Announcing the Indiana University Grand Challenges Program

We are publishing today on the Vice President for Research website the Request for iu-logoProposals for the first round of Grand Challenge Initiatives and related FAQs.

IU’s Bicentennial Strategic Plan, adopted in 2015, calls on the university to tackle “major and large-scale problems” facing humanity that can “only be addressed by multidisciplinary teams of the best researchers.”

IU is taking up the challenge. With the exceptional commitment of President Michael A. McRobbie and the leadership of the university, the Indianapolis and Bloomington campuses, the School of Medicine, and the IU Foundation, the university has identified $300 million of existing and anticipated funding that can be invested in Grand Challenges over the next five years.

This is the most significant investment in IU’s research infrastructure in the university’s history. It will fund up to five Grand Challenge Initiatives and support the hiring of as many as 175 new faculty and of hundreds of new graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. But most importantly, it will enable IU to expand its efforts to address some of the most critical issues facing local communities and the State of Indiana, as well as the nation and the world.

The RFP provides detailed information about the goals of IU’s Grand Challenges program and the process by which the first initiatives will be determined. There is also a set of FAQs that will provide additional information.

The Grand Challenges program reflects an approach to research and its funding that is new to many of us, and calls on us to think, collaborate, and work in ways that may seem equally novel. Precisely because of its scope and novelty, in many ways the Grand Challenges program is a work in progress. I welcome your feedback (and appreciate your patience), and I hope you will let us know if there are ways we can make the program more effective or efficient.

There are many people and offices that stand ready to assist in the preparation of Grand Challeges proposals. Please don’t hesitate to let my colleagues and me know how we can help. We look forward to working with you to make the most of this significant investment — of time, talent, and funding — in the future of IU and of the communities in which we live and work.

Last Lecture Series Call for 2015 Nominations

headerLessons for Life from a Lifetime of Learning

The Last Lecture Series offers the university community the opportunity to hear reflections on life’s lessons and meaning from a current or retired IUPUI colleague of exceptional merit. The featured speaker shares the wisdom he or she has gained through academic pursuits and life experiences; distilling a life of inquiry, reflection, and service into advice for successive generations.

The 2015 Last Lecture is planned for Friday, March 27, 2015 at 2:00 p.m. in the IUPUI Campus Center Theatre. Nominations are now being accepted for the 2015 speaker. All current and retired IUPUI based faculty, administrators, and staff members are eligible for nomination.  All IUPUI faculty, retired faculty, staff and students are invited to submit nominations by midnight on November 23, 2014. Nominators should click on the link below to submit a brief description of the nominee along with a short justification why his or her nominee deserves consideration.

A committee of the IUPUI Senior Academy will consider all nominations and select a pool of candidates by mid-December. In January, selected nominees will be invited to submit a synopsis of their proposed presentation.

Click here to submit your nomination
Click here to view the Call for Nominations
For additional information, contact Academic Affairs by filling out our contact form here.

The Last Lecture Series is sponsored by IUPUI Senior Academy, IUPUI administration, and Indiana University Foundation.

IU Women’s Philanthropy Council invites 2014 grant applications

The Indiana University Women’s Philanthropy Council encourages individuals and organizations at all university campuses to submit applications for its third annual grant cycle.

All Indiana University community members — students, faculty and staff — are encouraged to apply. Applications that launch new ventures, address critical needs and develop innovative solutions to social problems are especially welcome.

“The first two years of WPC grants provided crucial and often foundational support for pioneering initiatives that are creating positive and lasting change for IU students and community members in Indiana and around the globe,” said IU first lady Laurie Burns McRobbie, founding co-chair of the Women’s Philanthropy Council. “In our third cycle, I look forward to seeing more new ideas that hold the same promise.”

The philanthropy council established its fund in 2010 and opened up the grants process in 2011. Since then, it has awarded grants totaling more than $228,000 to 20 organizations affiliated with six of the university’s campuses. Projects have included encouraging healthy choices for students through education and health assessments; providing education and connections to medical services for the visually impaired; promoting awareness and opportunities for female IT students; and presenting free opera performances in schools, libraries and other youth venues through a service-learning project aided by student volunteers from the Jacobs School of Music.

The council will award grants that complement Indiana University’s commitment to quality educational opportunities, excellent health care, a clean and safe environment, cultural enrichment through the arts and humanities, and educational programs and services.

“The WPC Fund is another important way that our supporters are transforming lives for the better through IU,” IU Foundation President and CEO Dan Smith said. “The Women’s Philanthropy Council is an inspiring group of leaders whose trailblazing work in the field of women’s philanthropy continues to initiate great things for IU and for all who are touched by the incredible work of the grant recipients.”

Grants are awarded from the philanthropy council fund and administered by the IU Foundation. Philanthropy council members designate a portion of their donations to the foundation for the fund and expect to award up to $100,000 in grants ranging from $2,500 to $25,000 for the 2014-15 academic year. The deadline for applications is Feb. 28, 2014.

A philanthropy council grants working group will review the applications and select finalists who will present to the entire council membership. The philanthropy council will then announce grant recipients in June. Recipients will be asked to submit a final report 12 months after receipt of their grant to show how funds were used and to demonstrate the impact of their projects on their campuses.

The application and additional information are available online.

Women’s Philanthropy Council

Convened by the Indiana University Foundation Board of Directors in 2010, the Women’s Philanthropy Council’s mission is to lead fundraising and engagement efforts that inspire women to give of their time, talent and resources to Indiana University, and to develop female leaders in philanthropy.

Indiana University Foundation

Founded in 1936, the Indiana University Foundation maximizes private support for Indiana University by fostering lifelong relationships with key stakeholders and providing advancement leadership and fundraising services for campuses and units across the university. Today, the foundation oversees one of the largest public university endowments in the country, with a market value in excess of $1.7 billion. In fiscal year 2013, IU received $305.9 million in support from the private sector. IU is consistently ranked among the top four of Big Ten universities in annual voluntary support.