Last Spring, the University of Maryland launched the Grand Challenges Grants program, designed to accelerate solutions to humanity's greatest and most complex problems through our education, research, and creative activities. Inspired by our original mission as a land grant institution, we designed the largest and most comprehensive program of its kind ever introduced at our university to advance the public good within our communities and across the globe, with up to $30M in institutional investments dedicated to support these initiatives.
Over the last six months, our campus community has answered the call beyond our expectations. We received an overwhelming response to our latest request for Grand Challenges Project proposals—111 Project Grant proposals were submitted, which included 58 Team Projects and 53 Individual Investigator Projects. This was in addition to the 24 Institutional Grant letters of intent that were submitted last July. Overall, a total of 135 Grand Challenges Grant applications were received with over 500 faculty and staff involved.
We were impressed not only by the quantity and quality of these submissions, but also the diversity and creativity of the collaborative teams that proposed these projects. Team and Individual Investigator Project Grant proposals were submitted by every academic college across campus. The topics were also broad and varied, including:
- Climate Change
- Global Health
- Racial and Social Justice
- Threats to Democracy
- Pandemic Preparedness
- Water Accessibility
- Food Insecurity
- Clean and Renewable Energy
- Future Cities
- Ethical, Fair & Trustworthy Technology
We are inspired and amazed by this strong and enthusiastic response to the Grand Challenges program. Funding constraints will limit the number of proposed projects that we will be able to support, but we believe that the ideas and creativity fueled by the Grand Challenges program will lead to other funding opportunities in the future.
Over the next three months, the Grand Challenges Individual and Team Project Grant proposals will be peer reviewed. During the same period, Institutional Grant teams will present their ideas to campus leadership and further refine their proposals. Final decisions on Grand Challenges Grants will be announced in early 2023.
We look forward to sharing more with you about these important initiatives that will take on the greatest challenges of our time and move our state, nation, and world Fearlessly Forward.
Jennifer King Rice
Senior Vice President and Provost
Gregory F. Ball
Vice President for Research