Stars in Global Health

The Stars in Global Health program supports Bold Ideas with Big Impact® from the best and brightest scientists and innovators, both in low- and middle-income countries and in Canada, to address some of the most pressing global health challenges. It provides funding to explore transformative ideas at proof-of-concept that bring together scientific/technical, social and business innovation. 

The Problem

Ensuring good health and well-being is essential to sustainable development, yet intolerable inequities in health between high- and low-income areas in the world persist. Innovation is crucial to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, yet promising innovations are often limited in their ability to achieve scale and sustainability. The goal of Grand Challenges Canada’s Stars in Global Health program is to solve complex global health challenges by supporting bold ideas with the potential for big impact, resulting in improved health and wellbeing for people and communities in low- and middle-income countries.

Our Approach

The Stars in Global Health program is Grand Challenges Canada’s flagship portfolio to test the potential of new pipeline in areas of strategic interest for Grand Challenges Canada and our funders. The platform serves as an opportunity to test new strategies in order to improve the inclusivity and representation of innovations across the organization. It is also a flexible and responsive platform that allows adaptability at each round of funding to meet the most salient development needs.

The Stars program provides funding to explore transformative ideas at proof-of-concept that apply Integrated Innovation® – the coordinated application of scientific/technological, social and business innovation – in order to sustainably bring solutions to scale. Grand Challenges supports innovators as they iterate on their ideas and develop strategic partnerships that can improve sustainability and achieve meaningful impact.

Portfolio Results

Since 2010, the Stars in Global Health portfolio has supported 813 unique innovations implemented in 84 low- and middle-income countries with CAD $83.3 million over eleven rounds of funding.

Of the projects funded through the program:

  • 70% have been led by institutions based in low- and middle-income countries
  • 40% have been led by women-identified innovators
    • In the last 4 rounds of funding, gender balance of project leadership has improved – with 50% of projects led by women.

Funding Opportunities

Funding opportunities with the Stars in Global Health portfolio are now closed. Round 12 applicants will be notified of their application results according to the timeline outlined in the Request for Proposals.

The latest request for proposals (Round 12), a partnership with the South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC), sought bold ideas that address the human health impacts of climate change in low- and middle-income countries. These innovative solutions are expected to address the adaptation gaps and build resilience against the effects of climate change on the human health and wellbeing of underserved communities.

We will update this webpage when information is available about future Stars in Global Health funding cycles. Subscribe to GCC’s mailing list to be the first to hear about future funding opportunities and other announcements.