Have a bold development solution? Here (again) is your $100,000 chance

The wait is over for those seeking up to $100,000 grants from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s flagship initiative supporting innovative ideas that can address pressing global health and development problems.

Similar to previous rounds, the newly launched round 13 of the Grand Challenges Explorations covers several topics; two are new and three are repeats from round 12. So to those who missed the deadline of the last round but have proposals for the last three topics below: Now’s your chance to participate.

The foundation is looking for new ways to:

  • Better measure fetal and infant brain development.

  • Leverage existing mass drug administration platform, used to distribute drugs for one or more of five neglected tropical diseases (lymphatic filiariasis, onchocerciasis, trachoma, schistosomiasis, and soil transmitted helminthes), and integrate it with another community-needed or community-valued health intervention or agriculture service.

  • Induce healthy behaviors.

  • Help develop interventions for diarrhea and enteric dysfunction.

  • Build effective feedback and accountability systems into agricultural development programs.

“Grand Challenges Explorations continues to seek new types of innovation,” said Chris Wilson, the foundation’s director of global health discovery and translational sciences, in a statement. “The current set of topics looks for innovation around new tools, behavior change, designing programs, and integrating programs.”

The competition is open to organizations from anywhere around the globe — save for those sanctioned by the U.S. government, namely Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan and Syria. The foundation does not award funding to individuals and organizations classified as individuals for U.S. tax purposes, including sole proprietorships.

To compete for grants, applicants must fill the two-page downloadable application form. The foundation warns that anyone who goes beyond the page limit, along with putting self-identifiers on the form, may be taken out of the competition.

Applicants should also demonstrate that their ideas are truly innovative. According to the application guide, the foundation will exclude proposals “considered incremental advances.” Watch the above video to know some of these innovative solutions.

The application period ends May 6, with a decision expected in November. Grant winners may receive additional funding, up to $1 million, if their projects show promise.

The foundation expects to make around 80 awards each round. Since launching Grand Challenges Explorations in 2008, it has funded more than 900 projects in more than 50 countries.

Read our previous #innov8aid.

About the author

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    Ma. Eliza Villarino

    Currently based in New York City, Eliza is a veteran journalist focused on covering the most pressing issues and latest innovations in global health, humanitarian aid, sustainability and development. A member of Mensa, Eliza has earned a master's degree in public affairs and bachelor's degree in political science from the University of the Philippines.