Third Century Initiative issues call for world-changing proposals
The university's Third Century Initiative issued a call to faculty and staff in November for proposals to enhance action-based, experiential learning for students. Today, the innovative TCI program is rolling out its second funding component — a call for proposals to develop creative approaches to the world's greatest challenges and opportunities.
Global Challenges for a Third Century is a grant program open to faculty in all units and disciplines with the sole purpose of inspiring and cultivating transformative ideas on how to address some of the world's most vexing problems and greatest challenges.
GCTC consists of two grant programs:
• Team Development, which provides up to $15,000 on a one-time basis for small-scale proposals for activities that help develop multidisciplinary teams across campus to address major worldwide issues.
• Global Challenges, a two-phase program that aims to fund the most innovative and creative ideas from across campus to tackle some of the world's greatest challenges.
"The Global Challenges program embraces risk-taking, multidisciplinary approaches and engagement with both the internal and external community, including students," said Phil Hanlon, provost and vice president for academic affairs. "Projects are encouraged that have potential impact that is scalable and transferable, with the single most important criterion in evaluating proposals being the potential for transformative impact on any of the world's greatest challenges."
Competition for Team Development grants will occur at least twice, about nine months apart.
Team-building assistance may involve the sponsorship of various theme-based workshops, as well as institutional help fostering synergies with potential partners, including institutes across campus, alumni and various foundations and private industries.
Global Challenges will have at least three calls for proposals, again about nine months apart. Proposals for Phase 1 seed funding (one-time grants of $10,000 to $300,000) should be based on a clear explanation of the transformative idea as well as defined milestones that can be achieved after one year. If successful, the outcomes from Phase 1 will form the basis of a proposal submitted to the Phase 2 full-funding program ($100,000 to $3 million).
"Our goal is to tap into the depth and breadth of excellence of the fantastic faculty at the University of Michigan to proactively tackle some of the biggest challenges facing our world," said Becky Lange, chair of the Global Challenges Advisory Committee and chair of the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, LSA. "We hope to bring people together across campus and generate the most innovative and promising ideas for addressing complex world problems."
Proposals for GCTC (both Team Development and Global Challenges) will be due March 1. Submission information, including application format and funding criteria, will be included in an email to faculty to be sent later this week and will be available on the Office of the Provost Third Century Initiative website.
The Global Challenges Advisory Committee will make funding recommendations for the GCTC program to President Mary Sue Coleman and Hanlon. Members include: Becky Lange (chair), Jim Hines and Mark Newman of LSA, Goncalo Abecasis of the School of Public Health, Sue Dynarski of the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, Dan Ferris of the School of Kinesiology, and Kevin Pipe and Volker Sick of the College of Engineering.
Launched a year ago, the Third Century Initiative is a bold plan to use $50 million in existing funds over five years for both the development of innovative student learning experiences and creative approaches to the world's greatest challenges and opportunities. So far, it has created:
• M-Cubed, a two-year program to seed interdisciplinary research projects with major societal impact. This first-of-its-kind, real-time research funding initiative puts $15 million into the hands of professors to jumpstart new projects they believe in.
• Learning Analytics Task Force, established to help faculty and students take advantage of instructional data to achieve success in the classroom.
• Student Learning Advisory Committee and Global Challenges Advisory Committee, the two faculty committees formed to provide recommendations to the president and provost regarding the allocation of funding for the action-based learning (Transforming Learning for a Third Century) and global challenges (Global Challenges for a Third Century) components of the Third Century Initiative.