Global Health: Grand Challenges Explorations Round 11

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The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s “Grand Challenges Explorations” is an initiative that encourages innovative and unconventional global health solutions. Junior, mid-career, and senior faculty members in any discipline from any organization (including colleges and universities, government laboratories, research institutions, non-profit organizations, and for-profit organizations) are eligible to apply. The focus is on diseases and health problems in developing countries.

Topic Areas for Round 11 Funding

1. The “One Health” Concept: Bringing Together Human and Animal Health for New Solutions

This is a new topic which seeks to promote the cross-sharing of information among researchers in human and veterinary disease, including the translation of approaches from veterinary research to human diseases. Such diseases include TB, malaria, and parasitic diseases (lymphatic filariasis, visceral leishmaniasis, onchocerciasis, cryptosporidium, and soil-transmitted helminth infections). The Foundation is also interested in applying insights from human health research to such animal conditions as east coast fever, des petits ruminants, trypanosomiasis, pleuropneumonia, animal TB, and zoonotic diseases with human/animal interface. The Foundation’s interests also extend to nutrition, health service delivery, and combined metrics for measuring impact.
2. Increasing Interoperability of Social Good Data

This is a new topic focused on the lack of interoperability of social sector data sets. The Foundation is interested in research about ways to make these data more interoperable. The foundation is especially interested in applications from partnerships and collaborations.

3. Develop the Next Generation of Condom

This is a new topic focusing on the development of improved male and female condoms.

4. New Approaches for Detection, Treatment, and Control of Selected Neglected Tropical Diseases

This is a recurring topic aimed at novel approaches to treatment and control of onchocerciasis, lymphatic filariasis, soil-transmitted helminthic infections and schistosomiasis. Approaches can include strategies for multiple diseases, models systems, drug development, and diagnostics.

5. Labor-Saving Strategies and Innovations for Women Smallholder Farmers

This is a recurring topic aimed at boosting the labor productivity of female smallholder farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa.

For a more detailed description of the topic areas, please contact Dr. Paul A. Spengler, Director of Foundation Relations, at 276-3955 or


The award amount is $100,000 for first-year projects, with the possibility (competitive renewal) of $1 million for an additional two years.

Eligibility Requirements

Junior, mid-career, and senior faculty members in any discipline are eligible. There is no requirement for U.S. citizenship or permanent residence.

Protected Time Requirement


Mentoring Requirement


Limitations on Other Awards


Other Requirements/Limitations

The Gates Foundation typically receives 3,000 to 4,000 applications in response to its GCE solicitations. It awards 75 to 100 grants.

Former Awardees

UR faculty members who have previously received Gates GCE grants include Dr. Harold Smith (Biochemistry and Biophysics), Chunlei Guo (Optics), and John Jaenike (Biology).

Submission Instructions

Faculty members must contact Dr. Spengler in the Office of Foundation Relations, as well as their ORPA RA, before submitting an application. The Office of Foundation Relations coordinates the submission of applications to the Gates Foundation.


The Foundation’s application deadline is May 7, 2013. The application portal will open on March 28, 2013. Per University policy, faculty must submit applications five days early (May 2, 2013) and provide Foundation Relations with a copy ten days in advance (April 26, 2013).

For additional details about the awards and the application process, click here.


NIH Funding Acknowledgement ** Important ** All publications resulting from the utilization of CTSI resources are required to credit the CTSI grant by including the NIH FUNDING ACKNOWLEDGEMENT and must comply with the NIH Public Access Policy.