Grand Challenges in Global Health: Grants Offered

Deadline: 7 May 2o13
Open to: Non-profit organizations, profit companies, international organizations, government agencies and academic institutions
Grant: $100,000 USD for Phase I, $1,000,000 USD for Phase II


Grand Challenges Explorations (GCE) supports hundreds of early-stage research projects, including many ideas that have never before been tested, and scientists from a wide range of disciplines and regions. The Explorations initiative funds innovative ideas that could lead to new vaccines, diagnostics, drugs, and other technologies targeting diseases that claim millions of lives every year.
GCE is an extension of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s commitment to the Grand Challenges in Global Health, which was launched in 2003 to accelerate the discovery of new technologies to improve global health. To date, the foundation has committed over $450 million to support hundreds of projects on topics such as making childhood vaccines easier to use in poor countries, and creating new ways to control insects that spread disease.

Key features of the Grand Challenges Explorations initiative are:

  • A short application. Instructions are available online here
  • Rapid turnaround time. We will select grants in approximately five months from the proposal submission deadline.
  • We review for novel ideas that show great promise. Our review process is based on reviewers with a track record in identifying innovative ideas selecting the proposals they find most pioneering – no consensus or peer review is needed.
  • Phase I grants of $100,000 USD are awarded initially; projects have one opportunity to apply for a follow – on Phase II grant of up to $1,000,000 USD


Grand Challenges Explorations is open to both foreign and domestic non-profit organizations, for profit companies, international organizations, government agencies and academic institutions. Grants will not be provided to individuals. Upon registration, applicants must provide information about the tax status of their organization as different grant terms and conditions may apply.

We recommend that you confirm your tax status with the appropriate entity within your organization such as your grants or contracts department, finance or office of sponsored research. For specific information about tax status and categories, you may also go to the Internal Revenue Service web site.

Application instructions

  1. Step 1: Read the Details – To get started, download and read the Rules and Guidelines document (PDF) . It contains detailed information on all aspects of Grand Challenges Explorations. You may need to download Adobe Reader to view PDF documents. Please also read the Terms and Conditions, and Privacy Policy. Any information submitted by you or on your behalf with respect to the Grand Challenges Explorations Initiative (including your proposal, reports, and any related documentation and communications) will be subject to and handled in accordance with the provisions in these three documents. Changes to the rules and guidelines will be posted on the Frequently Asked Questions page of this Web site. Please read the current FAQs before submitting any questions or concerns.
  2. Step 2: Read The Topics – Topics are presented for each Grand Challenges Explorations round. Read the detailed information about GCE Topics on the Topics Overview page and then read the Topic Descriptions for this round to determine which topic best suits your idea.
  3. Step 3: Download the Application Form – Please download the Application Form for specific instructions on the format and content of your application. Please note that some users may see a screen asking them to log in when opening the Application Form. This is an issue with some versions of Microsoft Office. Click Cancel and the Application Form will open for you. All proposals must be written in English.
  4. Step 4: Create an Account, Register for a Topic, and Submit your Proposal – You may create an account using our online Explorations Application Tool.  This tool will enable you to register for an Explorations topic as well as create, edit, or submit your proposal.  After you have created an account and registered for a topic, you can start the online application process. All applications must be submitted through this online system. You may create an account at any time

The deadline for proposals for Grand Challenges Explorations Round 11 is May 7, 2013 at 11:30 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time.

Tips for grant seekers

Following are some tips for grant seekers wishing to submit proposals:

  • Proposals must represent an innovative approach responsive to the topic.  There are other avenues of funding for the equally important research that is within currently accepted paradigms.  Such work will not be funded under Grand Challenges Explorations.
  • Proposals will be reviewed by a panel with broad expertise and a track record in identifying innovations – these reviewers may not be deep domain experts in your field.  Ideas should be described in clear language without the use of jargon unique to a particular field (see How Grants are Selected).
  • Proof-of-concept for ideas need not be completed in Phase I. However, credible evidence supporting the validity of an idea, sufficient proof to warrant expanded support, and next steps for the project should be provided.

More information can be obtained from the official website.

2 thoughts on “Grand Challenges in Global Health: Grants Offered

    1. Dear Roya,

      The application information says that applications are welcome from domestic and foreign applicants, meaning we assume that Afghanistani organizations may participate. However, you should contact the organizers directly to be certain.

      Kind regards,
      Mladiinfo team

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