IISG Director Brian Miller and geneticist Michael Plewa enlisted a team of five graduate students to develop strategies to combat the global water crisis. From the University of Illinois New Bureau:

All groundbreaking, earth-changing, multidisciplinary research has something in common: a starting point.

And the UI Graduate College’s Focal Point grant program has been providing that starting point for the past three years.

According to Debasish Dutta, the dean of the Graduate College, the program is designed to team faculty members and graduate students from sometimes far-flung disciplines with the hopes that together they’ll find a mutual spark leading to the next paradigm-shifting discovery.

“This is something that is normally done by faculty members,” Dutta said, “but we wanted to have graduate students be involved from the formation itself. It’s a huge advantage to them because they’ll have to do that as they become faculty members.” Read more.