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Foundation Seeks Proposals for Grand Challenges Explorations | Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

$100,000 Grants Available for Unconventional Ideas to Address Global Health Issues

SEATTLE – The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced today that it is accepting proposals for Round 7 of Grand Challenges Explorations, a $100 million grant initiative to encourage innovation in global health research. Proposals are being accepted through May 19, 2011 at 11:30 a.m. Pacific Time.

The initiative offers scientists, inventors and entrepreneurs the opportunity to win $100,000 grants to pursue unconventional ideas that could transform health in developing countries, and focuses on research areas where creative, unorthodox thinking is most urgently needed. The topics in this round are:

  • The Poliovirus Endgame: Create Ways to Accelerate, Sustain and Monitor Eradication
  • Create the Next Generation of Sanitation Technologies
  • Create Low-Cost Cell Phone-Based Solutions for Improved Uptake and Coverage of Childhood Vaccinations
  • Design New Approaches to Cure HIV Infection
  • Explore Nutrition for Healthy Growth of Infants and Children
  • Apply Synthetic Biology to Global Health Challenges
“Addressing critical and complex global health and development challenges - such as polio eradication, vaccine uptake, sanitation and other factors that promote optimal growth and development - requires innovative solutions,” said Dr. Chris Wilson, Director of Discovery at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. “Grand Challenges Explorations encourages and enables the discovery and development of ground-breaking solutions that have the potential to help us save millions more lives than we can today.”

Proposals are being accepted online at www.grandchallenges.org/explorations. The initiative uses a streamlined, online grant-making process. Applications are two pages, and preliminary data about the proposed research are not required. To help uncover new ideas, Grand Challenges Explorations seeks to involve researchers around the world, including those who have not typically worked in global health. This includes those with innovative ideas in Africa, Asia, and other parts of the developing world, people working in the private sector, and young investigators.

The foundation and an independent group of reviewers will select the most innovative proposals, and grants will be awarded within approximately four months from the proposal submission deadline. Initial grants will be $100,000 each. Projects showing success will have the opportunity to receive additional funding up to $1 million.

The winners from Round 6 will be announced in May 2011.

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