Saving Brains: Round 6

With the ultimate goal of increasing human capital and tackling existing inequalities, Saving Brains seeks bold ideas for products, services and implementation models that protect and nurture early brain development in a sustainable manner.

Funding is open to innovative solutions that address the risk factors facing children living in adversity by promoting health and nutrition, providing enrichment and nurturing, and protecting against maltreatment.

Areas of particular interest include innovations designed for use in humanitarian contexts and fragile settings, innovations that provide support to adolescent parents, and innovations with demonstrated scale and strong paths to sustainability that have not yet measured impact on child development.

Successful proposals will be awarded seed grants of up to $250,000 CAD over a maximum of 24 months.

At a Glance

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October 11th, 2017

How to Apply

About This Funding Opportunity

Funding Stats

Point of Contact Email:
Grant / Award Value: 
Eligibility Type: 
Duration of Award: 
two-year grant

Eligibility Details


1. Eligible applicants include social enterprises and other recognized institutions (e.g., non-profit organizations and for-profit companies) that are formed and legally incorporated in an eligible jurisdiction, as set out in Appendix A, that can successfully execute the activities in their respective technical area, and are capable of receiving and administering grant funding. Sole proprietorships are not eligible for funding. United Nations country offices and Canadian provincial and federal government departments, agencies and ministries are not eligible to apply.

2. ONLY institutions from the list of countries given in Appendix A are eligible to apply to this Saving Brains Request for Proposals. Applications from institutions in countries not listed in Appendix A will not be considered. Awards may be limited to one proposal for upper-middle income country applicants other than Brazil; see Appendix A for further detail on the number of applications funded based on country of application.

3. All project implementation sites must be in countries other than Canada that are listed in Appendix A.

4. A project can have a maximum of two Project Leads, both of which must have primary affiliations to institutions in eligible countries listed in Appendix A. At least one Project Lead must be affiliated with the institution from which the proposal is being submitted.

5. Applicant institutions from Canada must apply with a co-Project Lead primarily affiliated with an institution in an eligible country listed in Appendix A, other than Canada.

6. A majority (greater than 50%) of the budget must be spent on activities in eligible countries other than Canada.

7. Applicants from Brazil:
• May not be government entities. We strongly encourage government entities to apply in partnership with other Brazilian institutions, but they are not eligible as direct grant recipients. Universities or research centres, civil society representatives, non-for-profits and private institutions are eligible to apply.
• Must focus on innovations in the following areas of interest: implementation of practices and public policies for early child development, delivery of quality early childhood education services, supportive services for families on nurturing parenting practices, and innovations that help communicate and increase awareness of the importance of early child development for society.

8. A Project Lead may only be listed on one (1) application to this Request for Proposals. An institution from an eligible country may, however, be the applicant on multiple applications, if all applications have different Project Leads.

9. Saving Brains WILL NOT fund discovery science, capacity-building initiatives or ongoing programmatic funding through this Request for Proposals.

10. Saving Brains WILL NOT consider funding projects that involve establishing proof-of-concept of innovations for which the core intellectual property rights are owned by a third-party institution, unless either (a) the third-party institution has granted the applicant sufficient license rights to the innovation to permit eventual scaling in low- and middle-income countries, or (b) the third-party institution is willing to sign an undertaking to Grand Challenges Canada committing to comply with Grand Challenges Canada’s Global Access requirements.

11. Innovations that have been previously funded by Grand Challenges Canada are not eligible for seed funding. See for a searchable database of innovations funded by Grand Challenges Canada.

12. Applications must include all required information and attachments. Only complete applications will be considered for peer review.

13. Grand Challenges Canada may, at any time and at its sole discretion, modify eligibility criteria with respect to individual applicants, Project Leads and/or eligible countries, to the extent that such modifications do not materially undermine the review process. (See Section 5.4.) Please note that Grand Challenges Canada must approve any changes in applicant organization, institution or Project Lead from the originally-funded grant. Please note that collaborations between Project Leads from eligible non-Canadian institutions (from countries listed in Appendix A) and Canadian institutions are encouraged but not required. Institutions and innovators in eligible countries and non- eligible countries may be listed as collaborators.

Application Guidance

Refer to our RFP:

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