Research Accelerator Program

Bold Challenges Webinar and Presentation

Bold Challenge Phases

Bold Challenge Phases as explained in the section below on this page

In an effort to develop and refine solutions to these six challenges, OVPR designed a four-phase research accelerator program that will support up to 12 interdisciplinary teams during year one of the initiative. The research accelerator will leverage, connect and supplement existing programs across U-M to generate momentum and provide continuity for teams as they develop their research agendas and seek external support.

These four phases provide a continuum of support for teams as they progress through various stages of maturity.


Through a series of facilitated workshops centered around the six research challenges, this stage helps increase awareness of existing experts on campus, build partnerships with external stakeholders, and identify research challenges. In the first year, we anticipate holding 6 workshops in the winter/spring with attendees coming from a diversity of backgrounds, including external partners from community organizations and industry. The major outcome from this phase is the early assembly of ideas and teams that will progress to the Team Formation phase. Each workshop will be co-sponsored and co-hosted by multiple U-M centers and institutes with both social and technical areas of expertise.

Learn more about the Pollination phase

The application window for Spring/Summer 2022 has closed

Upcoming 2022 Workshops:

  • Monday, April 25: Universal Access to Healthy Water
  • Wednesday, May 4: Sustainable and Equitable Solutions for the Housing Crisis
  • Monday, May 9: Smart Health Care Systems for Equitable Access
  • Friday, May 20: Healthy Adaptation to Climate Change

Team Formation

The team formation phase includes early team building, research problem focusing, and financial and staff support. The goal of this phase is to strengthen ties amongst team members and develop interdisciplinary focus areas through preliminary research or information gathering, team meetings, invited speakers, and connections with external partners. Teams are expected to produce a short white paper at the end of the semester, for use in broader external engagement with federal partners, industry, and philanthropy.

Learn more about the Team Formation phase

The application window for Fall 2022 has closed


In the Incubation phase, a cohort of established teams will participate in a semester-long “value creation forum.” This workshop will help maturing teams develop and articulate the value and potential impact of their shared vision toward creating compelling narratives for funders, policymakers, thought leaders, and other external stakeholders across the six research challenges.

Learn more about the Incubation phase

The application window for Fall 2022 has closed


During the preparation and/or submission of proposals, research teams will be provided with staff resources and seed funding necessary to continue advancing their work. Teams must have gone through the incubation phase and plan to submit a large external grant to be eligible for this support.  Continuation support will be for a limited term, with renewals depending on the progress and status of the large external grant submission and/or other team activities.  

Learn more about the Nurture phase

The application window for Spring/Summer 2022 has closed