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U of T interdisciplinary projects receive funding from relaunched Connaught Global Challenge Award

U of T research teams led by David Lie, Brent Sleep and Mark Fox are winners of this year's Connaught Global Challenge Award (photo composite by Geoff Agnew)

Three teams at the University of Toronto that are trying to resolve globally pressing issues are sharing $750,000 in funding from the recently retooled Connaught Global Challenge Award

The relaunched internal award, funded by the Connaught Fund, is designed to support new collaborations involving leading U of T researchers and students from multiple disciplines, along with innovators and thought leaders from other sectors.

This funding boost will help these programs get off the ground and help them find major new external funding to further develop solutions to the global challenge, forge important new partnerships with other internationally renowned universities and government agencies, as well as possibly create new research-oriented academic programs.

“I’d like to congratulate all of the recipients of this year’s Connaught Global Challenge Award,” said Professor Vivek Goel, U of T’s vice-president of research and innovation.

“These projects all tackle immensely important and complicated global problems. The Connaught Fund understands that to find solutions, it needs to provide funding to support interdisciplinary collaboration at U of T. Each of our teams is committed to expanding connections with faculty in relevant divisions across all three campuses.”

The recipients of this year’s Connaught Global Challenge Award are: 

  • “The Information Technology, Transparency, and Transformation (IT3) Lab” led by David Lie, professor of electrical & computer engineering at the Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering. The team includes fellow U of T researchers from the Faculty of Law and Rotman School of Management, as well as collaborators from Princeton University, Harvard University, Tel Aviv University, Google, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada and more.
  • “Network for Engineering Education for Sustainable African Cities (NEESAC)” led by Brent Sleep, professor of civil engineering in the Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering. The team includes U of T researchers from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE), Faculty of Arts & Science, Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering and the Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design, as well as collaborators from the University of Victoria, University of Ontario Institute of Technology, a number of African institutions and more.
  • “The Urban Genome Project” led by Mark Fox, U of T’s distinguished professor of urban systems engineering at the Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering. The team includes U of T researchers with expertise in history, big data and transportation from the Rotman School of Management, Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design, Faculty of Arts & Science and the University of Toronto Scarborough.

Read more about the Urban Genome Project

To be considered, Global Challenge teams must represent new collaborations involving leading U of T researchers and students from multiple disciplines, along with innovators and thought leaders from other sectors. Each year, up to $750,000 will be awarded to a maximum of three applications. 

The application deadline for the next round of funding is June 1, 2017.