The initiative will open again for applications in February 2020.

Get in touch

lucy shaw


To discuss the Grand Challenge initiative please contact

Dr Jess Sutcliffe



New inputs are sought to help inform the next round of Grand Challenge

July 2020

Express Interest

Collaborators open their application outlining their proposed team and approach

Oct 2020


Expressions of interest are reviewed and selected teams receive seed-funding to develop full applications

Feb 2021

Full Application

Shortlisted teams submit full applications and are interviewed by the independent advisory panel

Sep 2021


Winning teams awarded up to £20 million over 5 years to conduct their pioneering research

What the panel are looking for

"The Grand Challenge is about the best ideas, national and disciplinary boundaries don’t matter – what matters is thinking on a scale and level of ambition fitting of these awards"

Dr Rick Klausner, Chair of the Grand Challenge Advisory Panel

We are looking for applications that:

  • Have the potential to unlock new thinking
  • Are pioneering, novel and bold
  • Include truly unique collaborations
  • Couldn't be achieved without this level of funding

Meet the panel

Hear from previous applicants

"For me the Grand Challenge offered an opportunity to do a piece of science at a scale and a breadth that I could not have anticipated doing with any other funding"

Prof Ed Boyden, neuroscientist, MIT

Applicants said they:

  • Had the freedom to assemble their perfect application
  • Spoke to new collaborators they had never considered partnering with
  • Opened their minds to do something that could be truly transformative

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