Funder’s website

The funder’s website can be found HERE.

Funding Value and Duration

From $150,000 CAD to $3 million CAD and for project periods of 6 months up to 5 years


In this Request for Proposals, Grand Challenges Canada seeks to support the transition to scale and sustainability of Bold Ideas with Big Impact®. We invite applications from innovators in the following areas: Maternal and Newborn HealthDigital HealthMedical Products and TechnologyCommunity Health Worker ModelsUrban Sanitation & Hygiene, and Options for safe pregnancy termination,

The main purpose of our Global Health Innovation funding program is to support bold approaches that challenge existing practices and have the potential to generate substantially greater lives saved or improved, in order to best achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Due to the gender-associated barriers combined with poverty and global health challenges, we support health innovations that are designed to promote gender equality. We fund innovations that meet critical challenges in reproductive, maternal, newborn, child, and adolescent health in low- and middle-income countries, with a focus on solutions that save and improve the lives of people who are currently unserved and underserved in Sub-Saharan Africa.

We fund (in the form of grants and loans mainly) in five global health areas of importance: Maternal and Newborn Health, Saving Brains, Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights, including Options for pregnancy termination, Global Mental Health, and Sanitation. Across these areas, most of our funding supports projects that aim to explore innovation in a variety of areas that we hope to learn more about: digital innovations, medical products & technologies and community health worker models. These areas of innovation target SDG3 (Good health and well-being), SDG4 (ECD for girls and boys), SDG5 (Gender equality) and SDG6 (Clean water and sanitation), and together strengthen primary health care on a systemic level. Our goal is to reach 64M lives improved and 1.78K lives saved by 2030, as a result of Grand Challenges Canada supported health innovations.

At Transition to Scale, Grand Challenges Canada supports innovations that have achieved proof-of-concept or demonstrated initial positive results of the innovation and have significant potential to achieve lasting and sustainable impact at scale or as it reaches more people. We provide funding in the early stages of projects between $150,000 to $3M CAD between the experimental and scaling phases, often referred to as the ‘missing middle’. We aim to provide funding that is patient, allowing innovators the room to fail fast and repeat along a non-linear path to scale, while also encouraging accountability through having project objectives (milestones) during the funding period with funding provided in stages upon meeting the milestones. With a main goal to save and improve lives, we offer grants and other funding such as loans and equity instruments, structured to maximize an organization’s sustainability and ability to bring in other funders. Since access to capital alone is insufficient, we also provide opportunities for peer-to-peer learning and individual support in areas that strengthen organizations
and their innovations, such as fundraising, financial management, governance, gender equality, and monitoring and evaluation.

Eligibility Criteria

The application will be screened by Grand Challenges Canada staff for eligibility based on the following criteria:

  1. The innovator must be invited by Grand Challenges Canada to apply for funding under this Request for Proposals. Grand Challenges Canada may at its option extend invitations to: previous or current grantees of Grand Challenges Canada; and, external applicants who meet Grand Challenges Canada priorities, at its option.
  2. Applicants must be either a non-profit organization, for-profit company, research/academic institution, or another recognized institution that is incorporated in a low- or middle- income country, with a current priority in Sub-Saharan Africa, and is capable of receiving and managing funding (list of eligible jurisdictions is provided in Appendix A to this document).
  3. A majority of the applicant’s activities and budget must be carried out/spent in an official development assistance eligible country (or countries) with priority in Sub-Saharan Africa.

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) A week before submission
Submission to Sponsor No Deadline

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