Working together in new ways, research can change the world. Now is the time to be BOLD.

Bold Challenges, an Office of Vice President for Research initiative, leads events and programs to empower researchers to create dynamic teams, produce transformative discoveries, and improve the quality of life for our communities, state, nation, and world.

The Bold Challenges programs are designed to build faculty skills, knowledge and capacity so that U-M researchers are ready when big opportunities arise.

Its two new programs are called BOOST and ACCELERATE:


is an annual cohort-based program to support multi-school teams working on significant transdisciplinary projects with substantial potential for large-scale funding, providing up to $75K to use for time releases and/or other incentives.



is an advanced consulting service that offers precision support from Research Development professionals. This program offers expert consulting and financial support for teams on track to submit a large-scale proposal within two years. Financial support of up to $250K is available for activities that are directly related to increasing the probability of a successful proposal for a specific funding opportunity. 


Bold Challenge events and workshops focus on building skills, knowledge, and capacity so that U-M can strengthen the deep bench of diverse faculty ready to apply when big opportunities arise.

Bold Challenges Office Hours

Bold Challenges program managers will be available online weekly on Thursdays, 10 am EST to answer questions about the programs, application process, and events

2023 Bold Challenges Themes

With input from stakeholders across U-M and beyond, the Bold Challenges initiative will focus on three research challenges that align internal strengths with national and global priorities.

city and forest

Building Trustworthy Environments

  • Reduce Bias in AI
  • Design Environments for Inclusion
  • Improve Election Security
  • Manage and Mitigate Misinformation
  • Strengthen National Security
trainees and instructors participate in a  day-long clinical simulation course at the new Clinical Simulation Center.

Smart Health Systems

  • Detect and reduce Bias in Health Sectors
  • Increase Diagnosis Speed and Reliability
  • Integrate Public Health Priorities into Town/City Planning
  • Improve Remote Healthcare Provision
  • Enable Secure Access to Life-Saving Records
solar panel

Strength Through Sustainability: Infrastructure, Technology and Community

  • Energize Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation
  • Improve Infrastructure for Equity
  • Make Water and Power Sources More Efficient and Resilient
  • Fuel Zero-Emissions or Carbon-Negative Construction & Manufacturing

U-M Partners

In an effort to integrate existing activities and networks, the Office of the Vice President for Research works closely with a wide range of schools, colleges, and units. 


If you have any questions, please email Bold-Challenges@umich.edu for more information.