About Bridging Barriers

"…the toughest questions facing humanity and the world cross the boundaries of existing knowledge, and that we must take an interdisciplinary approach to address them. Achieving excellence in the disciplines means we must collaborate across disciplines. Breakthroughs happen when we break down silos of knowledge. And we are doing that now."
-President Gregory L. Fenves,
State of the University,
September 13, 2016

Bridging Barriers is a university-wide research grand challenges initiative, supported by the President, Provost, Vice President for Research, and University Development. The research grand challenges that are the focus of Bridging Barriers are driven by our faculty and staff researchers’ expertise and aspirations. Bridging Barriers is launching new research directions that aim to:

  • Accelerate collaboration across the disciplines and promote the type of fundamental research that thrives in an environment based on academic freedom;
  • Set the stage for practical solutions to problems that are critical for the world and that will engage our society in the coming decades;
  • Address problems in humanities and social sciences, where answers will enrich and deepen our experience of the world and society around us.

Since the initiative launched in September of 2016, Bridging Barriers has brought together faculty and staff researchers from across the UT campus to address pressing problems facing Texas, the Nation, and the world. Bridging Barriers is supporting UT research to begin new and dynamic collaborations across a variety of disciplines.

What are we "bridging"?

  • Barriers between disciplines, techniques, and ways of thinking
  • Barriers between fundamental knowledge and real world problems

Bridging Barriers research themes and the teams of researchers who drive them will produce scholarly outputs, new technologies, influence over public policy, community engagement, and more.