Deadline: 14 January 2020
The African Academy of Sciences (AAS), the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung, BMBF) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation have come together in a transformative partnership to support African investigators to accelerate MNCH targets towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for health.
The first initiative of the partnership is to launch a new Grand Challenge: Focusing on top priorities for MNCH in Africa – solutions to meet the Sustainable Development Goal 3 targets for maternal, neonatal and child health.
This challenge focuses on the top priorities for MNCH in Africa 2019 and aligns with the findings of the MNCH research prioritisation using The Child Health and Nutrition Research Initiative (CHNRI) process conducted in 2019 in Africa. CHNRI uses the principles of wisdom of the crowds to systematically collect and transparently score research options against important criteria in a particular field. In a three-stage democratic process lasting 7 months, the MNCH expert convening 2019, aggregated thoughts from MNCH experts working in Africa and showed that there is a need to concentrate on four areas of importance in MNCH that remain a grand challenge for Africa. These are:
- better health during pregnancy
- better care at birth
- better post-birth care for women and their newborns
- better hospital care of sick newborns
The aggregated research priorities are across the spectrum of health research and in all four domains of description (epidemiology), discovery (new interventions), development (improvement of existing interventions), and delivery (implementation research, including health systems).
This is, therefore, a call for proposals looking for big, bold, innovative ideas that can have the greatest impact on African maternal and neonatal health with the potential for future sustainability and scaling.
They are looking for innovations that:
- Package known interventions in a way that ensures they are delivered efficiently and cost-effectively and or promote MNCH in otherwise excluded communities.
- Apply new technologies to enable rapid identification of risks or management of conditions (communicable and non-communicable) that lead to poor outcomes in pregnancy, birth and in the first month of life.
- Apply precision medicine techniques to identify or manage common exposures in Africa that may increase susceptibility to communicable and non-communicable diseases in mothers and children under 5 years of age.
- This call will fund seed grants up to USD $100,000 for a period of 2 years.
- They expect that projects funded with promising results will have the opportunity to apply for additional funding to build on initial success. In all cases, individual project budgets should be representative of the scope and magnitude of the proposed mandate and carefully designed to get the best possible value out of the award.
The call is open to innovators working in African based, domestic organisations, international organisations, government agencies, research, and academic institutions. Please note that this call is open to both non-profit and profit making organisations.
Successful proposals will be evaluated based on the following criteria:
- Scientific and technical excellence, including a clear and rigorous conceptual framework for research activities
- Innovation, including creativity of the project’s approach and clear differentiation from existing approaches
- Unique project resources, including investigator and organisation capabilities and potential to enhance intra – African collaborations, mentorship and supervision in future.
- Value in terms of appropriateness of the budget and timelines relative to project complexity, risk, and potential impact
- Potential to create prevention and treatment solutions with substantial impact.
For more information, visit https://bit.ly/2YlbQbD