Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation: Global Grand Challenges
Grand Challenges is a family of initiatives fostering innovation to solve key global health and development problems. Each initiative is an experiment in the use of challenges to focus innovation on making an impact. Individual challenges address some of the same problems, but from differing perspectives.
In 2003, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation launched Grand Challenges in Global Health, which came to include multiple funding partners. This initiative focused on 14 major scientific challenges that, if solved, could lead to key advances in preventing, treating, and curing diseases of the developing world. Seeking to engage the world’s most creative minds, Grand Challenges in Global Health awarded 44 grants totaling over $450 million for research projects involving scientists in 33 countries. Funding included an additional supporting project addressing ethical, social, and cultural issues across the initiative.
Solving global challenges is a long-term effort. After a decade of progress, Grand Challenges in Global Health continues as an initiative, but under a new name – Grand Challenges – to reflect the fact that as new challenges have been added, its scope has expanded to encompass global development as well as global health.
In 2007, the Gates Foundation launched Grand Challenges Explorations to engage more of the world’s innovators more quickly. Great ideas come from everywhere. Twice each year, Grand Challenges Explorations invites high-risk, high-reward proposals on a range of challenges.
Two-page applications are submitted online – open to anyone from any discipline, from student to tenured professor, and from any organization, including colleges and universities, government laboratories, research institutions, non-profit organizations, and for-profit companies.
Initial grants of $100,000 are awarded, and successful projects have the opportunity to receive follow-on funding of up to $1 million. Winning grants are chosen approximately 5 months from the submission deadline.
To learn more about Grand Challenges grant opportunities, visit https://gcgh.grandchallenges.org/grant-opportunities. Application due dates vary.