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 to pounce 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.


offers “precision service” to support and guide teams that are seeking transformational grants through an identified funding source, including:

  • “McKinsey-type” consulting and/or proposal development/project management specialists tailored to meet team needs and funder requirements.
  • Up to $250K in incentive-based support to meet project and team needs, including release time or preliminary studies, that strengthen proposals.


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.

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. OVPR has also assembled a Council of Institutes to strengthen partnerships with U-M’s vast array of interdisciplinary research units.


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