Grand Challenge Mini-Symposia Update


Dear College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Faculty:

Thank you to everyone from the College and the Texas A&M AgriLife agencies who participated in the recent Grand Challenges Mini-Symposia. Videos of each session have been posted on the Grand Challenges website and you are encouraged to view them to learn more, particularly if you were unable to attend.

The mini-symposia represented six areas of broad interest across our faculty:

  • The Energy Complex and its Interactions with Food, the Environment and Society
  • STEM: Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Education Innovation and Achievement
  • The Texas Water Observatory Network
  • Food, Feed, Fiber, Bioenergy and Environment for 2050
  • Root Biology and the Rhizosphere
  • Reducing Stress and Obesity – Genetic and Environmental Regulation of Metabolic Health

These six areas are the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences’ initial areas of concentration to address the grand challenges.  Within some of these topics, faculty groups have already determined a strategy with “big idea” goals to make an impact on the grand challenges. Others topics have broad interest and potential, but still need your input to determine a plan to move forward. Regardless, all of these groups need additional faculty participation and perspectives.

Next Steps:  I encourage you to help develop grand challenge proposals in these six impact areas or get involved in any initiatives already underway. The format for these proposals will be distributed in the coming weeks, but right now you should engage colleagues, department heads and AgriLife leadership early. This will assure the collective understanding and effort needed for these complex solutions.

The remainder of this summer will be spent in discussions by faculty groups and with administration. The goal is to arrive at fundable proposals by early fall that are consistent with our institutional priorities, programs and needs. Successful proposals will both 1.) be given sufficient central resources to make significant progress and 2.) position the initiative for sustainable external funding.

Get Involved:
The best way to get involved is to contact the leaders or speakers of the mini-symposia, a member of the Grand Challenge College Council, or me at Contact information can be found here to help you connect and learn how you can become part of these grand solutions.

Be a part of the Grand Solutions for Grand Challenges.

Alan Sams
Executive Associate Dean


Dr. Alan Sams
Executive Associate Dean
College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
Texas A&M University
Phone: 979-845-6464

Comments are closed.