About the Expo

The Grand Challenges Research Initiative leverages the University of Minnesota’s exceptional strengths for expanded impact on the most critical challenges of our state, nation, and world. The initiative, led by the Executive Vice President and Provost, supports the work of colleges and schools to advance the research goals of Driving Tomorrow, the Strategic Plan for the Twin Cities Campus.

Through a campus-wide process, the University has embraced five Grand Challenges areas for special focus:

  • Assuring Clean Water and Sustainable Ecosystems and Fostering Just and Equitable Communities
  • Enhancing Individual and Community Capacity for a Changing World
  • Advancing Health through Tailored Solutions
  • Feeding the World Sustainably

The one-day Expo will feature a luncheon keynote by Jeffrey Jerome Cohen, incoming dean of humanities at Arizona State University and co-president of the Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment, a public/private sector leaders panel, a community partners panel, and breakout sessions that provide opportunities to connect with colleagues across the University who share similar research interests.

Sessions will feature research being conducted within the five Grand Challenges areas, and highlight key strategies and best practices to enhance interdisciplinary scholarship.  A set of previously funded Grand Challenges Research interdisciplinary projects will be featured via interactive visual displays and poster sessions that highlight the contributions of student team members.  The end-of-day reception offers additional time to interact with faculty, students, staff members, and community partners.