Grand Challenges in Global Health is a family of grant programs focused on one unifying purpose: To overcome persistent bottlenecks in creating new tools that can radically improve health in the developing world.
Grand Challenges in Global Health was launched in 2003, and several years later - 45 grants totaling $458 million were awarded for research projects involving scientists in 33 countries. These projects were managed by teams working in partnership across disciplines, sectors, and countries, and many featured work from leaders in fields such as chemistry, engineering, statistics, and business, who had never before focused on global health. New Grand Challenges in Global Health projects are currently under way.
Recognizing that great ideas can come from anywhere and anyone, in 2008 the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation launched Grand Challenges Explorations, a $100 million program to encourage even bolder and less conventional solutions.
Grand Challenges Explorations is an agile, accelerated grant initiative with short two-page applications and no preliminary data required. Anyone with a bold idea that shows great promise can apply. Applications are submitted online, and winning grants are chosen approximately 4 months from the submission deadline. Initial grants of $100,000 are awarded two times a year. Successful projects have the opportunity to receive a follow-on grant of up to $1 million.
To date, more than 900 Grand Challenge Explorations grants have already been awarded for innovative, early-stage projects in more than 50 countries.