Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF)

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) is focused on the areas of greatest need, on the ways in which they can do the most good.

The foundation is teaming up with partners around the world to take on some tough challenges: extreme poverty and poor health in developing countries, and the failures of America’s education system. The foundation focusses on specific issues, which are the biggest barriers that prevent people from making the most of their lives.

For each issue they fund innovative ideas that could help remove these barriers:

  • New techniques to help farmers in developing countries grow more food and earn more money
  • New tools to prevent and treat deadly diseases
  • New methods to help students and teachers in the classroom.


Open calls

Building Malaria Modeling Capacity in Sub-Saharan Africa

Budget: up to $1,000,000 per year for each project

Project Duration: 1 to 3 years.

Deadline: 13 January 2022

Consortium: Consortium leader should be a PI based in sub-Saharan Africa (other global partners may be included). Teams comprising multiple African institutions will be given preference over applicants from single institutions. At least 80% of the funding must go to sub-Saharan African institutions. Demonstrate engagement with local and/or regional malaria decision-makers

Scope: The aim is to fund innovative approaches to building a stronger malaria mathematical modeling ecosystem in sub-Saharan Africa. The project should focus on improving geospatial and/or mathematical modeling capacity for malaria (other related diseases may be included; for example, modelers may also work on vector-borne neglected tropical diseases)

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Digital Health Services for Pregnant Women to Support Antenatal Risk Stratification in Sub-Saharan Africa

Budget: up to $500,000 for each project

Project Duration: 6 – 24 months

Deadline: 13 January 2022

Consortium: This initiative is open to organizations actively working in sub-Saharan Africa, including nonprofit organizations, for-profit companies, international organizations, government agencies and academic institutions. Collaborations with partners in the north is acceptable however, at least 80% of the funding needs to be awarded directly to organizations actively working in sub-Saharan Africa.

Scope: The aim is to finance patient-facing digital health services for pregnant women that have been developed and are actively being provided in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). The focus is on projects that will develop and deliver the Antenatal Risk Stratification (ARS) in SSA. Potential projects could focus on: Researching implementation methods for a solution, Expanding the scope of a solution, Adding features/functionality to a solution, Improving the delivery of a solution

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Innovations in Eliminating Neglected Tropical Diseases

Budget: up to $200,000 for each project

Project Duration: max 18 months

Deadline: 13 January 2022

Consortium: The project should be led by institutions, which could be ministries of health, based in sub-Saharan Africa (other global partners may be included but at least 80% of funding should go to sub-Saharan Africa). The main applicant should demonstrate partnership with national NTD programs.

Scope: Areas for transformational innovation in service of national NTD programs have been identified. Proposals are funded addressing one or more of the following areas:

  • Methods to rapidly map NTDs, including integrated mapping
  • Methods to better target existing interventions
  • Strategies to target subgroups routinely missed by programs
  • Approaches to vector surveillance
  • Integrated surveillance that leverages other health surveillance platforms
  • Strategies for post-elimination surveillance, including cross-border surveillance.

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Strengthening Data Science Capacity and the Ecosystem: Enabling Data-Centered Public Health Interventions

Budget: up to $250,000 for each project

Project Duration: 18 – 24 months

Deadline: 13 January 2022

Consortium: This initiative is open to organizations actively working in Africa, India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal, and Brazil, including non-profit organizations, for-profit companies, international organizations, government agencies and academic institutions. Each proposal should be submitted by one primary applicant, but the awards require the participation of at least two research institutions from the regions listed above and not both in the same country.

Scope: Collecting, sharing, analyzing and interpreting health-related data are essential to the planning, implementation, and evaluation of public health practice as well as enabling advanced knowledge for heath emergency preparedness. Many data resources are not reusable if they have not been sufficiently documented and contextualized, or appropriately collected and licensed for use, particularly in cases where secondary analyses are planned that were not originally anticipated when the data were originally generated.

Specifically, the objectives of the challenge will be to:

  • Develop and improve foundational tools, standards and protocols that enable datacentered health research, interventions, and health surveillance
  • Improve access to curated and linked datasets for research and training purposes
  • Enable South-South data-centered collaborations and build on and strengthen existing initiatives and ecosystems
  • Enhance Data Science infrastructure, analysis capabilities and local leadership to address public health problems
  • Foster innovation with health data in the interest of their respective local communities
  • Bridge the gap between data-centered research and policy through collaborations and design of appropriate data science communication tools and channels
  • Increase health data reliability and enable reuse by developing tools and processes to curate, standardize and aggregate data
  • Improve data collection, sharing, governance, regulatory compliance, and analysis processes to enable data-centered public health research

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Metagenomic Next Generation Sequencing to Detect, Identify, and Characterize Pathogens

Budget: up to $200,000 for each project

Project Duration: Up to 24 months

Deadline: 13 January 2022

Consortium: sites that believe in collaborative approaches and data sharing. Grantees will be expected to partner closely with scientists and engineers and provide feedback to help guide the cloud computing software’s development. Sites will also be expected to share data and collaborate with other labs in the network.

Scope: This award will support travel and accommodation of grantees to San Francisco for training at the CZ Biohub, and the following items:

  1. a sequencer suitable for the global health environment
  2. a dedicated sequencing technician
  3. sequencing reagents for the duration of the award.

CZ Biohub and CZI training will include pilot analysis of samples from their home region during hands-on, intensive mentoring. This 2-week instructional period will include both biochemical sample preparation for sequencing and bioinformatic analysis using the IDseq software platform. Specifically, the hands-on training for bench scientists will include best practices and standards for sample processing, DNA & RNA extraction, library preparation and data analysis on the global IDseq software platform. The combination of intensive training with molecular, capital equipment, reagent, and personnel support is intended to maximize the potential for sustainable, prospective, onsite analysis of patient samples upon return to the home site.

Molecular data generated at individual global sites is intended to be linked and automatically aggregated into IDseq for referencing by all participating clinics and associated sites. This method of local sequence analysis coupled with cross-site comparison could serve as a model for a process that would eventually lead to a network of pathogen detection nodes that could provide increased global transparency into regional pathogen distribution in an accurate and timely manner, and in ultimate support of a global pathogen surveillance network.

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About The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF)

BMGF is dedicated to improving the quality of life for individuals around the world. From the education of students in Chicago, to the health of a young mother in Nigeria, they are catalysts of human promise everywhere.

From poverty to health, to education, the areas of focus offer the opportunity to dramatically improve the quality of life for billions of people. So they build partnerships that bring together resources, expertise, and vision—working with the best organizations around the globe to identify issues, find answers, and drive change.

Visit the gates foundation website for more information

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