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Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Opens Application Round 13 of Grand Challenges Explorations

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SEATTLE (March 4, 2014) - The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced today that it is accepting applications for Round 13 of its Grand Challenges Explorations initiative, which seeks innovative solutions to some of the world’s most pressing global health and development problems. Great ideas come from everywhere, and grants have been awarded for over 900 projects in over 50 countries to date.

Proposals are being accepted through May 6, 2014. Visit www.grandchallenges.org to submit a simple, online, two-page application for the topics listed below.

Topics for Grand Challenges Explorations Round 13:

  • Measuring Fetal and Infant Brain Development: We seek better assessment tools for cognitive development and gestational age, which are critical for measuring the effectiveness of prevention and treatment strategies targeting children’s healthy growth and development and are appropriate for use in the communities in greatest need. This topic is being undertaken in partnership with Grand Challenges Canada’s Saving Brains initiative.
  • Integrating Community-Based Interventions: We seek new ideas to leverage an existing mass drug administration platform - for drug distribution efforts for one or more of five specific neglected tropic diseases - and to integrate this platform with another community-valued or community-needed health intervention or agricultural service, with the goal of increasing efficiency and impact.
  • Inciting Healthy Behaviors: We seek new solutions - targeting individuals, families, communities, health providers, or the health system - that promote health-seeking behaviors and that can make a difference in reducing morbidity and mortality and promoting healthy, productive lives. 
  • Diarrhea and Enteric Dysfunction: We seek new ideas for tools, approaches, and models to support preclinical development of new agents for Acute Secretory Diarrhea and Environmental Enteric Dysfunction. We particularly seek approaches that recapitulate the pathophysiology of impaired gut function as it occurs in our target populations.
  • Innovations for Building Agricultural Development Programs: We seek new solutions to build effective feedback and accountability systems into agricultural development programs. We are looking for tools or approaches that enable farmers’ voices to be consistently heard in all project phases.

“Grand Challenges Explorations continues to seek new types of innovation,” said Chris Wilson, Director of Global Health Discovery & Translational Sciences at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.  “The current set of topics looks for innovation around new tools, behavior change, designing programs, and integrating programs.  Please send us your great idea and become part of the Grand Challenges community.”

The Gates Foundation and an independent group of reviewers select the most promising proposals, and grants will be awarded within approximately five months from the proposal submission deadline. Initial grants are USD$100,000 each. Projects demonstrating potential will have the opportunity to receive additional funding up to USD$1 million.

Grand Challenges 
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation recognizes that solving our greatest global health and development issues is a long-term effort. Through the Grand Challenges family of grant programs, the foundation is committed to seeking out and rewarding not only established researchers in science and technology, but also young investigators, entrepreneurs and innovators to help expand the pipeline of ideas to fight diseases that claim millions of lives each year. We anticipate that additional grants will be awarded through the Grand Challenges in Global Health initiative in the future.

About the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Guided by the belief that every life has equal value, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation works to help all people lead healthy, productive lives. In developing countries, it focuses on improving people’s health and giving them the chance to lift themselves out of hunger and extreme poverty. In the United States, it seeks to ensure that all people—especially those with the fewest resources—have access to the opportunities they need to succeed in school and life. Based in Seattle, Washington, the foundation is led by CEO Sue Desmond-Hellmann and Co-chair William H. Gates Sr., under the direction of Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett.

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