Why Gates is Doubling Down on Duke’s Global Health Institute

About a month ago, the Gates Foundation awarded Duke University’s Global Health Institute (DGHI) a $10 million grant to build capacity and help support the institute’s research priorities. DGHIs research priorities include those that fall neatly in line with Gates’ global health grantmaking programs such as emerging infectious diseases, maternal and child health, and strengthening health systems. The institute’s research priorities also include areas in which the Gates Foundation does not typically focus its funding such as mental health, cardiovascular disease, obesity, and cancer.

In our earlier piece about the foundation’s $10 million give to DGHI, we said that we could expect some big numbers to come out of the Gates Foundation as we were only halfway through the year. Not to mention, the foundation has a pattern of ramping up its giving in the second half of the year throughout many of its grant programs. In regard to DGHI, that prediction has come to fruition. In less than two months the Gates Foundation has upped its grantmaking to the institute from $10 million to a total of $30 million.

Half of the foundation’s latest $20 million grant comes in the form of an endowment which will continue to support and sustain DGHI's growth and build capacity in the global health sector. The other $10 million is reserved for a dollar-for-dollar matching challenge. According to the university, the challenge grant will allow other donors to get on board with DGHIs work by increasing financial aid, strengthening the institute’s global partnerships, and helping promote cross disciplinary work in the world’s most pressing health challenges.

The institute is currently leading over 300 global health research projects worldwide, and close to 400 students have completed its global health education program. Gates’ $30 million give will go a long way toward increasing DGHIs capacity in both global research projects and student enrollment.

Related: Gates Foundation: Grants for Global Health

Melinda Gates is a Duke alum and the Gates Foundation has been a long-time supporter of university. Since 2003, the foundation has awarded over $225 million to Duke with the majority of that money earmarked for programs addressing pressing global health challenges particularly in the field of HIV/AIDS research.