Grand Challenges India (GCI) under the ambit of DBT-Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) are launching a program on ‘Accelerating Catalyzing Solutions for Climate Change’s Impact on Health in India’.
Climate change adds pressure on already burdened healthcare, and immediate actions are required to mitigate the impacts of climate change and variability on health and healthcare system. It is essential that they strengthen and equip healthcare with required tools, scientific and technological solutions, responsive measures and improved practices. Building adaptive capacities to absorb the vulnerabilities is one of the top priorities. The overall purpose of this program is to increase the research and specialized capacities concerning human health. A multisectoral response is essential to address this problem, and this RFP aim to catalyse the research and innovative solutions that are scalable and capable of addressing the unparalleled challenges posed by climate change on health.
The program aims to catalyse research efforts and support innovative solutions to adapt, mitigate or reverse the combined, deleterious effects of climate change on human health. The objective of the call is to support innovative proposals built on meticulously thought rationale and study-plan to undertake quality research and innovation in the context of climate change.
They are especially interested in i) locally led, system-level research and ideas that are scalable and sustainable and ii) cross-cutting solutions at the intersection of multiple scientific and engineering disciplines, combining their complementary and synergistic research strengths. The scope of the program has been kept broader to encourage research activities on developing resilient intervention strategies and innovative solutions. They encourage researchers to develop proposals on inter-linked health concerns with an aim to gain impactful results.
- Grand Challenges India is soliciting research proposals on systemic and compounding impacts of Climate Change on Health on following areas:
- Infectious diseases and emerging pathogens of concern
- Early warning and disease surveillance: They seek proposals that aim to build resilient systems to mitigate health impact of climate change. Solutions may include: accurate surveillance systems for early detection of vector-borne (including arboviral diseases), waterborne, and fungal diseases; prediction models and forecasting systems for vectors and diseases introduced to new localities; integration of available local data and databases into early warning systems to mitigate risks, climate-related diseases and other infectious pathogens of concern in context to climate change.
- Climate-health linkages: Proposals investigating the inter-relationship or linkage studies on epidemiology of climate sensitive diseases with climate data, relationship studies between climate change and vector-borne diseases, vector populations, disease transmission dynamics (respiratory viruses and arbovirus such as dengue, malaria, and chikungunya etc.), and their spread (climate sensitive vector biology) are sought. They encourage the proposals that uses already available data to undertake these studies. They encourage ideas that address the increased risks related to maternal, newborn, and child health. Proposals on rapid and scalable solutions for containing the new emerging pathogens and climate sensitive concerns are encouraged.
- Climate sensitive health concerns
- Proposals that strengthen research capacity to generate evidence and plug data gaps for climate-related events such as heat, flood, pollution etc are sought. Solutions related to prediction and forecasting systems and climate and health data linkage studies are encouraged.
- Smart Healthcare
- Proposals on strengthening the resilience and adaptability of health care services and capacity enhancement to climate related changes that contribute in developing smart healthcare are sought. They are interested in technological innovations that can help in better response to new ailments and challenges brought about by climate-related events.
- Infectious diseases and emerging pathogens of concern
- The funding level is up to INR 80 Lakh (USD $100,000.00) for each grant that will be provided to the organisation.
- The projects will be supported for a period of 36 months (3 years) (starting from signing of agreement) subject to expert evaluation and milestone achievements.
They are looking for proposals that:
- Provide a strong rationale for the work proposed, demonstrating a clear understanding of India’s context and needs, and present a defined hypothesis and associated plan for how the idea would be tested or validated.
- Proposal that has clearly defined plan with details of proposed activities, specific milestones & timelines, and the budget estimates.
- Articulate how the project will lead to impact in the near-term and how those benefits will be sustained past the lifetime of the project.
- Proposals will be considered on innovations that are formulated locally or adapted to local contexts.
- Articulate the scalability of the solution beyond a small local region or population. Strong consideration will be given to approaches that can scale to multiple geographic areas, zones, demographics, etc.
Geography of Interest
- This RFP is India-led; the programme is open to Indian nationals having good scientific record and working within the country in established academics, research institutions, medical research institutions, Indian companies, not-for-profit organizations, trusts, foundations. Global partners may be included, but proposals must demonstrate at least 80% of the funding is going to Indian investigator within the geography of interest i.e., India.
- The proposal should have a clearly defined plan with details of proposed activities, specific milestones and timelines, a robust collaboration of partners and plan detailing the role and responsibilities of each partner, and the budget estimates.
- Research proposal must be budgeted clearly indicating the budget components to carry out each proposed activity on a milestone basis. Funding will be awarded for 3 years, subject to the applicant complying with agreed milestones. Funds will be released on achievement of each milestone.
- Research proposals will be supported financially at recognised academic institutions, universities, national laboratories, organisations and other recognized R&D institutions or organisation having all the necessary facilities to carry out the proposed research.
- Note: Please read the following carefully to understand the category you will be applying under and the documentation that may be requested should your proposal be selected for further financial due diligence.
- This call is open to:
- In case of the applicant being an Indian academic scientist, researchers and Ph.D students (citizen of India) who must be willing to incubate at a recognized incubator submit a letter of intent for same.
- Indian institution/universities/public research organization: Academic institutions established in India and having NAAC/ UGC/ AICTE or any equivalent recognition certificate or any other Public/Government supported organization; Non-profit organizations/Government entities/Institutes/ R&D Organizations will include Academic Research Institutes, Universities, Research Foundation, Medical Colleges and Institutes – both public and private who are valid legal entities such as Trust, Society or established under central or state statute.
- An Indian Company is defined as one which is registered under the Indian Companies Act, 2013 and minimum 51% of the shares of the Company should be held by Indian Citizens holding Indian passport [Indian Citizens do not include Person of Indian Origin (PIO) and Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) holders].
- Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) incorporated under the Limited Liability Partnership Act, 2008 having a minimum half of the persons who subscribed their names to the LLP document as its Partners should be Indian citizens [Indian Citizens do not include Person of Indian Origin (PIO) and Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) holders].
- Society/ Trust/ NGO/ Foundation/ Association established in India under the relevant Indian Law having at least half of the stakeholders (partners/ trustees/ members/ associates etc.) as Indians.
- Note: Experts of the relevant discipline should be a part of the proposal such as healthcare professionals/clinicians, public health experts, scientists/researchers, statistician, data analytics experts, m-health specialists, management/logistics experts, M&E experts among others. Please note that the evaluation of eligibility shall be based on the status of documents as on the closing date of the call.
- They will not consider funding for proposals that:
- Do not demonstrate that the majority of the work proposed will be undertaken by investigators and/ or local stakeholders living in India.
- Do not plan for or demonstrate a pathway to sustainable impact and scalability.
- Are not linked to or have no plan to engage relevant key stakeholders and decision makers from the affected communities.
- Do not demonstrate actionability and scalability to support impacted communities in India to adapt and be resilient to the effects of climate change on health
For more information, visit Grand Challenges.