Gates Foundations Seeks Innovative Health-Solutions Proposals

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One of the primary objectives of Grand Challenges Explorations is to involve scientists around the world who do not typically work in global health.

[International: Health]

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced yesterday that it is now accepting grant proposals for Round 2 of Grand Challenges Explorations, a five-year US$100 million initiative to encourage bold and unconventional research on new global health solutions.

Proposals for six topics will be accepted online at through November 2, 2008.

Round 2 follows on the heels of the initiative's first funding round, which closed in May of this year, and generated nearly 4,000 applications from scientists in more than 100 countries. Two new topics are being introduced in Round 2 along with the initial four topics from Round 1.

One of the primary objectives of Grand Challenges Explorations is to involve scientists around the world who do not typically work 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 initiative uses an agile, accelerated grantmaking process. Applications are two pages, and preliminary data about the proposed research are not required. In addition, the online application process has been streamlined for Round 2.

The topic areas for which proposals will be accepted in Round 2 are: create new vaccines for diarrhea, HIV, malaria, pneumonia, and TB; create new tools to accelerate the eradication of malaria; create new ways to protect against infectious diseases, including alternatives to traditional vaccination; create new drugs and delivery systems to limit the emergence of resistance in the disease-causing agent; create new ways to prevent or cure HIV infection that fall outside current research on vaccines and other biomedical and behavior-change strategies; and, explore the basis for latency in TB, with the goal of discovering new ways to identify and eliminate latent infection.

The foundation and an independent group of reviewers will select the most innovative proposals, and grants will be awarded within approximately three months from the proposal submission deadline. Initial grants will be $100,000 each. Projects showing success will have the opportunity to receive additional funding of $1 million or more. Round 1 grants are expected to be announced in October.

Full de scri ptions of the topic areas and application instructions are available at

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, the foundation is led by CEO Jeff Raikes and co-chair William H. Gates Sr., under the direction of Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett.


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