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Thursday, Aug. 21, 2014

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Proposals sought for 'Grand Challenges' funding

Princeton faculty members have been invited to submit proposals by Monday, Sept. 17, for seed grants for projects under a new teaching and research program focused on important issues that share dominant environmental, political, social and engineering dimensions.

The Princeton Environmental Institute, the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, and the School of Engineering and Applied Science have initiated the Grand Challenges Program, which is designed to promote student involvement and faculty research on:

  • energy, specifically the intersection of the climate, energy security and air pollution problems;
  • the interacting problems of rural poverty, land use, biodiversity and water in Africa; and
  • global health problems, with a focus on infectious disease in the developing world.

Grand Challenges will be organized around three research cooperatives, each of which will take responsibility for creating interdisciplinary programs of research and teaching that engage faculty, postdoctoral and graduate fellows, and undergraduates from across the University. Initially, the cooperatives will be based on research projects that are already under way. The cooperatives are expected to grow over time as new research projects are initiated and new faculty and students begin focusing on the Grand Challenges topics.

Starting in 2007-08, the Grand Challenges program will offer one to three seed grants per year to faculty who are starting new research projects that fall under the Grand Challenges topics. Two types of proposals will be considered: projects from individual faculty members to initiate a change of research and teaching direction; and projects from two or more faculty members to initiate novel interdisciplinary research and teaching collaborations. Successful applicants will be funded for a period of one to two years at a level of up to $100,000 per year. Provided resources are available, successful seed projects may evolve into longer-running projects.

Faculty members have been invited to submit proposals by an e-mail from Stephen Pacala, director of the Princeton Environmental Institute; H. Vincent Poor, dean of the School of Engineering; and Anne-Marie Slaughter, dean of the Woodrow Wilson School. The call for proposals, including guidelines for submission, as well as more information about the Grand Challenges Program, is available online.

Written proposals are due Monday, Sept. 17. A selection committee will review and consider proposals for awards to be made early in the fall semester.

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