Indiana University launching $300M research program

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) – Indiana University is launching a $300 million research program in an effort to address major issues facing the state and world.

University officials hope the “Grand Challenges” research program will provide solutions for problems such as global water supplies, energy availability and infectious diseases.

“We are talking about things that truly cut across borders and will help make life better for people even beyond the states,” Indiana University spokesman Mark Land said.

At least $300 million will be invested in the program over the next five years. The first two grants are expected to be funded beginning next fall, and the university plans to fund at least three projects between by its bicentennial in 2020, The (Bloomington) Herald Times reported.

The Indiana University School of Medicine, the president’s office, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis and other Indiana University sources have agreed to fund part of the research program, and the university plans to relocate other resources and fundraise more as the projects develop, according to Land.

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Faculty members have until Nov. 9 to submit proposals for “Grand Challenges.”

Land said he expects to see proposals from the School of Medicine, which is located in Indianapolis, but he hopes that other academic disciplines at different campuses also will submit proposals.

“Bloomington is going to be a critical component of this, but this is truly a university-wide initiative,” he said. “We want to encourage our best and brightest faculty to work across departmental divides to harness all the intellectual power that we have.”

The research program is part of Indiana University’s Bicentennial Strategic Plan.