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RTI International Launches $5M+ “Forethought” Research Collaboration Challenge, Invites Proposals by April 8

The research challenge encourages bold, visionary project proposals that address critical societal issues


RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. — RTI International (RTI), a nonprofit research institute whose mission is to improve the human condition, today announced the launch of Forethought, a research collaboration challenge that invites bold, visionary proposals that address critical societal issues. RTI is committing $5 million in initial seed funding to the challenge, which aims to combine the resources of RTI with at least three neighboring universities.


“The Research Triangle region has been a model of world-class research for more than 60 years, and the goal of Forethought is to stimulate transformational change for the next 60 years,” said Dr. Jacqueline M. Olich, Vice President of University Collaborations at RTI. “This challenge builds on a foundation of successful collaborations between RTI and the exceptional institutions that surround us.”

Nonstudent researchers affiliated with any of the following institutions are eligible to be principal investigators: RTI, Duke University, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, North Carolina Central University, North Carolina State University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Applicants that advance in the selection process will be required to assemble a research team with significant representation from RTI and at least three of the institutions listed above.

To help identify bold ideas that have the potential to meaningfully impact critical societal issues, Forethought is structured as a three-step application process that includes (1) an Expression of Interest (EOI) intended to crowd-source innovative ideas, (2) selection of applicants invited to submit full proposals and (3) a final oral presentation round.

RTI’s Board of Governors — under the auspices of the RTI University Research Collaboration Committee (URCC) — welcomes EOI submissions by April 8.

“This forward-thinking challenge is an investment in the future of the Research Triangle region,” said Dr. Christy Shaffer, URCC chair and RTI Board of Governors member. “I am proud of RTI’s financial commitment and leadership to harness the power of our academic institutions and corporate partners to improve our ecosystem for years to come.”

For more information about the application process, visit https://forethought.rti.org.