Gates Foundation to fund 78 more health projects

In a fourth round of funding, the Grand Challenges Explorations grants have been awarded to 78 projects aimed at improving global health, with each project collecting $100,000.

Elizabeth Armstrong Moore
Elizabeth Armstrong Moore is based in Portland, Oregon, and has written for Wired, The Christian Science Monitor, and public radio. Her semi-obscure hobbies include climbing, billiards, board games that take up a lot of space, and piano.
Elizabeth Armstrong Moore
2 min read
The fourth round of grants will fund research projects in 18 countries. Grand Challenges Explorations

In its fourth round of funding, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's Grand Challenges Explorations grants have been awarded to 78 science projects, with each collecting $100,000.

Through its grants, the five-year, $100 million initiative aims to foster "creative projects that show great promise to improve the health of people in the developing world," and as part of the Grand Challenges in Global Health initiative is supported by the Gates Foundation.

This latest round of grants brings the total number of Exploration projects receiving funding to 340. Although the group originally anticipated funding roughly 60 projects per round, it is averaging closer to 80.

The foundation reports that the winners come from universities, research institutes, and nonprofits, with research spread across 18 countries on six continents.

The wide range of projects includes a "seek-and-destroy" laser vaccine, cell phone microscopes to diagnose malaria, ultrasound as a reversible male contraceptive, and disposable paper-based diagnostics devices. All project topics from the four rounds are listed here.

"We are convinced that some of these ideas will lead to new innovations and eventually solutions that will save lives," says Dr. Tachi Yamada, president of the Gates Foundation's Global Health Program, in a statement.

The group says round 5 is open for submissions until May 19, and round 6 will open in September. Throughout the initiative, "priority areas of focus" include: enteric and diarrheal diseases, HIV/AIDS, malaria, pneumonia, tuberculosis, and neglected and other infectious diseases. Other areas center on integrated health solutions for: family planning; nutrition; maternal, neonatal, and child health; tobacco control; and vaccine-preventable diseases.