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Grand Challenges Explorations – Tracking Outcomes and Outputs using Researchfish

After a successful two-year pilot to track outputs and outcomes associated with Grand Challenges Explorations (GCE) awards, we are excited to continue to partner with Researchfish as part of our monitoring and evaluation of the GCE program. If you participated in the pilot, thank you for your time and efforts to help us test the platform. Please see below for some exciting data points from the pilot period!

Going forward, we ask that you provide grant outputs and outcomes over the course of your grant term and beyond through Researchfish, an online platform for output and outcomes tracking. Researchfish submission will be in addition to your final report. The final report provides a rich narrative for your specific grant, as well as the financial information we require for grant reporting and closure. However, this reporting style is not conducive to compiling outputs and outcomes for the GCE program – information we need to evaluate the success of GCE as an initiative, as well as to inform our strategic goals and future challenges.

You will be invited to yearly submission windows in Researchfish in September of each year for the duration of your grant term. Please note, this timing is consistent for all GCE grantees and is independent of your Phase I Final Financial and Scientific Report due date.

Since we know many of the outputs and outcomes of your award are likely to happen after the end of your official grant term, you will continue to receive invitations to open submission windows, and we ask that you continue to report for several years after your grant closes.

Why we are using Researchfish to supplement our current GCE reporting requirements

  • Better data on the GCE program will help us better communicate the value of the program and ensure continued funding for the initiative
  • Program-level data on current and past challenges can help define and refine future challenge calls
  • Researcher and award profiles can be updated as you go, potentially limiting the need for scrambling to compile a report for reporting deadlines

How to use the Researchfish platform

  • You will receive an invitation to Researchfish with more information in advance of each submission window
  • Login and use the Researchfish system to report your GCE grant outputs and outcomes during the submission period and throughout the duration of your grant

Please read the current FAQs before submitting any questions or concerns.

Annual Submission Windows

During open submission windows, you will receive automated emails from Researchfish ([email protected]) inviting you to log in and reminding you to submit. Please log in, update your award information, assign any relevant outputs and outcomes to your award, and submit. You may also update your outputs and outcomes at any point during the year, we just ask that you click "submit" during the submission window to verify that your data is up to date and accurate at that point.

How we will use the information you submit via Researchfish

Please know that funders can only see information researchers have attributed to one of our grants. We will use the information grant holders provide to evaluate and report on the impact of the research we fund and to inform our research strategy. Check back soon for our first report on GCE outputs and outcomes using Researchfish!


Fun Facts from the GCE-Researchfish Pilot (2016-2018)

Participants in the pilot with Researchfish reported:

  • 315 collaborations, with the United States, United Kingdom, India, Australia, and Kenya rounding out the top locations for collaborations
  • 194 publications resulting at least in part from their GCE grants, although only 5.33% published within one year of award start date
  • 66 instances of impact on policy based on their work, including influencing the training of practitioners or researchers, citation in other policy documents, and participation in a national consultation
  • 14 artistic or creative products were attributed to GCE funding, including artwork, film, video, or animation, and performance art.


About Grand Challenges Explorations

In 2007, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation launched Grand Challenges Explorations to engage more of the world's innovators more quickly. Great ideas come from everywhere. Twice each year, Grand Challenges Explorations invites high-risk, high-reward proposals on a range of challenges. Two-page applications are submitted online – open to anyone from any discipline, from student to tenured professor, and from any organization, including colleges and universities, government laboratories, research institutions, non-profit organizations, and for-profit companies. Initial grants of $100,000 are awarded, and successful projects have the opportunity to receive follow-on funding.

About Researchfish

Researchfish is an online Research Outcomes System that enables a researcher to report once across multiple funders Research outputs only need to be input once and can then be attributed to different grants from different funders. This enables instant and accurate reporting, allowing funders to easily track and evaluate the outcomes of the research they fund whilst saving researchers duplication of effort for different funders.

Great ideas come from everywhere.

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View the Grand Challenges partnership network

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.