michael McRobbie, who then named his selection of five teams to develop full 
proposals.

“The Grand Challenges program offers a unique and exciting opportunity for IU to lead the way in developing responses to our society’s most complex and important problems,” McRobbie said in the release.

“The number of faculty members who participated in the preliminary proposals we received strongly reflects our faculty’s commitment to transformative, innovative and interdisciplinary research that benefits the people of Indiana, the nation and the world.”

The selected proposals include “Health Equity in Indiana and Beyond” led by IUPUI Associate Vice Chancellor for Research David Burr and IU School of Public Health-Bloomington Dean Michael Reece, “Preparing for Change: Sustaining Nature’s Assets, Public Health and Human Well-being,” led by IU-Bloomington distinguished professor Ellen 
Ketterson, and “Shaping Our Future: Knowledge, Science and Governance for Sustainable Water Resources,” led by associate professor Todd Royer.

Also, proposals for “Transforming Environmental Protection and Health for Indiana and Beyond,” led by associate professor Joseph Shaw and “Precision Medicine Initiative,” led by Associate Vice President for Clinical Affairs Anantha Shekhar will be included in the program, 
according to the release.

IU Vice President for Research Fred Cate is overseeing the Grand Challenges program. All five proposals selected focus on medicine or environmental science and policy, which Cate recognized as among IU’s strengths.

“While we received proposals from a wide variety of fields, these five proposals impressed the reviewers as not only strong in their own right but as addressing issues of particular importance to the people and economy of Indiana,” Cate said in the release.

“Moreover, these proposals draw effectively on a wide range of strengths at IU, including not only health care and environmental science, but basic sciences, information technology, and public policy and management.”

Full proposals from the finalists are due April 18, according to the release. In June, McRobbie will announce which one or two of these finalists will be the recipient of the program’s 
funding.

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