UMN Sustainable Development Goals Initiative

The Global Programs and Strategy Alliance (GPS Alliance) leads a system-wide initiative focused on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDG Initiative seeks to support and promote transdisciplinary research, teaching, and partnerships to advance sustainable development in Minnesota, the US and the globe through grants, information, and opportunities linked to SDG targets and indicators. The GPS Alliance is partnering with the Office for Public Engagement and other University centers, institutes, and research groups in developing this initiative.

table of all 17 UN sustainable development goals

What are the SDGs?

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development was adopted by all United Nations member states in 2015 as a 15-year plan for global sustainable development. The SDGs framework includes 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that provide a shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future and drives efforts at local, national, and global partnership levels. The SDGs offer an inherently integrative and interdisciplinary approach highlighting linkages between ending poverty, improving health and education, and addressing climate change and other environmental degradation.

––The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

What is the UMN SDG Initiative?

The UMN SDG Initiative fosters effective transdisciplinary and multisectoral work tied to the SDGs and promotes the development of new programs and funding streams for this work in order to support measurable progress toward the Goals in Minnesota and beyond.

How can I get involved in the UMN SDG Initiative?

The UMN SDG Initiative offers several key connection points for the UMN community.

SDG Webinar Series

Panelists share their thoughts and expertise on pertinent issues related to the SDGs, and they discuss actions and solutions that can support our communities in this time of crisis. Watch for additional webinars in the coming weeks.

Upcoming Webinars

Previous Webinars

SDG Collisions

Collisions bring experts together from across the university for each SDG to share ideas and identify potential funding to build programs at UMN to help meet state, national and global needs.

Previous Collisions

SDG Rapid Response Grants

The GPS Alliance calls for proposals from UMN faculty, academic staff, and graduate students to support SDG-framed small projects or pilot efforts during summer 2020. These small grants of up to $5,000 will support work including:

  • Perishable data collection: The COVID-19 global pandemic, as well as the global movement to eradicate racism, present urgent research opportunities.
  • Seed grants/pilot projects: Small grants can serve to launch a new SDG research project by faculty, researchers or graduate students.
  • Redirecting research: Critical, new research areas related to the COVID-19 and recovery/adaptation or shifting international SDG research to Minnesota-based work.

An additional research grants program will launch in 2020-2021 to support larger-scale efforts.


Please contact the UMN SDG Initiative team at sdg@umn.edu if you have any questions.


Rapid Response Grants Program 2020

The Global Programs and Strategy Alliance (GPS Alliance) is pleased to announce, as part of its systemwide initiative focused on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a new rapid response grant competition.

Grants will support current faculty, academic staff, and graduate students to use the SDGs as a framework to help address the many challenges that are arising locally and globally.

Guidelines