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Accelerating Discovery for Non-Hormonal Contraceptives: A Grand Challenge

Grants to USA, Canada, and International Agencies, Nonprofits, Businesses,
and Institutions for Women's Health Research and Development

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation - Global Grand Challenges

Deadline Date:

04/22/20 11:30 AM Pacific Time


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Grants to USA, Canada, and International government agencies, nonprofit organizations, businesses, and academic institutions for research and development projects in the area of women's health. Funding is intended to support the development of new options for contraception for women.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is committed to a long-term vision of expanding contraceptive options for the most vulnerable women in low-resource settings through development of new methods that better align with women’s preferences. Contraceptive product innovation will be required to achieve this goal. Specifically, the emphasis for this work is on developing safe and effective non-hormonal contraceptive agents with both improved overall tolerability and a side effect profile differentiated from hormonal methods. This emphasis is based on an understanding that overall tolerability of and side effects from hormonal methods present real and meaningful barriers to women realizing their reproductive intentions.

In order to discover and develop novel non-hormonal contraceptive agents that provide safe, effective, and desirable alternatives to women wishing to plan their pregnancies, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is launching the “Accelerating Discovery for Non-hormonal Contraceptives” Grand Challenge in 2020. The goal of this Grand Challenge is to identify new approaches and concepts directed at the characterization of novel contraceptive drug targets, the identification of active contraceptive compounds, and the development of novel and impactful research tools with the potential to revolutionize the field of contraceptive R&D.    

The Foundation seeks proposals that:

  • Engage scientists across a variety of disciplines, including those new to the field of contraceptive R&D;
  • Demonstrate innovative thinking by applying or incorporating concepts, methods or technologies not currently being used for contraceptive discovery;
  • Present concepts and strategies that are “off the beaten track,” significantly radical in conception, and daring in premise; 

For funding focus areas, see

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 188399

Estimated Size of Grant:

This Grand Challenges request for proposals intends to fund individual awards of up to USD $2 million.

Term of Contract:

This Grand Challenges request for proposals intends to fund individual awards for up to 3 years, based on the scope of the proposed project.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Grand Challenges is open to both foreign and domestic organizations, including non-profit organizations, for- profit companies, international organizations, government agencies and academic institutions.

Individuals and organizations classified as individuals for U.S. tax purposes are not eligible to receive an award from the foundation as part of the Grand Challenges initiative.

For areas that are ineligible for funding, see

Pre-Application Information:

Applications are due no later than April 22, 2020, at 11:30 a.m. U.S. Pacific Time.

Key dates and deadlines for this Grand Challenge:
- Feb 26, 2020 Grand Challenge published
- Apr 22, 2020 Letters of Inquiry due
- By May 25, 2020 Full proposals invited
- July 2020 (TBD; 8 weeks following invitation) Full proposals due, for invited applicants

For more information, see:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.


Please direct all questions about this initiative to:

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming

USA Territories: American Samoa (USA)   Guam (USA)   Puerto Rico (USA)   Virgin Islands (USA)   Northern Mariana Islands (USA)

USA Compact Free Associations: The Federated States of Micronesia (USA)   Marshall Islands (USA)   Republic of Palau (USA)

Canada: Alberta   British Columbia   Manitoba   New Brunswick   Newfoundland and Labrador   Northwest Territories   Nova Scotia   Nunavut   Ontario   Prince Edward Island   Quebec   Saskatchewan   Yukon


International country outside of the USA, Israel and Canada.

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