Gates Foundation Details $100 Million Global Health Research Initiative

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has announced the four topic areas that it will support through its recently announced five-year, $100 million initiative to help scientists across the globe pursue ideas that have never before been tested for solving major health problems.

An expansion of the Grand Challenges in Global Health initiative, Grand Challenges Explorations is designed to support new ways to protect against infectious diseases, limit drug resistance, prevent or cure HIV infection, and explore the basis for latency in tuberculosis. Future funding rounds may focus on different topics.

Beginning March 31, the foundation will accept proposals for initial grants of $100,000, employing an accelerated grant-making process — applications are about two pages long, and preliminary data is not required. Projects that demonstrate success will have the opportunity to receive additional funding of $1 million or more. According to the Associated Press, the foundation will select and award approximately sixty grants within approximately three months of the proposal submission deadline of May 30, 2008.

"Breakthrough ideas can come from anywhere, and we hope this new process will encourage a broad range of scientists from around the world to bring their ideas to the table," said Tachi Yamada, president of the foundation's Global Health Program. "We're especially interested in reaching people who work outside the field of global health, innovators in the developing world, and young investigators."

Donna Gordon Blankinship. "Bill Gates Encourages New Health Ideas." Associated Press 03/06/2008. "Proposals Sought for Innovative Global Health Research." Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Press Release 03/03/2008.