Have Innovative and Bold Ideas that will Impact on Africa’s Health and Development? APPLY for Grand Challenges Africa $7 million 2017 Grants | Opportunities

grand-challenges-africa_innovative and bold
With the support of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, AESA is committing US$ 7 million for Grand Challenges Africa Grants to fund innovative and bold ideas that will impact on Africa’s health and developmental outcomes over the next five years.

 Deadline: 17th February 2017

This is open to all African countries


The African Academy of Sciences – Alliance for Accelerating Excellence in Science in Africa (AAS-AESA) is launching two new Grand Challenges:

1) Providing new impetus and solutions and strategies to help Africa meet the SDG 3 target for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (MNCH). These cover key areas of:

  • New technologies to enable rapid identification of exposures that lead to poor outcomes in pregnancy, birth and in the first month of life — these could be exposures to communicable and non-communicable diseases.
  • Precision medicine approaches and techniques to identify microbes and other exposures in Africa that may increase susceptibility to non-communicable diseases (cancer, cardiovascular diseases, etc.) in mothers and children under 5 years of age.

2) Creative approaches to engage the public, and inspire policy and decision makers to increase investment in African Research & Development.

These new grand challenge innovation grants will be issued and administered under the banner of Grand Challenges Africa (GC Africa), a program implemented in partnership with the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD Agency) and theBill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF). Round 1 is a joint initiative of the GC Africa partners and Institut Pasteur of Paris (IP).


FundingType: Entrepreneurship



  • The call will be open to African investigators working in African based, domestic organizations, including non-profit organizations, international organizations, government agencies, research and academic institutions.
  • The call is also open to non-African investigators with an appointment/affiliation with any of the nine Institute Pasteur institutes in Africa, who are resident in Africa, with at least 18 months left on their tenure of service/affiliation by the time of receiving the award.


Value of Programme

Phase I Funding:

Funded up to $100,000 USD per two-year project. These awards are meant to provide an opportunity to test particularly bold, proof of concept ideas, including applying approaches from outside the fields indicated for this call. New approaches could be piloted as additions to ongoing projects.


Phase II funding:

Winners of Phase I grants will have an opportunity to apply for follow-on, phase II funding in future but please note that support for phase II funding is NOT part of this call. We expect that successful projects funded at Phase I by GC Africa, and by our partners BMGF and Grand Challenges Canada (GCC), and which demonstrate promising results, will have the opportunity to apply for Phase II funding either to GC Africa or directly to the other partners.

GC Africa will also provide a platform for partnering with other funders through the Grand Challenges Innovation Network (GCAiN).



How to Apply

Applications MUST be submitted through the African Academy of Sciences Ishango Online Application Portal.

Click HERE to access portal.


Grants will go to investigators in African countries, but we encourage partnerships with investigators in other countries, especially where the opportunity exists to build new or strengthen existing collaborations.

Before embarking on your application, make sure you have read and understood the Rules and Guidelines governing the application process. Please also read the detailed Request for Proposals.

Click HERE to read Rules and Guidlines

Click HERE to Visit Programme Webpage for more details


Important Notes: Please note that this call is NOT OPEN to – for profit making organizations.



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