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Transdisciplinary Team Grand Challenge: Water

The Graduate School is pleased to announce the next Transdisciplinary Team Grand Challenge: Water. Society’s dependence on water has created a water crisis on multiple fronts. As global population increases, so has demand for potable water. A rising demand for energy, combined with an aging infrastructure and changes in land use practices, have impacted water availability. Meanwhile, climate variability has resulted in widespread and unprecedented levels of flooding and drought. The problems of an inadequate water supply, unhealthy watersheds, and degraded habitats cannot be tackled by researchers in individual disciplines, but instead require teams of scholars to work together across disciplines with community partners to develop optimal solutions. Our challenge to UTSA’s graduate student researchers is to work together to propose conceptual projects addressing any aspect of water, including broad topics such as watershed protection or equitable access to water and narrower topics such as measurement of contaminants at point of pollution sites or campaigns to promote awareness of safe water recreation.

Teams should be formed in groups of 3-5 students from at least two different programs in two different colleges. Student groups will work together on a transdisciplinary proposal to address an issue associated with water. Project proposals can cover a wide variety of topical areas, including but not limited to access to safe drinking water, aquatic ecosystems, monitoring and modeling of water resources and climate, aquifer sustainability, and more.

For a full list of rules, guidelines, and deadlines please click here.

Interested in hearing from previous participants? Watch the video below to learn about the benefits and impact of participation.



It is anticipated that three teams will be awarded, subject to available resources.

  • Each student in the top three teams will receive a $2,000 scholarship to be awarded by the Spring 2022 semester.

If you are interested in competing in the challenge, please make sure you are eligible and understand the guidelines and deadlines:


  • Applicants must be full-time graduate (master's or doctoral) students enrolled in 6 hours of graduate courses at the time of application and award.
  • An applicant may not participate on more than one proposal to this program.
  • Proposals must demonstrate collaboration among 3-5 graduate students from at least two different programs within at least two colleges at UTSA. Projects should, whenever possible, include a community partner (click here for more information).

Team Formation

Looking for teammates? The Graduate School has created a Slack channel to help interested students find teammates for the Grand Challenge. Use your email to join and log into Slack here.

Participant Deadlines

DATE: September 24, 2021
ACTION ITEM: Notice of Intent due. For guidelines and submission information, click here.

DATE: November 19, 2021
ACTION ITEM: Proposals due. For information regarding required deliverables, click here.

Announcement Dates

DATE: December 15, 2021
INFORMATION: Awards announced. See full list of winners here.

DATE: January 15, 2022
INFORMATION: Funds awarded. 

If you have further questions about this opportunity, please contact Dr. Rebecca Weston at

Previous Challenges: