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Mid-Stream Review of the Grand Challenges

When Vice Chancellor Wakimoto began in the Vice Chancellor role, he determined that it would be prudent to conduct an external review of the two active UCLA Grand Challenges.  The Sustainable LA Grand Challenge review occurred in Spring 2018, and the review of the Depression Grand Challenge is expected to occur in Winter 2019.

Initiation Date

This initiative began in FY18.

Current Status

The review of the Sustainable LA Grand Challenge occurred in Spring 2018.  The Grand Challenge team’s response to the review is expected in Fall 2018.  The planning for the Depression Grand Challenge external review is in process.


The charge may be found at:       


The UCLA Grand Challenges initiative began as a pilot project in spring 2012 under then Vice Chancellor for Research James Economou.  The initiative was designed to focus the collective efforts of UCLA faculty and research experts on finding solutions to specific societal challenges which UCLA was uniquely qualified to lead the effort in solving.  The driving force behind the initiative was that UCLA could amplify its impact by setting ambitious goals. These goals would help to more strategically organize UCLA's efforts, keep us focused on important issues, and accelerate our progress toward solutions. The Sustainable LA Grand Challenge was publicly announced in November 2013, and the Depression Grand Challenge was revealed in October 2015.

While UCLA was the first campus to initiate an effort of this type and scale, since doing so, a number of other universities are exploring similar initiatives and turning to UCLA for best practices.


The review team for each Grand Challenge has been hand-picked in consultation with campus leaders.  Each review team includes:

  • Content experts
  • One member from the Grand Challenge’s scholarly and technical advisory committe/scientific advisory board, as applicable
  • A Grand Challenge expert who serves on both review teams
  • A member of the UCLA Academic Senate Council on Research who serves on both review teams

Other Information


Sustainable LA Grand Challenge Review Team:

Depression Grand Challenge Review Team: Coming Soon

Review Agenda

Sustainable LA Grand Challenge External Review Agenda –