Participate in the Climate Grand Challenges program

September 4, 2020
Richard Lester, Associate Provost | Maria T. Zuber, Vice President for Research |

Dear Colleagues,

In July, MIT launched an ambitious new research effort, Climate Grand Challenges, calling on our community to address the global climate emergency by tackling the most challenging and highest-impact research problems associated with climate change.

We write to remind you that short Letters of Interest to participate in the Climate Grand Challenges program are due September 21, 2020.

In the last several months, we have seen the world struggling to respond to a historically disruptive global health crisis. The climate threat may be far more damaging than Covid-19 unless humanity can summon up effective responses in science, technology, policy, and practice. Our aspiration is for MIT's Climate Grand Challenges process to help the world find these responses by developing and implementing high-impact, science-based mitigation and adaptation solutions on an accelerated basis.

Submitting a Letter of Interest to the Climate Grand Challenges initiative is the first step in a two-phase process. The first phase's principal purpose is to stimulate ideas for transformative projects that have the potential to make major advances in solving the big problems that currently stand in the way of an effective global climate response. In the second phase, a subset of applicants will be invited to prepare funded White Papers, each articulating a grand challenge research problem, an approach for solving it, and a plan for developing and implementing the solution rapidly.

While single-authored or multi-authored Letters of Interest will be welcome, we expect that the White Papers in the second phase will be developed by project teams combining knowledge and methods from multiple disciplines. Our expectation is that this process will yield up to five large-scale, multi-year projects, with funding ranging from $1M to $10M per year. Please review the full solicitation for further details.

MIT's mission of bringing knowledge to bear on the world's great challenges has never been more important. Please consider lending your minds and hands to this critical effort.

Many thanks,

Richard K. Lester
Associate Provost

Maria T. Zuber
Vice President for Research