Bill Gates will pay you to save the world

Fact: You have ten days to apply for a $100,000 grant from the Gates Foundation, for your innovative idea in global health research.  It’s a surprisingly simple application process, but you’d better get cracking!

Analysis: Last night the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation announced the 104 individual winners of their Round 1 funding in the Grand Challenges in Global Health initiative, which “funds research on scientific problems that, if solved, could lead to advances against multiple diseases.”

As one of its first activities, the foundation (which says it is still in its “Beta” period) launched Grand Challenges Explorations—”a grant program within the initiative that encourages bold and creative experimentation in the search for vaccines, drugs, and other solutions to serious health problems in the world’s poorest countries.”

Grand Challenges Explorations will foster innovation in global health research and expand the pipeline of ideas that merit further exploration. The initiative will use an agile, accelerated grant-making process with short two-page applications and no preliminary data required. Initial grants will be awarded multiple times per year at approximately $100,000 each. Additional funding of $1 million or more will be available for projects that show promise.”

The Round 1 winners include scientists and researchers from 22 countries and five continents, each of whom will receive a $100,000 award to help them launch or complete their ideas. For a complete list of funded projects, visit the Grand Challenges Explorations web site

The same site is where you can download your Round 2 application with instructions. The topics which are being funded in Round 2 are:


  • Create New Vaccines for Diarrhea, HIV, Malaria, Pneumonia, and Tuberculosis
  • Create New Tools to Accelerate the Eradication of Malaria
  • Explore the Basis for Latency In Tuberculosis
  • Create New Ways to Prevent or Cure HIV Infection
  • Create New Ways to Protect Against Infectious Disease
  • Create New Drugs and Delivery Systems To Limit the Emergence of Resistance

    Reminder: applications for Grand Challenges Explorations Round 2 are being accepted only through November 2, 2008. Good luck!

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