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Chancellor-Provost Challenge

Innovative, interdisciplinary collaboration for the common good

Meeting the Challenge

Rutgers–New Brunswick's scholarly community is rich and diverse, and our collective talent can lead to innovative research that benefits the public good. The Chancellor-Provost Challenge invites interdisciplinary collaborators to develop transformational proposals that address scientific and societal grand challenges through innovative research and the convergence of disciplinary areas. 

The Chancellor-Provost Office invites Rutgers–New Brunswick faculty, staff, and students to propose innovative ideas that catalyze exploration, collaboration, concept-testing, and risk-taking.

The Chancellor-Provost Challenge will advance the best talent, creativity, and initiatives of faculty, staff, and students by selecting ideas and supporting successful teams in preparing their projects for scale and making them sustainable to achieve lasting change. Cross-disciplinary teams representing multiple Rutgers–New Brunswick units will bring ideas forward within a structured environment and successful teams will work together to implement their proposals.

Over the coming years, Chancellor-Provost Challenges will be issued focused on the Academic Master Plan pillars. The first Chancellor-Provost Challenge is focused on the first two pillars—Scholarly Leadership and Innovative Research—and seeks to build interdisciplinary scholarly communities to advance excellence in public impact research and develop new interdisciplinary/transdisciplinary academic programs.

Proposals are due by February 1, 2023. Questions about the Chancellor-Provost Challenge may be sent by email to nbchancellor-provostchallenge@rutgers.edu.

Proposal Submission Guidelines

  • Rutgers–New Brunswick faculty, staff, and students are invited to submit proposals.

  • The Chancellor-Provost Office intends to invest up to $3 million yearly over the next five years. Chancellor-Provost Challenge Grants will:

    1. Fund up to 50 percent of faculty salaries for faculty cluster or team hires for up to three years or contribute to research start-up costs for new hires
    2. Fund collaborative research projects with budgets not exceeding $50,000
    3. Provide personnel funding for departments collaborating on developing new degree programs

    Awards may range from $50,000 to $500,000. The final determination of accepted proposals and funding allocation/duration for each initiative will be made at the discretion of the Chancellor-Provost, in consultation with the review committee.  As necessary, other final determinations will be made at the discretion of the Chancellor-Provost.

  • Rutgers–New Brunswick seeks proposals for interdisciplinary initiatives for the Scholarly Leadership and Innovative Research pillars. In particular, the current Chancellor-Provost Challenge aims to build interdisciplinary scholarly communities advancing excellence in public impact research. Successful proposals will articulate a clear path toward external funding or develop new interdisciplinary/transdisciplinary academic programs that prepare our students for success. Successful proposals will also include initiatives designed to build multidisciplinary research and academic programs across academic units (schools, colleges, or Chancellor units) and the intersection of broad disciplinary areas:

    • Biological Sciences
    • Computer and Information Science and Engineering
    • Environmental and Geosciences
    • Mathematical and Physical Sciences
    • Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences
    • Arts and Humanities

    For this first year, the Chancellor-Provost Office will support a range of collaborative proposals, with strong consideration given to the following priority areas identified through the AMP process: 

    • Climate and Sustainability
    • Cyberinfrastructure and Data Science/Artificial Intelligence


    Proposals should include the following:

    1. Proposal Title
    2. Applicant Name(s), Title(s), Email(s), and Phone Number(s)
    3. Units (Department, School, Division, Student Organization, Campus, etc.)
    4. Indicate relevant scholarly community from the following list:
      • Biological Sciences
      • Computer and Information Science and Engineering
      • Environmental and Geosciences
      • Mathematical and Physical Sciences
      • Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences
      • Arts and Humanities
      • Other
    5. Lead Point(s) of Contact (Maximum of Two Leads) Name, Title, Email, and Phone Number
    6. A Memo of Endorsement from all Relevant Unit, Decanal, or Divisional Leadership
    7. Proposal Description
      • In 3 pages or less, proposals should address the following:
        • Succinctly but thoroughly describe the proposed initiative. If applicable, include necessary staffing, the number of students it will serve, and connections to existing programs and structures.
        • Identify your initiative's intended outcome(s) and describe the metrics you will use to evaluate whether you are achieving those outcomes.
        • Explain why you believe that your proposed initiative will achieve the intended outcomes.
        • Explain how your transdisciplinary research and/or the academic program will positively impact students, Rutgers–New Brunswick, and the common good (public impact).
        • Include a timeline for your proposed initiative.
        • Include a budget for your proposed initiative.
        • Explain how you will sustain the initiative after the challenge grant funding has expired.
  • Proposals must be submitted via the provided electronic submission form only:

    Submit Your Proposal

  • Timeline

    • Proposal Due Date: February 1, 2023
    • Selection Announcement: March 15, 2023
    • Implementation Date: July 1, 2023

    Review Process

    We strive to maintain transparency as we implement the Academic Master Plan and operationalize the selected proposals. 

    The Chancellor-Provost Office will form a review committee. Proposals will be reviewed and selected based on the following criteria: 

    1. Does the initiative align with the Academic Master Plan’s pillars and initiatives? 
    2. Does the initiative positively impact Rutgers–New Brunswick? Have the proposers made a convincing case that the initiative will achieve the desired objectives?
    3. Does the initiative catalyze exploration, collaboration, concept-testing, and risk-taking?
    4. Can the initiative be sustained over time, including after challenge grant funds are used? 
    5. Does the initiative support collaboration among Rutgers–New Brunswick schools, divisions, institutes, organizations, or broad scholarly disciplinary areas?

    Once initiatives are reviewed and selected, the Chancellor-Provost Office will share progress quarterly on the Academic Master Plan webpage. Selected initiatives will be expected to provide progress reports outlining achievements, key decisions, and open issues during each quarter and the goals for the next quarter.

    Please direct all questions to nbchancellor-provostchallenge@rutgers.edu.