UNM Grand Challenges Operational Plan

We will develop and refine mechanisms to measure progress and we will leverage the Challenges to enrich education and community connections. Strategies for each of these goals include:

Build Interest and Investment

  • Host an annual Grand Challenges Day in the Fall to highlight teams and their research and to allow UNM and community partners the opportunity to connect to teams. This event serves both to generate interest and to report on progress
  • Develop mechanisms for regularly sharing with UNM and the public the activities and accomplishments of each challenge team (news stories, Grand Challenges Listserv)

Seek Extramural Research Funding

  • Create a GC infrastructure for promoting and ensuring regular short- and long-term progress towards seeking extramural funding for all teams (e.g., proposal workshops)
  • Develop a short-term and long-term extramural funding solicitation plan for each research team
  • Spend Grand Challenges seed funding to better prepare the research teams to apply for and receive extramural funding (e.g., Proposal Workshops)
  • Support pilot research programs either through GC funding or through existing UNM research mechanisms

Measure and Report Progress

  • Develop, publish and report on metrics for measuring Grand Challenges impact and progress
  • Conduct Social Network Analysis and research surveys on team building to assess the impact of the Level 1 program on team formation and functioning
  • Continue to further refine and publish long-term goals for each Challenge, utilizing a SMART goal approach (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound)
  • Attribution for GC work sponsored or generated by Grand Challenges research teams: “This research was [funded by/conducted in partnership with] the University of New Mexico Grand Challenges program.”

Engage Students and the Community

  • Develop mechanisms for undergraduate and graduate students to contribute to the research efforts of the Challenge teams, including student stipends or scholarships to support their contributions
  • Seek additional opportunities to embed GC in academic coursework and create links between courses and active teams
  • Individual teams will engage students based on what is appropriate to their individual goals and needs. Potential activities include:
    • Hire undergraduate and graduate students to work on specific projects, either through grant or GC fellowship funding
    • Prioritize pilot projects that fund student researchers
    • Develop and implement education and community connections strategies
    • Work with the UNM Faculty Resource Development Office and the Undergraduate Research and Design Network to broaden the team's impact

Email us today and ask how we are making progress on any element(s) of this plan at: grandchallenges@unm.edu