Grand Challenges Explorations is the grant scheme of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation offering businesses and organisations grants of $100,000 to support hundreds of early-stage research projects and ideas that have never before been tested.  Applications close 19 May 2011.

Key features of the Grand Challenges Explorations initiative are:

A short application. Two-page applications are accepted online at

  • Rapid turnaround time. They select grants in approximately 5 months from the proposal submission deadline.
  • They review for novel ideas that show great promise. The review process is based on reviewers with a track record in identifying innovative ideas selecting the proposals they find most pioneering – no consensus or peer review is needed.
  • Phase I grants of USD$100,000 are awarded initially; projects have one opportunity to apply for a follow-on Phase II grant of up to USD$1,000,000.

In order to apply, you must be affiliated with an organization, as grants will not be provided to individuals. The grant program is open to anyone from any discipline, from student to tenured professor, and from any organization – colleges and universities, government laboratories, research institutions, non-profit organizations and for-profit companies.  Applicants must be lodged online and provide information about the tax status of their organization as different grant terms and conditions may apply.

For further information go to: