About Grand Challenges

Disciplined. Collaborative. Solutions-focused. At Indiana University, we are harnessing the power of research to solve the "Grand Challenges" facing Indiana and the world.

We define Grand Challenges as major, focused and large-scale problems facing humanity that can only be solved by the application of dedicated research findings across disciplines in collaboration with community partners. The Grand Challenges Program is a bold commitment to address these issues. IU is pioneering the approach of pairing faculty and students from all disciplines in partnership with cross-sector teams of community and business leaders.

Together, we are tackling issues that impact our state. Issues like cancer and degenerative disease, or unpredictable severe weather and dwindling natural resources. Our mission is to apply the combined power of IU researchers who have dedicated their lives to their field of expertise to address the economic, social, and environmental problems negatively impacting our state and the world.

Our Grand Challenges

Precision Health Initiative

Our first Grand Challenge, the Precision Health Initiative (PHI), is an investment of new resources, personnel, and broad collaboration with key businesses and community partners. Applying the results of extensive research, PHI aims to cure at least one cancer through the development of new cell, gene and immune therapies. PHI will also seek to cure one childhood disease and unlock preventative treatments for one neurodegenerative disease and a chronic illness.

Learn more about Precision Health

Prepared for Environmental Change

Our second Grand Challenge, Prepared for Environmental Change, will position Indiana to combat the growing threats caused by extreme and unpredictable weather patterns and environmental changes that result. It brings together a broad, bipartisan coalition of government, business, nonprofit and community leaders to help Indiana better prepare for the challenges that environmental change brings to our economy, health and livelihood.

Learn more about Environmental Change

Responding to the addictions crisis

Our third Grand Challenge, Responding to the Addictions Crisis, aims to reduce deaths from addiction, ease the burden of drug addiction on Hoosier communities, and help to improve health and economic outcomes. Utilizing IU’s seven campuses, and in partnership with state officials, IU Health, Eskenazi Health and others, this statewide initiative is one of the nation’s most comprehensive state-based responses to the opioid addiction crisis—and the largest led by a university.

Learn more about the Addicitions Crisis

A lasting positive impact on Hoosier lives

As our university community grows and expands, so do our obligations. We are committed to doing our part in solving Grand Challenges. IU owes it to all Hoosiers to harness the power of our faculty, student and researchers' expertise to benefit our state and world. The Grand Challenges Program is doing just that as part of IU's Bicentennial Strategic Plan.