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Foundation Opens Round Three of Grand Challenges Explorations


$100,000 grants available for great ideas to help solve global health challenges

SEATTLE -- The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation today announced the opening of Round 3 of Grand Challenges Explorations. A five-year, $100 million initiative to encourage bold and unconventional research on new global health solutions, Explorations offers researchers the chance to win $100,000 grants to further their research.

The Grand Challenges Explorations initiative focuses on research areas where creative, unorthodox thinking is most urgently needed. The topic areas for which proposals will be accepted in this round are:

* Creating Low-Cost Diagnostics for Priority Global Health Conditions

* Creating New Tools to Accelerate the Eradication of Malaria

* Creating New Vaccines for Diarrhea, HIV, Malaria, Pneumonia and Tuberculosis

* Creating New Ways to Induce Mucosal Immunity

Proposals are being accepted online at Grand Challenges in Global Health through May 28, 2009.

To help uncover new ideas, Grand Challenges Explorations seeks to involve scientists around the world who do not typically work in global health.

“We hope to hear from researchers of every age, on every continent, and from disciplines that don’t typically focus on global health or even biomedical research,” said Dr. Tachi Yamada, president of the Global Health Program at the Gates Foundation. “History has taught us that innovative ideas can come from anywhere.”

The initiative uses a streamlined, online grant-making process. Applications are two pages, and preliminary data about the proposed research are not required.

The foundation and an independent group of reviewers will select the most innovative proposals, and grants will be awarded within approximately three months from the proposal submission deadline. Initial grants will be $100,000 each. Projects showing success will have the opportunity to receive additional funding up to $1 million.

Many of the projects that received grants from the first round of Grand Challenges Explorations pursued approaches that challenge conventional wisdom, such as using engineering techniques to enhance the natural human immune system. The grants from Round 2 will be announced by May 2009.

Full descriptions of the topic areas and application instructions are available at the Grand Challenges Explorations web site:

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Guided by the belief that every life has equal value, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation works to help all people lead healthy, productive lives. In developing countries, it focuses on improving people’s health and giving them the chance to lift themselves out of hunger and extreme poverty. In the United States, it seeks to ensure that all people—especially those with the fewest resources—have access to the opportunities they need to succeed in school and life. Based in Seattle, the foundation is led by CEO Jeff Raikes and Co-chair William H. Gates Sr., under the direction of Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett.


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