Will you provide guidance on an application before I submit it?

No. We cannot provide individual guidance on ideas either before or after submission. You should decide if your idea meets the criteria of one of the available challenges, or sign up to receive updates on future topics. Pay special attention to sections that indicate what will NOT be considered for funding.

How do I apply for a grant?

See the Application Instructions page for step-by- step instructions on how to apply for a grant. All applicants must complete the Application Form and submit their idea through our online portal in order to have their idea considered.

Who is eligible to apply?

We accept applications from both private and public organizations. You must be affiliated with an organization to apply -- we are unable to make grants to individuals.

What are the criteria for selection?

Reviewers will be encouraged to champion proposals according to the following criteria:

  • Challenges Responsiveness: Does the proposal address the problems described in the challenge? (Please note each challenge description includes a list of excluded items, typically under the heading "we will not consider funding for");
  • Innovative Approach: Does the idea offer an unconventional or creative approach to the problem outlined in the challenge? Does it demonstrate application of a new or pioneering approach? Does the proposal describe how the project varies from current approaches, offers new premises or hypotheses to test, and does it provide a rational basis for expecting success?

The Round is closed. Can I still submit my idea?

No. We can only accept ideas during an open Round. Any proposals submitted other than through the application portal via email or otherwise will not be reviewed. You can see if a current Round is open by visiting our website.

Are the current challenges the only ones under consideration at this time?

The challenges for a current round are listed here. These are the only challenges under consideration at that time. Future rounds may repeat challenges or have new challenges available. You may find other Grand Challenges funding opportunities here.

How much are the Misk Grand Challenges grants?

Phase I grants will be for $100,000 USD for a grant period of 18 months. Phase I projects that show promise will be eligible to apply for follow-on funding, called "Phase II."

Can I submit multiple proposals for the same challenge?

Only one proposal can be submitted per applicant, so please submit your best idea. However, multiple submissions from an institution are allowed. For example, a single lab could apply three times to a single challenge if the principal innovator (PI), a post-doc and a graduate student each submit separate ideas as the lead.

Is there a specific format for the application?

Yes, please download and use the Application Form for your proposal submission. Follow all formatting guidelines listed on this template as proposals that do not adhere to all restrictions may be disqualified. You must upload this form and submit it through our online portal.

Am I able to edit my profile and proposal once submitted?

Yes. You may edit and resubmit proposal content at any time prior to the close of the round.

What feedback can I expect if my proposal is not selected?

We cannot provide feedback specific to the technical content of each proposal. We will, however, communicate with applicants once a decision has been reached.

Is it possible to have multiple applicants on a proposal?

Partnerships and collaboration are welcome within a single application. However, applicants need to elect one Principal Innovator per team. If awarded, the grant will be made to the institution of the Principal Innovator. If you’re planning to collaborate with another institution on your project, please read the Rules & Guidelines , specifically the section addressing subcontracts, before you apply.

I submitted my proposal but did not receive a confirmation. How would I know if my proposal went through?

Our system automatically sends an email when you submit your proposal. Please check your junk mail folder.

What is the review process?

The review process will be done in three steps:

  • An initial screening for responsiveness to the problem described in the challenge;
  • Evaluation by two groups of reviewers -- one with significant expertise in program management specific to each challenge, and another group of individuals with a history of identifying creative solutions to difficult scientific problems. In each case, reviewers will be encouraged to champion a small number of ideas they consider to be both uniquely innovative and testable;
  • A series of due diligence activities to ensure a legal and financial capacity to perform work described in the proposal.

Will my idea be treated as confidential during the review process?

The foundations have put in place policies and procedures exclusive to the Misk Grand Challenges initiative that is intended to restrict public dissemination of grant application materials. These policies and procedures include, when possible, having external reviewers sign confidentiality agreements and requiring that reviewers destroy or return to the foundation all copies of information acquired or created during the course of performing a review. In some instances, however, we are unable to put in place confidentiality agreements or to police the use of grant application materials.

Who signs the grant agreement?

During the application process, you are required to provide your Institutional Officer's information. The Institutional Officer is the person authorized to sign the grant agreement on behalf of your organization. If awarded, all relevant due diligence questionnaires and the grant agreement will be sent to this person. We strongly encourage applicants to provide accurate contact information.

How is intellectual property handled?

We respect the intellectual property of our grantees, but we ask them to structure their IP in a way that allows the developing world to access their innovative solutions at an affordable price. Our Global Access Objectives aspire to ensure that the poorest of the poor have access to any knowledge or products that we fund. We do not provide a blueprint for exactly how this should be done; we leave that to our partners.

What are the reporting requirements for these grants?

A Final Financial and Scientific Progress Report will be prepared by all Phase I grantees. Detailed instructions for the reporting format will be provided post award.

Who can I contact if I have a question about a particular challenge?

Please submit your challenge-related questions to Due to the volume of requests we will not be able to provide feedback on your individual idea, but we can answer general questions regarding the application process.

Why wasn’t my proposal selected?

Given the size and nature of the program, we are not able to provide individualized feedback to each applicant. Generally, applications are not funded due to one of the following reasons:

  • It presents an idea that is explicitly excluded from consideration for funding. For more information, please see the challenge descriptions.
  • It does not directly address the challenges for that round.
  • It is not complete. Applications that do not contain a coherent idea, design or description of the work to be performed are not considered for funding.
  • It does not describe how the idea offers a creative approach to the problem and how it varies from current or conventional approaches.
  • It does not clearly outline or describe the specific objective(s) to be accomplished within the time period of the initial award.

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