The University of Arizona

Challenge Grants

Award Cycle: Annual 
Limit on Proposals per PI: An individual may participate as PI on one Challenge Grant per cycle. 
Next Due Date: July 1, 2020
Award Period: August 15, 2020 to August 14, 2021
Applications:  Accepted through UA Competition Space 

Description: The Challenge Grant program is new program focused on high-risk, high-reward research opportunities to foster new collaborations in solving our most pressing challenges. Applicants must propose transformational research instead of incremental advances.

This opportunity seeds new collaborations and activities that have the potential to offer transformative advancements and engage with blue sky thinking. without institutional or implicit bias which can emerge even with the best designed peer review process. After administrative review to confirm basic intent of the program, awards are chosen at random until funding for the program is exhausted. This will occur in two tiers (those that meet the criteria and those that exceed the criteria) based on the information outlined below.

Awardees will receive up to $50,000 over the course of the project period.

Proposed projects must address a local, regional, or national grand challenge.

Proposed projects must include:

  1. 1. Investigators from multiple colleges. Applicants must include investigators from at least three colleges. Partnerships with colleges underrepresented from traditional research opportunities and sponsorship will be elevated into the “exceeds” tier.
  2. 2. Investigators of faculty at all ranks. Applicants must include faculty at the assistant, associate, and full professor ranks.

In addition, teams may partner with non-academic campus units. Applicants that choose to partner with non-academic units on campus will elevate into the “exceeds” tier.

Proposal preparation is not subject to the RII Proposal Preparation Guide (PPG) v5 except for final reporting purposes as a final report is expected. Instead, applicants will need to submit a PDF with the following (include word count totals at the start of each section):

  1. 1. 250 words on the grand challenge and the team’s motivation for addressing it
  2. 2. 500-word summary of the proposed effort targeting a non-specialist audience
  3. 3. 250-word outcome statement
  4. 4. 500-word technical narrative

In addition, applicants will need to enter information on each of the investigators (up to ten, if there are additional team members a supplemental document with a table of the team, their appointment, department, college, and subject area should be submitted) and a simple project budget should be included. You may reference the PPG for allowable budget items.

Investigators are encouraged to ensure that their department heads are aware of their proposed Challenge Grant efforts. Prior to award, RII will confirm with each investigator’s department and college.

Questions: resdev@email.arizona.edu