Bold Ideas with Big Impact: Global Mental Health Grants

Deadline: 9 January 2014
Open to: non-profit organizations, for-profit companies, or other recognized institutions
Grant: up to $250,000 CAD/$1 million CAD


Mental illnesses are prevalent in all regions of the world, in every community and across every income level. An estimated 13% of the global burden of disease is attributable to mental disorders, with almost three quarters of this burden affecting people in low- and middle-income countries.

In this call for proposals, Grand Challenges Canada has committed up to $6 million CAD and is seeking bold ideas for products, services, policies, and implementation models that tests how to increase the number of people who have access to care, and how to have the greatest measurable treatment outcome for each person reached in a sustainable manner. Proposals must provide innovative solutions relevant to low-resource settings in low- or middle-income countries.


Eligible applicants include individual non-profit organizations, for-profit companies, or other recognized institutions that are legally registered or incorporated in an eligible jurisdiction, check the list of eligible countries in Appendix A (page 22) of the file HERE. Eligible countries are based on considerations such as the World Bank’s classification of low- and middle-income countries, the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (DFATD) Countries of Focus, and also includes Canada.


They expect to fund proposals through two funding streams:

  1. seed (up to $250,000 CAD) – support the development and validation of innovative ideas to improve treatments and expand access to care for mental disorders, offering up to $250,000 CAD each over a maximum of two (2) years. Projects are expected to demonstrate proof of concept by the end of the grant that the innovative idea is likely to have sustainable impact at scale, i.e., provide on-the-ground evidence of the impact it may have on an individual person and how it may be feasibly implemented in the target region.
  2. transition-to-scale (up to $1 million CAD in matched funding) – support the refinement, testing, and implementation of innovative solutions that have already achieved proof of concept to bring them toward scale, offering up to $1 million CAD in matched funding over a maximum of three (3) years. Projects are expected to demonstrate real-world impact on mental health with an approach that increases the intervention reach and has strong potential for sustainable impact at scale.

The value of awards is expected to vary depending on project need.


The deadline is 9 January 2014. Application instructions and forms will be made available on the Grand Challenges Canada website via a link from HERE.

Seed grants
For a seed grant (up to $250,000 CAD), applicants will submit a proposal that describes their innovative idea, goal, objectives and activities, approach, framework for measuring success, and budget. Project Leads from successful seed grant proposals will be invited
to attend a Global Mental Health meeting prior to grant signing. Costs of attending the meeting will be covered by Grand Challenges Canada.

Transition-to-scale grants
For a transition-to-scale grant (up to $1 million CAD of matched funds), applicants will submit a Letter of Intent (LOI) that describes their innovative solution, goal, objectives and activities, approach, framework for measuring success, potential partners who will contribute expertise and matching funds, and budget. Successful applicants at the LOI stage will be invited to submit a full proposal that expands upon these same components; instructions will be provided at the time of invitation.

Please submit queries to [email protected]

For more information visit the official website HERE and see the call for proposals HERE.

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