skip to Main Content
+254 763 607 642 | +254 797 626 408 | +254 797 626 408

Request for Proposals: Grand Challenges Africa-Innovation Seed Grants

Deadline: 17 February 2017

The African Academy of Sciences – Alliance for Accelerating Excellence in Science in Africa (AAS-AESA) is seeking applicants to provide innovation seed grants under its two grand cgrand-challenges-africa-innovation-seed-grantshallenges. The grants will support innovations that address Africa’s health and developmental challenges.

The scheme seeks to promote Africa-led scientific innovations to help countries better achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by awarding seed and full grants to the continent’s most impressive solutions.

AESA implements GC Africa in partnership with the New Partnership for Africa’s Development Agency (NEPAD) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Program Challenges

Challenge 1: Providing new impetus and solutions to meet the Sustainable Development Goal 3 targets for maternal neonatal and child health (MNCH) in Africa

This call is focused on the SDG3 targets with the overall objective of focusing African scientists to work in local and global partnerships on the ambitious but achievable goals of accelerating knowledge generation, developing and deploying interventions and innovations that will advance the prevention of maternal deaths, preterm birth and neonatal deaths and improve implementation of policies and innovations that will improve care for the mother and child in the first month of life and prevent death due to non-communicable causes in pregnant women and children under 5 years of age .


  • Apply new technologies to enable rapid identification of exposures (communicable and non-communicable) that lead to poor outcomes in pregnancy, birth and in the first month of life.
  • Apply precision medicine approaches and techniques to identify microbes and other exposures in Africa that may increase susceptibility to non-communicable diseases (cancer, cardiovascular diseases etc.) in mothers and children under 5 years of age.
  • Provide innovative policy and clinical practice approaches and pathways that will enable the rapid and widespread adoption of:
    • Available well tested interventions whose uptake has been slow, but which would make profound impact if adopted and incorporated into ongoing MNCH programmes,
    • New innovations and technologies that can help Africa leapfrog and achieve rapid progress, in preventing maternal and neonatal deaths.

Challenge 2: Finding cutting-edge approaches to advocacy and communication that will motivate citizens of Africa and African governments to support investments in scientific research development and innovation

The goal of this call is to ignite new ways of communicating the importance of investments in scientific research and development to motivate African governments and their citizens to support increased investments in scientific R&D from within the continent to complement, and eventually surpass, global/external investments.

  • Proposals that deliver innovative ideas, and that show a compelling plan for how to communicate and sustain public engagement around the importance of science and technology investments led by Africa for Africa and with potential global applications;
  • Ideas and approaches that demonstrate both the progress made so far by African governments in support of Science Technology and Innovation (STI) and the potential of broad local and external partnerships, and which debunk cynical views about the lack of interest by African governments to invest in Science and Technology and which convince, incentivize and steward African governments to dedicate substantial annual budgets to support Science and Technology programmes.

Funding Information

The GCA-ISG will fund projects up to USD $100,000 for 2 years.

Eligibility Criteria

  • The call is open to African investigators working in African based, domestic organizations, including non-profit organizations, international organizations, government agencies, research and academic institutions.
  • Non-African investigators with an appointment/affiliation with any of the nine Institute Pasteur institutes in Africa, who are resident in Africa, with at least 18 months left on their tenure of service/affiliation by the time of receiving the award.

How to Apply

Before embarking on your application, make sure you have read and understood the Rules and Guidelines governing the application process. Please also read the detailed Request for Proposals.


All applications should be submitted online via the African Academy of Sciences Ishango Online Application Portal by clicking on this link ‘Apply for This Opportunity‘.

Grand Challenges Africa has developed the resources below to assist applicants with preparing their grants in response to Requests for Proposals. These documents, which are regularly updated, offer general advice that is applicable to grant writing.

 Application Resources

For more information visit GCA Innovation Seed Grant Round 1 website

Back To Top