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Grand Challenges

Water scarcity. Poverty. Energy dependence. Global pandemics. Climate change. These complex and challenging environmental problems are broadly understood to be among the most pressing issues of the 21st century.

The Grand Challenges Program is an ambitious and broadly inclusive initiative at Princeton designed to tackle these complex and vexing global environmental problems by fully integrating the research and teaching missions of the University. The Program engages faculty from disparate disciplines with postdoctoral fellows and students at all levels of the Princeton University community to examine the scientific, technical, public policy, and human dimensions in the areas of climate and energy, water, global health, sustainable development, and the urban environment.

Climate and Energy Challenge Confronts climate change, the management of fossil-fuel carbon, the expansion of non-fossil energy sources, and other environmental impacts of the energy system.
Water Challenge Recognizes the critical role that water plays in virtually all aspects of the environmental sciences as well as the global importance of water as a resource.
Health Challenge Focuses on developing methods to prevent and treat HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, and other infectious diseases around the globe.
Development Challenge Tackles the difficult task of eliminating poverty in Africa while conserving the continent’s biodiversity and vast store of natural resources.
Urban Challenge Combines the study of the natural and built environments to address interrelated environmental and social issues in the urban setting.