Have questions? Below are answers to some of the most common questions we receive, as well as definitions for some of our frequently used terms. Want to know more? We’re here to help! Please email us at email@example.com.
What is UC Davis Grand Challenges?
Grand Challenges is a campus-wide initiative to bring together experts from across disciplines and connect the community around solution-oriented work. We facilitate the creation of campus-wide teams, organize product-centered strategic convenings, and ensure the participation of underrepresented disciplines to strengthen our campus while pursuing significant, large-scale, transdisciplinary funding opportunities.
What are wicked problems?
Wicked problems are unsettled questions that present significant threats to humankind and planetary health. They are complex, have negative impacts on the lives of millions of people, and demand innovative, collaborative action.
The UC Davis community has chosen to focus on advancing solutions to a few of these wicked problems based on their significance, the expertise UC Davis can apply, the impact transdisciplinary research at UC Davis can have on creating solutions to mitigate them, and the potential for all disciplines, schools, and colleges to be involved.
How is Grand Challenges meeting its responsibility to advance justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion?
Grand Challenges uses a justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion lens to view each of its focus areas. We are committed to ensuring our work addresses unjust impacts on diverse populations. Our commitment begins here at UC Davis.
Grand Challenges is directly supporting work to address the harmful origins and complex aims of our university, while also developing a model of positive public impact and equity for others, through our Reimagining the Land-grant University focus area.
The responsibility to advancing justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion will also be exemplified in the Grand Challenges Solutions Hub, which is being designed as an inclusive space that will break away from traditional models to foster collaboration in ways other buildings do not.
Grand Challenges is committed to growing and learning, and we rely on representatives from diverse groups to help us serve and connect people, while also conducting internal reviews to ensure demographic and disciplinary representation among convening participants. We will continue to be responsive to all members of our community as we champion holistic, inclusive approaches to address the most pressing problems of our time.
What is the status of the Grand Challenges building?
The Grand Challenges Solutions Hub is a future home of transdisciplinary research at UC Davis that will use ground-breaking building design to create a truly collaborative space. Envisioned as a place for people inside and outside the university to come together, learn, and grow as a community to advance solutions to the world’s most urgent issues, the Grand Challenges Solutions Hub is a priority project for Grand Challenges and is currently in the planning phase. The latest updates will be posted here.
Can I be a part of Grand Challenges?
Yes! We want you to be involved. Creating additional connections is at the heart of Grand Challenges work, and we have opportunities for all disciplines to help advance UC Davis’ positive impact on people around the world.
A few of the ways you can help us build Grand Challenges include:
- Participating in strategic convenings hosted by Grand Challenges
- Volunteering your expertise in one or more focus areas
- Suggesting workshop topics or other ways the UC Davis community can connect
- Providing us with information about opportunities for transdisciplinary research
- Letting us know about potential partnerships with disciplines, departments, schools, colleges, people, or groups
- Telling others that UC Davis is using the power of transdisciplinary research to tackle large-scale problems with the support of Grand Challenges
- Join our team – Grand Challenges is growing, and we have opportunities to contribute. For more information on the latest opportunities, please click here.
- Follow us on Twitter for the latest on Grand Challenges.
If you have additional ideas about how to help foster transdisciplinary research at UC Davis, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and provide a brief description of your idea. Join us in advancing world-changing research!
Wicked problems are unsettled issues that present significant threats to human society and planetary health. They are complex, have negative impacts on the lives of millions of people, and demand innovative, collaborative action.
Transdisciplinary research is inquiry that brings together numerous disciplines to move beyond what can be achieved through discipline-specific approaches and small-scale collaborations in order to develop holistic solutions to real-word problems.
Holistic solutions are wide-ranging actions needed to solve problems that are generated from understanding the relationship between all parts of an issue.
Strategic covenings are one way Grand Challenges brings together the campus community. These transdisciplinary gatherings focus on creating solutions to wicked problems and are centered around actionable plans and outputs to ensure efficient use of participants’ time and energy.
Grand Challenges Champions
Grand Challenges Champions are members of the UC Davis community who have committed to organizing efforts to find solutions to wicked problems and to supporting the transdisciplinary research needed to identify and implement holistic solutions.
Faculty advisors are members of the UC Davis community who provide critical assistance and guidance to the Grand Challenges team as we pursue our mission.
Land-grant Universities are institutions designated by a state legislature or Congress to receive the benefits of the Morrill Acts of 1862, 1890, and 1994. The mission of these institutions was to provide public access to higher education, have direct impacts on people’s daily lives, and help solve societal problems. Land-grant universities have graduated millions of students and achieved their mission in expansive ways but have done so at great cost to those who lived on and stewarded the land on which the universities were created. Development of these universities included the taking of Indigenous lands and inflicting harm on Indigenous people. Learn more about land-grant universities by visiting the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities.