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Create New Ways to Protect Against Infectious Disease (Round 5)



Immunization is one of the most cost-effective health interventions currently available.  However, effective vaccines do not yet exist for a number of infectious diseases prevalent in the developing world.  In some instances vaccines have been developed, but are suboptimal because they are not highly effective in individuals most at risk of death or disability from the targeted disease.  In addition, barriers, such as cost and delivery challenges, can prevent their widespread utilization in resource-limited settings.

There is an urgent need to expand the set of effective and proven solutions, beyond traditional vaccine interventions, which could contribute to protecting against infectious diseases.

For this reason, we are seeking original and innovative ideas with the potential to be translated into safe, effective, affordable and widely utilized interventions to protect against the acquisition, progression or transmission of infectious diseases in resource-limited settings.

Under this topic we are NOT soliciting proposals that represent traditional approaches to vaccine discovery or development (such as those focused on antigens, adjuvants, vaccine vectors, or formulations). Nor are we soliciting ideas for 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. Such proposals will be deemed non-responsive and not considered.

What We Are Looking For:

The goal of this topic is to generate transformational approaches to protecting individuals and populations against infectious disease. Proposals must focus on infectious diseases within the scope of our global health priorities. 

We seek proposals that are responsive to the topic, "off the beaten track," “out of the box,” daring in premise, and clearly different from the approaches currently under investigation or employed.  We will not consider funding ideas that represent incremental improvements on current health solutions.

Proposals must provide an underlying scientific rationale for the work proposed, a clear hypothesis, and an associated plan for how the idea would be tested or validated.  Proposed ideas must ultimately be translatable to practical interventions accessible in resource-limited settings. 

We will not consider funding for:

  • Ideas focusing on providing protection against diseases or on interventions outside the scope of the priorities of our Global Health Program (see below);
  • Ideas without a clearly-articulated and testable hypothesis;
  • Ideas that lack a clear conception of the role of the proposed intervention in mediating protection against infectious disease or a plan for how the impact of the intervention would be measured;
  • Approaches that resemble those already being implemented or under investigation;
  • Approaches that represent incremental improvements to conventional solutions;
  • Approaches that advance the development of specific vaccine or drug leads or candidates;
  • Conventional drug discovery approaches (e.g.,  standard high-throughput screens  against pathogens, optimization of known drugs, hybrid-drug approaches, natural products, target-based drug development, drug combinations or formulations);
  • Insecticide discovery approaches, assays, screening procedures, or investigations of specific insecticide candidates or leads;
  • Social or educational interventions; water or sanitation solutions; epidemiology or burden of disease studies;
  • Basic studies of pathogen or human biology without a clear component that tests the potential for translation into specific and practical health solutions.

Grants will be selected on ability to create impact in the context of our existing global health priorities. For information on The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s priority global health conditions, please click here.

Great ideas come from everywhere.

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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.