Rockefeller Foundation: Grants for Disease

OVERVIEW: Since ending its grantmaking for global disease surveillance, Rockefeller has shifted its focus away from disease-driven research, choosing instead to address strengthening global health systems and infrastructures.

IP TAKE: Unless an applicant’s disease-related work is in some way connected to Rockefeller’s priorities in health grantmaking, it’s unlikely they'll win funding. It does not accept unsolicited proposals.

PROFILE: The Rockefeller Foundation, established by John D. Rockefeller and his son, has operated since 1913 with a mission to improve the well-being of people around the world. Since its inception, the foundation has focused on health programs, and that tradition continues today. Health represents one of four areas of giving, and health systems is a subcategory of that area.

The foundation ended grantmaking for global disease surveillance in 2012 and has shifted its focus away from disease-driven research, choosing instead to strengthen global health systems and infrastructures. It’s health giving now works to “[end] millions of preventable deaths through more equitable, effective health systems in communities around the world.”

Rockefeller’s diseases grants are largely awarded through the foundation’s Advance Health subprogram, Transforming Health Systems. The foundation prioritizes large, global operations such as the World Health Organization. Rockefeller also offers health-related grants through its Health of Informal Workers program.

Grant amounts vary, but may reach into the tens of thousands or millions. To get an idea of the type of organizations Rockefeller supports, including grant amounts and detailed project information, browse through its excellent grants database.

The foundation only allows unsolicited funding inquiries through an online application. The website specifies that this is not a chance to submit a proposal; it's an opportunity for Rockefeller to gain some information. Also note that very few potential candidates ever receive a proposal request.


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