Grand Challenge Sénégal

The Grand Challenge: First edition

Application Closed!

The COVID-19 pandemic has unequivocally demonstrated the need to a fairer deployment of the tools necessary to end epidemics and prevent pandemics.  

Epidemic threats are increasing in their frequency, intensity, and severity – yet the world remains woefully exposed and unprepared.  

Ultimately, the collective strength of our global health security and our ability to prevent and respond to pandemics is a function of the capabilities and systems in different regions of the world. The current system of research and development (R&D) for epidemic countermeasures is inadequate, exacerbated by a lack of focus upfront on manufacturing and access. This has led to the disproportionate neglect of advancing new interventions to outsmart epidemics. 

Detecting and responding to outbreaks early, understanding epidemic dynamics as they evolve, and avoiding the uncontrolled and exponential transmission of a pathogen from isolated to pandemic threat are all necessary steps to achieving health security, yet  

The purpose of this call is to solicit proposals from innovators working across Africa and African scientists in the diaspora on interventions to enhance epidemic intelligence, surveillance, and outbreak response.  

Successful proposals 

Up to 8 proposals will be supported with a grant of $50,000 over a period of 18 months. On completion, successful projects will be eligible for assistance with additional resource mobilization, project planning and grant monitoring.  

A second call for proposals will be launched in October 2023. 

Successful proposals will address one or more of the program areas defined above and be based in Senegal. Projects with a component in Senegal and another African country will be considered eligible, as will projects led by African scientists in the diaspora in partnership with an institution in Senegal.  

Ineligible proposals 

We will not consider funding for:

  • Proposals that do not address one or more of the program areas as defined above 

  • Proposals that do not include an investigator based in Senegal or led by an ECOWAS national 

  • Proposals that do not focus on delivering the program in the ECOWAS region 

  • Proposals that do not include both men and women in the submission 

  • Proposals that do not advance original work 

  • Proposals that are submitted from individuals without an institutional partner or affiliation  

  • Proposals unwilling to align with the Grand Challenges Senegal equitable access policy  


Projects must be completed within 18 months from award and make substantial progress within 9 months of initiation.