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WEST LAFAYETTE, IN — Water scarcity, food insecurity, energy dependence, global pandemics, and climate change are examples of the ill-defined “Grand Challenges” for which public policy makers look to researchers for solutions. Science and engineering can suggest technological solutions to some aspects of these problems, but real world implementation fails without the insights of humanists and social scientists.

Purdue University Libraries and Press, the College of Liberal Arts, the Global Policy Research Institute (GPRI), and Discovery Park have received a $539,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The funding will support an innovative program that combines interdisciplinary discovery led by humanists, social scientists, and STEM faculty with impactful delivery of research results to policy makers. Activities begin April 2014 and last for two years.

The first goal of the project to encourage humanities and social sciences (HSS) faculty to initiate and fully participate in research programs that address the “Grand Challenges” of the 21st century, large-scale, pressing, public policy problems which can only be solved through interdisciplinary research. $300,000 in grant money will be offered to fund up to six projects.

The second goal will be to facilitate the scholarly communication process in a way that maximizes the political and social impact of research. The remaining funding provides for information management and publishing support for the grant awardees, and builds on a growing program of public policy publishing at Purdue University Press.

A Call for Proposals open to Purdue University faculty is now available at: https://www.purdue.edu/research/gpri/research/mellon-grand.php. Interested faculty may also RSVP on the site to attend an informational workshop to be held on May 1, 2014, from 12 – 2 pm in the Discovery Learning Research Center.

Purdue Provost Professor Timothy Sands noted, “This is an important award at a critical time.   The comprehensive university model only works going forward if the disciplines are woven together across the university. This is a great step toward that goal.”

Further Information:

Amber Thompson, Senior Policy Associate, Global Policy Research Institute

765-496-6392 (office), 765-427-1908 (mobile), athompson@purdue.edu