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Grand Challenges Grants Update

The following announcement was shared with the campus community regarding the Grand Challenges Grants program:

Dear Campus Community,

Grand Challenges GrantsIn April, the University of Maryland launched the Grand Challenges Grants Program, the largest and most comprehensive program of its type ever introduced at our university. Up to $30 million dollars in institutional investments will be made available to fund programs, initiatives and projects designed to impact enduring and emerging societal issues, such as climate change, social injustice, global health, education disparities, poverty, and threats to our democracy. The program aligns with the University of Maryland's strategic commitment to take on humanity's grand challenges, as described in Fearlessly Forward: the University of Maryland Strategic Plan.

Today, nearly three months later, we are pleased to provide the campus community with a short update about the letters of intent (LOIs) we received for the Institutional Grants, and to share next steps in the process.

Here is a quick summary of the Institutional Grant LOIs proposed by faculty:


Total LOIs submitted to develop new institutional structures
Colleges with PIs submitting LOIs
Colleges represented in proposed programs
Faculty involved across the LOIs

We are impressed with the ingenuity and creativity of the faculty and campus community in generating such a diverse number of impressive LOIs. Faculty proposed Institutional Grants on a number of wide-ranging and innovative topics, including, but not limited to: climate change and resilience, ethics and human-centered artificial intelligence, global health, democracy and civic engagement, literacy and equity, racial justice, women’s health, pandemic preparedness, and more.

Throughout July and August, the LOIs will be peer reviewed and selected LOI teams will be asked to participate in additional workshops and present to university leadership in the fall. Successful proposals will articulate a highly compelling need for the proposed institutional structure, detailing the proposed reach, impact and potential of the proposed novel structure to address a grand challenge. Proposals should describe internal and external partnerships that will enable, scale, and expand the impact and visibility of the effort, provide innovative and new opportunities for students' learning and classroom experiences, and demonstrate a path to financial sustainability (including, if appropriate, how internal funding will be leveraged to secure new grants, contracts, or other external funding and revenue sources, etc.).

Proposals for the Team and Individual Project Grants are due September 30, 2022. More information can be found at the Grand Challenges Grants website at

We look forward to continued work with units across campus on this important program that showcases how UMD takes on the greatest challenges of our time and moves our state, nation and world Fearlessly Forward.


Jennifer King Rice
Senior Vice President and Provost

Gregory F. Ball
Vice President for Research

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