Work is underway to launch the six inaugural BOLD Ideas grants announced at the beginning of this month.
I’m excited about the potential represented in these initial awards seeking to tackle the “wicked problems” inhibiting the health and wellbeing of the communities we serve. I was impressed with the creative range of collaborations demonstrated by the 31 applications we received.
That number itself was a surprise. With a short timeline, our faculty in a wide range of disciplines drew on relationships from across and outside the University to produce strong and compelling grant applications for these six month $30,000 grants. That level of creativity made it difficult for reviewers to make granting decisions.
We will be learning from the experiences of our initial grantees to guide the process for applications to our second round of BOLD Ideas grants with a deadline in mid-December.
Today, however, as we approach the start of August – a traditional month of planning on the University campus - I’d like to encourage all of you to imagine what you could contribute to a collaborative project promoting health and wellbeing.
Seek out ready and willing colleagues to begin planning for the next round of these incentive grants. Expect further announcements about progress on the initial grants plus availability of the RFP to come later this fall.
For now, a reminder - the “wicked problems” we’re seeking to address include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Health disparities and influencing social determinants of health
- Lack of access to needed health care and health promotion resources in rural Minnesota (closed hospitals/lack of providers/missing programs and needed expertise) and some urban settings (i.e., dentistry, dietitians)
- Health care provider burnout at all levels of training and career
- Technology that facilitates, rather than hinders, health and health care
- Achieving new advances in health and care through broader collaboration
- Opioid and addiction crises
- Addressing the societal and social issues of aging well
- Bioethical challenges resulting from the above
We’re seeking bold collaborations to tackle these issues with the following key measures for review:
- Does the project address a “wicked problem” using novel approaches?
- Does the project involve meaningful interdisciplinary collaborations suited to the project’s aims?
- Does the project capitalize on existing University resources?
- Is the budget justified?
- Can the project feasibly be conducted in six months?
I’m looking forward to hearing the progress made through our initial BOLD Ideas grants. Most promising to me has been the evidence of the many existing and productive relationships our faculty have developed across campus, the community, and the state.
That means we have the basis for building on bold collaborations towards transformative health outcomes and that’s why we’re here.
Jakub Tolar, MD, PhD
Vice President for Clinical Affairs