Humphrey School News

Humphrey School Faculty Receive University's Grand Challenges Grants

October 5, 2016
Photo of exterior of Humphrey School building

Nine faculty members of the Humphrey School of Public Affairs are among the recipients of the University of Minnesota’s Grand Challenges Grants.

Executive Vice President and Provost Karen Hanson announced that the grants, totaling $3.6 million, have been awarded to 29 teams of faculty from across the Twin Cities campus to address five critical challenges facing Minnesota and the world.  

Four Humphrey School faculty will lead interdisciplinary teams as principal investigators (PIs)—James Ron, Vanessa Laird, Kathy Quick, and Anu Ramaswami. Five other faculty are members of various research teams: Greta Friedemann-Sánchez, Ragui Assaad, Yingling Fan, Guillermo Narvaez, and Art Rolnick.

The 29 two-year projects, selected through a multi-tiered faculty-based review process, are intended to capitalize on existing University research strengths and to break new ground in addressing five key areas: Assuring clean water and sustainable ecosystems; fostering just and equitable communities; enhancing individual and community capacity for a changing world; feeding the world sustainably; and advancing health through tailored solutions.

“The project teams draw on the expertise of faculty from every college and school on the campus,” Hanson said. “The Grand Challenges research grants are intended to jumpstart new research collaborations, enabling faculty to collaborate more broadly and deeply and to compete successfully for additional resources” in the future.

Humphrey School faculty members are involved in the following projects:

Establishing a human rights collaborative and faculty/student human rights laboratory to promote an equitable civil society

Assessing interventions for justice and equity

  • Team members: Ragui Assaad, professor in global policy; Yingling Fan, associate professor in urban and regional planning

Shared leadership lab: Analyzing success factors to address complex societal challenges

  • Co-PI: Vanessa Laird, director, Center for Integrative Leadership; Kathy Quick, associate professor in leadership and management
  • Team members: Guillermo Narvaez, research associate in leadership and management; Art Rolnick, senior fellow, Human Capital Research Collaborative

Big-data transparency in the global food supply

  • Co-PI: Anu Ramaswami, professor in science, technology, and environmental policy

 Sustaining food production, health, and the environment

  • Team member: Anu Ramaswami, professor in science, technology, and environmental policy

The complete list of Grand Challenges projects can be found here.

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