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Grand Challenges Explorations: New Topics, New Partners

  • Steven Buchsbaum, Rebekah Neal, Nov 1, 2013

The Grand Challenges family of programs, anchored to the community of grantees whose great ideas drive the work, continues to expand across the globe.

We are now on Grand Challenges Explorations (GCE) Round 12. Over five years since the first call for new ideas responding to the challenge "One great idea, $100,000 to prove it," the program is going strong. We'll announce Round 11 winners in November, so check back to read some of the great ideas we received!

GCE Round 12 features three new topics we're really excited about, plus two repeat topics that saw some truly great ideas come through in Round 11 and are hoping for more in Round 12. The new topic Inciting Health Seeking Behaviors: nudge, disrupt, leapfrog, reach is the first GCE topic hosted by program officers in the foundation's India office in New Delhi taking lesson learned from India and looking to apply them not only to India, but to the world. This call seeks new ideas that nudge new behaviors through tweaks or incentives; disrupt systems to eliminate bottlenecks; leapfrog over incremental steps; and reach those most in need. The Novel Enabling Tools and Models Supporting Development of Interventions for Enteric Dysfunction topic asks for your ideas about tools and models to enable discovery and development of new drugs to improve gut function as a way to treat acute secretory diarrhea and/or environmental enteric dysfunction. These two problems result in significant death and morbidity in the developing world, but we lack the appropriate tools to even begin developing new therapies. The Innovations in Feedback & Accountability Systems for Agricultural Development topic seeks new ways to make sure feedback from the customer for innovations in agriculture systems, the smallholder farmer herself, is able to directly evaluate how well new interventions are working. Two returning topics Develop the Next Generation of Condom (a topic popular with the press – remember the slingshot condom applicator?) and The "One Health" Concept: Bringing Together Human and Animal Health for New Solutions, are also open and awaiting your great idea. The deadline to submit for Round 12 is November 12th, and don't forget to check back in March 2014 for Round 13!

Along with the open GCE opportunities, our colleagues at Grand Challenges Canada, also members of the Grand Challenges family, have several open calls for proposals, including the Saving Brains and Global Mental Health initiatives. Round 7 of the Stars in Global Health, a program specifically for Canadian and low- and middle-income country innovators, will open in the next few weeks. Like GCE, the Stars in Global Health awards also reward great, innovative proposals, funding Bold Ideas for Big Impact.

For researchers and scientists in India, two new opportunities are now open as part of Grand Challenges India. Grand Challenges India is a partnership with India's Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) and the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) in India. The call for Achieving Healthy Growth through Agriculture and Nutrition, closed October 31st and was the inaugural Grand Challenges India program, seeking proposals that address the intersection of agriculture, nutrition, and health to reduce the high incidence of low birth weight and early stunting and wasting among Indian infants. The second call under the Grand Challenges India initiative, Reinvent the Toilet, open until November 15th, asks for innovative, new sanitation technologies, products, and services that address the many challenges facing poor and vulnerable urban and rural populations in India and the developing world. While these two initiatives are only open to Indian individuals or entities, collaborations and partnerships with researchers outside of India are encouraged.

This week, we saw many of the members of the Grand Challenges family at the 2013 Grand Challenges Meeting. The meeting was a working meeting focused on opportunities to build collaborations and accelerate progress as well as celebrating successes.

So what are you waiting for? Find the right opportunity for your idea and you could join the Grand Challenges family as a grantee, working with the whole community to find solutions to some of the toughest challenges in global health and development. Sign up to stay up to date with Grand Challenges opportunities, and maybe we'll see you at the next family reunion!

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The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is part of the Grand Challenges partnership network. Visit www.grandchallenges.org to view the map of awarded grants across this network and grant opportunities from partners.
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