Grand Challenge finalists to make public presentations at IU Bloomington, IUPUI

  • April 14, 2016


INDIANAPOLIS and BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University will host 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.

Representatives of each team will make presentations about the five Grand Challenges initiatives. Guests will be able to ask questions after each presentation, and team members will be available to meet and greet the public during a reception following each event.

IU President Michael A. McRobbie will welcome guests at each of the events, and IU Vice President for Research Fred H. Cate will serve as host and emcee for the presentations and question-and-answer sessions.

“With these events, Indiana University will underscore the unique and ambitious scope of the research being catalyzed through the Grand Challenges Program,” McRobbie said. “It is a program designed to be transformative at numerous levels, escalating research at the university in a collaborative way with the intention of achieving tangible results that will benefit the people of Indiana and beyond.”

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.

Cate said 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.

“We want the community to learn how these teams, working in a collaborative and interdisciplinary way, plan to address and impact some of the most formidable problems facing society,” he said. “The Grand Challenges Program will shape the university and benefit the state in significant ways, so I hope people will be excited to hear about the possible directions the program may take us.”

The first event will take place from 5 to 7:30 p.m. April 26 at the Campus Center Theatre on the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis campus. The second event will take place from 4 to 6:30 p.m. May 2 at Presidents Hall, which is in Franklin Hall on the IU Bloomington campus. Both events are free and open to the public; those planning to attend are asked to RSVP for either or both events.

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.

Related Links

IU President Michael A. McRobbie

IU President Michael A. McRobbie | Photo by Indiana University

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Media Contacts

Stephen Chaplin

Manager of Research Communications