On September 9, 2015, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced the 16th round of the Grand Challenges Explorations grant program, which calls on individuals around the world to develop innovative solutions to major global challenges. Since 2008, the initiative has awarded 1,100 research grants to innovators from 60 countries. The program welcomes the ideas of all thinkers, regardless of discipline or experience level, accepting applications from college students, tenured professors, universities, and other entities, ranging from government laboratories to both nonprofit and for-profit organizations.
Grand Challenges Explorations focuses primarily on problems facing global health and development. For its 16th grant cycle, it will accept applications on four pertinent topics: Novel Approaches to Characterizing and Tracking the Global Burden of Antimicrobial Resistance, Explore New Solutions in Global Health Priority Areas, Addressing Newborn and Infant Gut Health Through Bacteriophage-Mediated Microbiome Engineering, and Explore New Ways to Measure Delivery and Use of Digital Financial Services Data.
Applicants will submit two-page proposals outlining their potentially world-changing ideas. The initial application phase does not require preliminary data, only seeking promising and bold new solutions to global issues. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will accept applications until November 11, 2015, and will announce the $100,000 grant winners approximately six months later. Projects that leverage these resources to achieve considerable success will be eligible to receive up to $1 million in additional funding.