BMGF Building Malaria Modeling Capacity in Sub-Saharan Africa

Closing Date: 13/01/2022

Support for organisations actively working in sub-Saharan Africa for the development of patient-facing digital health services for pregnant women.

Founded in 1997, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) is a charitable organisation that seeks to improve the health and wellbeing of people in developing countries and within the US, and works to ensure that all people lead healthy, productive lives.

This Building Malaria Modeling Capacity in Sub-Saharan Africa call for proposals is part of the Grand Challenges programme, which fosters innovation in order to solve key problems in global health and development for those most in need. The Grand Challenges initiative seeks to focus research and development efforts and engage the world’s best researchers and innovators.

While mathematical modelling approaches have been used to understand malaria epidemiology and the potential impact of antimalarial interventions for some time, National Malaria Control Programs (NMCPs) across sub-Saharan Africa are showing a growing interest in working with modelling units to shape their National Strategic Plans and Global Fund applications, as well to evaluate the ongoing impact of control programmes. Furthermore, R&D partners in the malaria field are increasingly working with modellers as part of the product development process, using quantitative insights to shape target product profiles, plan trials and understand the market for a given product.

At present, many of the malaria modelling units contributing to these efforts are based in academic institutions in the Global North. BMGF believes that having local modelling expertise embedded within or easily accessible to NMCPs will improve programmes’ uptake of modelling as a strategic planning and evaluation tool, ultimately leading to improved data-driven decision-making by NMCPs. However, for this vision to be realised, the malaria modelling ecosystem across sub-Saharan Africa needs to be strengthened.

This call therefore seeks innovative approaches to building a stronger malaria mathematical modelling ecosystem in sub-Saharan Africa. Projects are sought that will achieve one or more of the following objectives:

  • Increasing the number of PhD-trained mathematical modellers with malaria expertise based at sub-Saharan African institutions.
  • Improving NMCP understanding of and engagement with modelling approaches as a tool that can support strategic planning and/or evaluation work.
  • Connecting malaria Product Development Partners (PDPs) with sub-Saharan African modellers.
  • Bringing together discrete modelling units across sub-Saharan Africa to share expertise.
  • Improving modellers’ access to timely, high-quality data.

BMGF is looking for proposals that:

  • Are led by a Principal Investigator based in sub-Saharan Africa (other global partners may be included). Teams comprising multiple African institutions will be given preference over applicants from single institutions.
  • Demonstrate at least 80% of the funding is going to sub-Saharan African institutions.
  • Focus on improving geospatial and/or mathematical modelling capacity for malaria (other related diseases may be included eg modellers may also work on vector-borne neglected tropical diseases).
  • Articulate how the project will lead to impact in the near-term and how those benefits will be sustained past the lifetime of the project.
  • Demonstrate engagement with local and/or regional malaria decision-makers.

Funding is only open to organisations actively working in sub-Saharan Africa.

Funding body Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF)
Maximum value 3,000,000 USD
Reference ID S22982
Category Medical Research
Engineering and Physical Sciences
Science and Technology
Fund or call Fund