Explore New Solutions in Global Health Priority Areas: Grand Challenges Exploration Round 16

Deadline: 11 November 2015

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is currently accepting ideas/proposals for its 16th round of Grand Challenges Explorations (GCE). Under this challenge, proposals are saught addressing New Solutions in Global Health Priority Areas.

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Applications are invited to encourage innovators around the world to think outside the box and potentially address challenges outside their primary field of work. Applicants must review the priority funding areas for additional information and consider ideas that can be sufficiently tested within the scope of a GCE Phase I award ($100,000 USD over 18 months).

Funding Categories (Areas)

Under this challenge, the foundation seeks innovative ideas to assess the burden of disease, to develop better vaccines, and to develop new diagnostics, specifically to:

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  1. Better understand cause of death from tissue samples;
  2. Develop a quantitative measurement of Mtb bacterial load;
  3. Develop immunization strategies that increase somatic hypermutation;
  4. Explore and develop approaches to immunization that drive donor unrestricted cytotoxic T cell responses;
  5. Develop parenteral vaccines that induce mucosal immunity;
  6. Develop point-of-care nucleic acid diagnostics to below $2 per test;
  7. Enable self-testing for cervical cancer;
  8. Develop malaria diagnostics to accelerate toward eradication.

Successful proposals must:

  • Clearly describe how the idea, if successful, would help solve one of the challenges described in the call;
  • Be directly relevant to the developing world (e.g. low-cost, useful across multiple geographical and cultural settings, self-sustaining);
  • Have a clear and testable hypothesis and include an associated plan for how the idea would be tested or validated;
  • Yield interpretable and unambiguous data in Phase I, in order to be considered for Phase II funding.

Ideas NOT to be Funded:

  • Ideas that do not address one of the key challenges described in this call;
  • Ideas or solutions not aligned with the Gates Foundation’s Global Health priority areas and strategies listed above;
  • Ideas without a clearly-articulated and testable hypothesis;
  • Approaches that represent incremental improvements to conventional solutions (e.g., research of current methods for vaccine discovery, development and delivery intended to expand, improve or integrate existing technologies or tools);
  • Basic research without clear relevance to the goals of this topic;
  • Variations on conventional small molecule and biologic therapeutic approaches (such as those focused on screening for new chemical entities, assays for validation, or tests of drug efficacy) that would yield drug treatment approaches in areas other than malaria or tuberculosis;
  • Solely behavioral change/educational initiatives (e.g., training programs, scholarships, education programs);
  • Solely infrastructure or capacity-building initiatives;
  • Approaches that present unacceptable downstream safety risks (e.g., as a barrier to product development);

For more information about this challenge, please visit GCE Round 16 Health Areas.

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