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Gates Foundation Now Accepting Proposals for Grand Challenges Explorations

SEATTLE, March 31 /PRNewswire/ -- The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced today that it is now accepting grant proposals for the first round of Grand Challenges Explorations, a US$100 million initiative to encourage bold and unconventional global health solutions. Proposals will be accepted online at through May 30, 2008; applicants must register their intent to submit a proposal by May 15, 2008.

The initiative, the first of its kind for the foundation, uses an agile, accelerated grant-making process. Applications are two pages, and preliminary data about the proposed research are not required. One of the primary objectives of Grand Challenges Explorations is to involve scientists around the world who don't typically work in global health -- this includes innovators in Africa, Asia, and other parts of the developing world; those from complementary disciplines and in the private sector; and young investigators.

The first four topic areas for which proposals will be accepted through the Grand Challenges Explorations initiative are:

-- Creating new ways to protect against infectious diseases, including

alternatives to traditional vaccination.

-- Creating new drugs and delivery systems to limit the emergence of

resistance from developing in the disease-causing agent.

-- Creating new ways to prevent or cure HIV infection that fall outside

current research on vaccines, antiretroviral drugs, and other

biomedical and behavior-change strategies.

-- Exploring the basis for latency in TB, with the goal of discovering new

ways to identify and eliminate latent infection, and break the cycle of

TB transmission.

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 of $1 million or more.

Full descriptions of these topic areas and application instructions are available at

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 Patty Stonesifer and co-chair William H. Gates Sr., under the direction of Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett.

SOURCE Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
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