Tick Tock: Deadlines Loom for the New Grand Challenge Grants from Gates

Yikes! The new year is right around the corner, and that's important for any group hoping to dip into three new pots of Gates Grand Challenge money that were unveiled earlier this year. 

The Gates Foundation refers to its Grand Challenges initiative as a cooperative “family of grant programs,” rather than an individual platform. A main goal of these grants is to remove the barriers ensnaring vulnerable populations in repeating cycles of poverty.

This signature Gates effort has been around since 2005, and has awarded 1689 grants for work in 80 countries. Recently, though, Gates added three more Grand Challenges to the family, growing the initiative to a total of 11 programs.

Let's take a look at the newcomers. 

The new Putting Women and Girls at the Center of Development challenge focuses on empowering girls and women toward improving health, economic development, and gender equality. The foundation is looking to explore the most effective measures against gender inequality and how to implement those measures for the greatest impact. It's offering $500,000 exploratory grants over two years and $2.5 million grants over four years for this challenge. This addition is yet another example of a gender lens moving front-and-center to global development philanthropy. 

The second new challenge, Creating and Measuring Integrated Growth Solutions for Healthy Birth, Growth and Developmentfocuses on developing new measurement tools and approaches to help children thrive, including those that improve fetal growth, decrease preterm births, improve cognitive development, and improve stunted postnatal growth outcomes. The foundation is offering $500,000 exploratory grants over two years and $2.5 million grants over four years for this challenge. Chalk this one up to the famous Gates obsession with better metrics as it seeks to wrap its arms around huge global challenges. 

The center of attention for the Creating New Interventions for Global Health is on innovative concepts for vaccines and interventions for the transmission of infectious diseases—especially in areas of the world that lack adequate resources. Gates is awarding pilot grants of up to $2 million and regular grants of up to $10 million. The big money grants are aimed at organizations that can translate their concepts into real world use.

That's some serious grant money spread around in those three new pots. But time is running out to compete for it. The period for submitting grants closes on January 13, 2015.