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New Date, New Format for Grand Challenges Symposium on Friday, Nov. 18

Faculty are invited to the new workshop-style event, which focuses on helping participants enhance their proposals.

November 7, 2022

University of Colorado Denver faculty who want to pursue convergent research projects with larger societal impacts are invited to the Grand Challenges Symposium from 9 a.m. to noon on Friday, Nov. 18, in the Terrace Room in the Lawrence Street Center. 

The competition, launched last year, is in its second cycle of funding. Originally scheduled for Oct. 28, the event was moved to November to give more people an opportunity to participate. 

The Grand Challenges placed emphasis on high-risk/high-payoff research, projects with larger societal impact, convergent research approaches, engagement of broad stakeholder communities, and the adoption of innovative team science formations, according to the planning team in the Office of Research Services. The big ideas are aimed at solving problems that impact the community, region, and beyond. Some of last year’s winners, for example, are tackling climate change and using various methods and data science to understand brain tumors and development disorders. Their projects were highlighted last month at Future Fest.  

“We are trying to foster a community that engages in convergent research,” said Phillip DeLeon, the Associate Vice Chancellor for Research and Creative Activities. “Convergence means an approach to research that cuts across many disciplines, integrating knowledge, tools, and a variety of thinking to form a comprehensive framework for tackling societal challenges. It’s the kind of research that could lead to transformative answers or whole new fields of study.”  

The new format of the Grand Challenges creates a workshop atmosphere. Participants will pitch their ideas before a panel of academics with a strong history of research funding success. They will provide immediate feedback. A second panel of experts will provide written feedback after the event as well. The three-hour session will also help researchers with strategy and will provide participants the opportunity to network with fellow faculty members to formulate innovative research initiatives.  

Those who are interested in participating can RSVP here. Arrangements to present via Zoom can be made by contacting Michael Jenson at

“We really want as many faculty to participate whether their expertise is in technology or the arts, because solving large problems requires diverse approaches and creative thinking,” DeLeon said. “If anyone is in doubt whether their project idea qualifies, we invite them to reach out to have a one-on-one meeting with our team before Nov. 18. Just reach out to Michael.” 

For more information, click here