Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Scheme Open for Applications

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) Grand Challenges Explorations grants are awarded biannually for innovative early stage projects that foster scientific and technological innovation in global health research. The Foundation issues an invitation for applications in a number of areas which are strategically aligned to their priorities. Grants are given in two stages:

Phase I: for projects of 18 months in length that seek to collect data to establish proof of concept.

Phase II: approximately 10% of Phase I projects are subsequently funded for up to two years to develop the concept to an implementable solution.

The priority topic for Round 25 is Innovations for Improving the Impact of Health Campaigns.

Proposals are sought for innovative solutions that accelerate the improvement of coverage, reach, efficiency and effectiveness of mass health campaigns that deliver health products or services in low and middle-income countries, specifically through improved planning/microplanning and focusing on unreached populations.

Specifically, the Foundation is seeking innovations in approaches, practices or tools that dramatically improve the planning and microplanning that will lead to improved effectiveness of campaigns. Innovative tools and technologies to more effectively identify and reach the most vulnerable populations when countries are designing and implementing mass campaigns are also sought.

Countries rely on routine health systems and campaign-based delivery to extend the reach of important health products. Many programmes, including immunisation, neglected tropical diseases, nutrition, malaria and polio, regularly rely on such campaigns to manage the spread of disease and achieve large scale health impact.

The Foundation believes there are opportunities to dramatically improve the way health campaigns that deliver health products or services realise impact, including through improved planning/microplanning. These campaigns will achieve higher coverage of target populations, better identify and reach high-risk/unreached populations, and efficiently use campaign resources.

Solutions should be applicable to campaigns beyond the context in which they are originally tested (eg applicable in multiple low and middle-incomes countries and/or applicable across multiple types of health campaigns such as immunisation, neglected tropical diseases, malaria or nutrition). The Foundation is especially interested in novel approaches that draw on innovation from large-scale delivery models outside of the health sector, which may include interventions used in the private sector.

Applications are invited from any private or public organisation worldwide, including academic institutions, non-profit organisations, for-profit companies, international organisations and government agencies. Individual applicants must be affiliated with an organisation as they cannot receive grants directly.

Grants of up to $100,000 for 18 months are available for Phase I projects. Successful projects may then apply once for a Phase II grant of up to $1 million to fund projects for a further two years. Phase I project funds may be used to cover the full direct costs of the project. Funding is available for equipment as long as the cost of each item is less than $5,000.

There are two application rounds per year (usually opening in February/March and September).

Proposals for Round 25 should be submitted by the deadline of 22 April 2020 (11:30 PDT).

More information about this research funding opportunity and the application process is available on the RESEARCHconnect funding information platform. RESEARCHconnect provides up-to-the minute content, insight and analysis on research funding news and policy. To find out more about how RESEARCHconnect can keep you in the know, and subscription fees, contact us today.