Open Call for LMICs’ Researchers focused on Infectious Diseases of Poverty

Deadline: 30 June 2019

Do you have an infectious diseases research idea for a resource-constrained setting that jumps off the page? Are you interested in engaging the public and soliciting public support for your research through crowdfunding? If yes, then apply here!

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TDR Global is partnering with SESH to build capacity for crowdfunding among a group of low- and middle-income country researchers focused on infectious diseases.

An innovation challenge is an open call to solicit creative ideas. Challenges have been widely used by governments, private foundations, and others to identify compelling ideas. The purpose of this challenge is to build capacity for crowdfunding in infectious diseases.

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Crowdfunding for infectious diseases research is both a science and an art – one must have both a compelling research question and also a clear way to effectively communicate this with the public. For example, Stephanie Bowers used crowdfunding to successfully raise a quarter of a million dollars for global health projects, reaching over 7,000 children. Their team will identify selected individuals and build their capacity to use crowdfunding related to infectious diseases in low- and middle-income countries(LMICs).


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Many exceptional researchers in low- and middle-income countries focused on infectious diseases of poverty have compelling scientific ideas, but lack the institutional support necessary to apply for research grants. Crowdfunding now makes it possible for researchers to directly seek support from the public. The purpose of this TDR Global project is to identify individuals with promising infectious diseases research in LMICs to build capacity for crowdfunding to support research. Their expert team will provide open access tools and tailored guidance in order to help applicants build an effective crowdfunding pitch. The end goal is for the researcher to be more effective in crowdfunding through public engagement.

Focus Areas

They will focus on infectious diseases of poverty. According to TDR, “neglected infectious diseases (NIDs)” include: dengue/severe denque; rabies; chagas disease; Human African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness); leishmaniases; cysticercosis/taeniasis; dracunculiasis (guinea-worm disease); echinococcosis; foodborne trematodiases; lymphatic filariasis; onchocerciasis (river blindness); schistosomiasis; soil-transmitted helminthiases; buruli ulcer; leprosy (Hansen disease); trachoma; yaws.” To know more about infectious diseases of poverty, see the given website.


All submissions that are deemed excellent by the steering committee will receive a commendation from the TDR Global and SESH organizing team. A selected group of semi-finalists will be further vetted by the organizers and then invited to a three-day capacity-building workshop in Geneva, Switzerland. These individuals will receive further training about the science and art of crowdfunding. Selected finalists will then launch their crowdfunding campaigns and be connected to thought leaders, potential funders, and potential mentors. Criteria for evaluation include compelling science, capacity for public engagement, and personal connection to the infectious disease topic. A distinguished Steering Committee will oversee challenge progress.

Who can join this project?

Anyone who is a citizen of an LMIC AND living in an LMIC is eligible to participate. They are particularly interested in ideas from women. Research questions should respond to country health research priorities.


The project has three stages:

  • an open challenge contest to solicit infectious diseases research ideas in LMICs;
  • a capacity building workshop to help individuals gain skills and hone their message;
  • a crowdfunding pilot to seek a limited amount of money (10,000 USD – 50,000 USD) for local research projects.

Format for Submissions

Send them less than 1200 words of text in English that describe the following:

  • scientific question and hypothesis;
  • significance of the project;
  • relevance to the public;
  • personal motivation for research and personal connection to the disease and geographic location;
  • areas applicants would like to request mentorship.

How to Apply

Applicants can apply online via given website.

For more information, please visit

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