Global Grand Challenges: Strengthening Data Science Capacity and the Ecosystem: Enabling Data-Centered Public Health Interventions

Funding Agency:
Gates (Bill & Melinda) Foundation

The scale and scope of the COVID-19 pandemic have reiterated the need for access to and analysis of timely accurate health data to support the implementation of control measures and to guide health interventions and evidence-based practices. The supporting infrastructures and capacities through which researchers access and analyze these data, however, vary greatly. For several reasons, researchers in the Global South often are skeptical of broad calls for data sharing when they are left out of the analysis and results interpretation. Additionally, deploying “one-size-fits-all” analysis tools and governance processes across different regions from where they were created may produce poor analysis results and could even lead to misleading interpretations and conclusions when scientists analyze data without insight from the context in which it was collected.

As such, data science infrastructure and capacity needs to be proximally focused in the areas where the data emerge, to produce solutions that enable strong evidence-based practices to guide health interventions.

Collecting, sharing, analyzing and interpreting health-related data are essential to the planning, implementation, and evaluation of public health practice as well as enabling advanced knowledge for heath emergency preparedness. Many data resources are not reusable if they have not been sufficiently documented and contextualized, or appropriately collected and licensed for use, particularly in cases where secondary analyses are planned that were not originally anticipated when the data were originally generated.

The desired outcome of this request for proposals is development of tools and processes that are "fit-for-purpose" to facilitate collaboration among researchers in low- and middle-income countries. This effort is focused on filling data science gaps and challenges whose solutions will address global health problems while fostering multi-disciplinary collaborations among researchers. We are specifically interested in funding proposals led by early and mid-career researchers. We expect each primary applicant to have a senior scientific advisor who would commit to provide scientific and technical guidance and mentorship to the team and facilitate connections with international networks as needed.

Deadline; Jan. 13, 2022

Agency Website

Amount Description

Successful proposals will receive an award of up to USD $250,000 with an 18- to 24-month grant duration. While proposals require the collaborative participation of at least two investigators at institutions in different countries based in any of the regions listed above, proposals should be submitted by one primary applicant/institution. While restricted to one application per institution as the primary applicant, researchers may participate as collaborators in multiple collaborative applications.

Funding Type





International Opportunities
Medical - Basic Science
Medical - Clinical Science
Medical - Translational
Social Sciences

External Deadline

January 13, 2022