Indiana University hosts public events in Indianapolis and Bloomington recognizing the five research teams submitting final proposals in the inaugural year of the university’s $300 million Grand Challenges Program.
Developed as a component of IU’s Bicentennial Strategic Plan, the Grand Challenges Program will fund three to five initiatives over the next five years that will each take on major and large-scale problems facing society. The largest single research investment in the university’s history, the program is expected to lead to as many as 175 new faculty hires and hundreds of graduate student and postdoctoral fellow hires, as well as funding for new equipment and facilities. These initial investments will be the basis for follow-on funding to be garnered from federal, state, corporate, nonprofit and private funders.
Each of the five final proposals, selected from a preliminary round that drew submissions from 21 teams representing 20 schools on five campuses, were ambitious, compelling and designed to translate into positive impacts for society.
The five final proposals and their team leaders are:
• "Health Equity in Indiana and Beyond" David Burr, Distinguished Professor and associate vice chancellor for research at IUPUI, and Michael Reece, professor and associate dean at the IU School of Public Health-Bloomington.
• "Preparing for Change: Sustaining Nature’s Assets, Public Health and Human Well-Being" Ellen Ketterson, Distinguished Professor in the IU Bloomington College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Biology.
• "Shaping Our Future: Knowledge, Science and Governance for Sustainable Water Resources" Todd Royer, associate professor in the IU School of Public and Environmental Affairs in Bloomington.
• "Transforming Environmental Protection and Health for Indiana and Beyond" Joseph Shaw, associate professor in the IU School of Public and Environmental Affairs in Bloomington.
• "Precision Health Initiative" Anantha Shekhar, associate vice president for clinical affairs at IU and executive associate dean for research at the IU School of Medicine on the IUPUI campus.