Funder’s website

The funder’s website can be found HERE.

Funding Value and Duration

The RFEI does not constitute an application for immediate funding. However, Expressions of Interest will be used to inform the feasibility and scope of a full Grand Challenge under a Phase II which may include funding specific projects. In such a potential Phase II, innovators that surface as top ranked innovations will be considered for funding. No compensation of any kind will be advanced by Grand Challenges Canada or by any of the funding partners listed above to applicants under the RFEI. The applicant will be responsible for all costs and expenses incurred in the preparation and submission of an Expression of Interest.


This Expression of Interest (RFEI) is seeking bold ideas that will reinvent the diagnostic laboratory, making it fit-for-purpose in resource-limited contexts globally. These innovative solutions are expected to reimagine the physical laboratory in order to reduce ongoing operational and maintenance costs and allow sustainable presence of safe and secure handling of high-consequence pathogenic materials, whilst maintaining and/or optimizing core functions of a diagnostic laboratory in low- and middle- income countries.

This RFEI represents Phase I of a dual-phase approach to development of a Grand Challenge for Sustainable Diagnostic Laboratories. The pool of Expressions of Interest received will be used to inform the scope of a full Grand Challenge program in Phase II, under which Grand Challenges Canada will award funding. Submission of an Expression of Interest does not constitute an application for funding; however, Expressions of Interest will receive feedback from an external review process designed to improve the quality of full proposals submitted for an open call for funding applications in Phase II. Most promising Expressions of Interest may also be shortlisted for direct invitations to submit full proposals for funding in Phase II.

Eligibility Criteria

Grand Challenges Canada will screen Expressions of Interest on the basis of the eligibility criteria outlined below. Expressions of Interest that do not meet the eligibility
criteria will be removed from the review process.

  1. Entities eligible under this Request for Expression of Interest include social enterprises and other legally recognized organizations (such as nongovernmental organizations, non-profit, for-profit, and limited liability companies, as well as research / academic institutions, or any other appropriately registered legal entity) that:
    • Is active (status) and in good standing with their respective registration body, if applicable
    • Is capable of entering into a funding agreement with Grand Challenges Canada or, where applicable, a supporting partner government or organization
    • Can receive foreign funding and administer grant funding; and
    • Can successfully perform activities in their technical area.
    These are ineligible:
    • Individuals
    • Sole proprietorships
    • Unincorporated trusts and partnerships
    • Government organizations
    • United Nations country offices
  2. Applications must be submitted by the eligible applicant entity.
  3. Applications must include all required information and address all questions.
  4. Applications must be submitted in either English or French.
    • Note that quality of the English or French language will not play a factor in the evaluation of the Expression of Interest unless it affects the clarity of the information.
  5. The Project Lead listed on the application must be affiliated with the applicant organization.
    • The Project Lead should be the person with the highest level of responsibility working directly on the project and will be the point of contact for Grand Challenges Canada during            the review and negotiation process, unless another contact is added to the application (‘reporting contact’ field).
  6. A Project Lead can only be listed on one (1) application. The following must apply to the entity under its current name:
    • Where relevant, required fillings (such as regular reports or tax fillings) related to institutional incorporation or registration are up to date.
    • The registration body in question should be, in jurisdictions where relevant, the governing authority for your entity type according to the country’s laws.
    • Single institutions can submit multiple applications, but each needs a different Project Lead.
  7. Grand Challenges Canada may, at any time and at their sole discretion, modify eligibility criteria with respect to an applicant, Project Leads and / or eligible countries, to the extent that such modifications do not materially undermine the review process.
    Please note:
    • Project Leads must get their affiliated institution’s sign-off before submitting any Expression of Interest.
    • Grand Challenges Canada must approve any change in Project Lead, applicant organization or country of implementation from the originally submitted application.
    • Given the inextricable linkage of sustainability with localization (how solutions are locally owned, contextualized, operated and/or designed), Grand Challenges Canada particularly          encourages Expressions of Interest from the following:
    o Innovators from locally-led organizations based in LMICs;
    o Innovators with lived experience of the context;
    o Innovators with meaningful partnerships with local partners; and
    o Innovators who are able to successfully demonstrate a plan to meaningfully engage local stakeholders in their target implementation country / countries.Eligibility criteria for this RFEI reflect a minimum set of eligibility criteria for innovators to receive funding from Grand Challenges Canada, in the event they are invited to submit a full proposal for funding in the context of a Phase II Grand Challenge for Sustainable Diagnostic Containment Laboratories program. Eligibility criteria for Phase II funding is not yet finalized. Eligibility to respond to the RFEI does not guarantee an innovator / institution will be eligible to receive funding from Grand Challenges Canada in a potential Phase II.

Internal Contacts

Potential applicants are encouraged to discuss this funding opportunity with their Faculty Research Facilitator.

VPRI Resource Contact: Heloise Emdon


Faculty Deadline Consult your Faculty Research Facilitator.
OVPRI Deadline (Approval Form and Application) April 19, 2023
Submission to Sponsor April 19, 2023 11:59PM EST (Registration)

April 26, 2023 2:00PM EST (EOI)

Submitting Your Application

  • Step 1) Submit an internal Carleton Approval Form
    Submit an internal Approval Form through our central awards management database CUResearch:
    For a user’s guide on submitting an Approval Form, click HERE.
  • Step 2) Submit an external application to the granting agency
    Submit an external application to the corresponding grant or award agency. To navigate to the funder’s website, click HERE