Misk Grand Challenges 2018 – Up to $100,000 Grant for Young Innovators Worldwide

Misk Grand Challenges 2018 – Up to $100,000 Grant for Young Innovators Worldwide

Deadline: May 14, 2018

The Misk Foundation and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation invite innovators to apply for the Misk Grand Challenges. The Misk Grand Challenges aims to help young people change the world by empowering them to create fresh, innovative solutions to global challenges facing the next generation.

Over a three-year period, Misk Grand Challenges plans to launch new challenges every six months, offering 100 young innovators across the world a grant of $100,000 to develop their ingenious ideas into a concrete proof of concept.

Misk Grand Challenges is a collaboration between the Misk Foundation, a non-profit philanthropic foundation established by HRH Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman to empower young people to succeed in the knowledge economy, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which funds global health and development programs for the world’s poorest people.

Current Challenges

The challenges will focus on two themes (with more coming soon)

  1. Global Citizenship: They’re looking for innovative ideas on how young people can help deliver the Global Goals for Sustainable Development. The Global Citizenship challenges seek to create a generation of young people committed to achieving these Global Goals, which include eradicating poverty, promoting health and wellbeing, delivering on gender equality and ensuring responsible consumption and production.
  2. Education: They’re looking for innovative solutions to the challenges our education systems face in providing high quality teaching to all students. Each challenge will focus on a different aspect of the education system, and will seek to identify the critical barriers to success. They want your bright ideas to help remove these barriers. Ideas may cover one or more of the following areas that impact teaching and/or school leadership:
    • Reinventing the recruitment process
    • Transforming training and professional development
    • Improving resources that support high-quality learning
    • New forms of management
    • Any other area that drastically improves the performance of teachers and school leaders in line with the new competency-based curriculum of the future

Winners will be chosen based on how well their ideas overcome the specific challenge. If you can then use your $100,000 grant to develop your ideas into a successful proof of concept, you’ll get an opportunity to apply for more funding.

Award and Benefits

  • Awards total US $100,000 each, to be provided over two years, with an opportunity to apply for follow-on funding afterwards.

Alongside funding, winners will be invited to join a network of global change makers by:

  • Attending the 2nd annual ‘Goalkeepers’ event in September 2018. Organized by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Project Everyone, this event aims to accelerate progress on the Global Goals by bringing together new generations of leaders to tackle extreme poverty and disease.
  • Attending the Misk Global Forum, an annual gathering that brings young leaders, creators and thinkers together with established global innovators to explore, experience and experiment with ways to meet the challenges of change.
  • joining a virtual community of Grand Challenges awardees and partners a network of over 2,500 awardees


  • Applications are open to both private and public organizations.
  • You must be affiliated with an organization to apply — they are unable to make grants to individuals.
  • Projects are not required to be focused in particular geographic areas.
  • There is no age requirement, but they particularly encourage young people to apply.
  • Your proposed solutions should target people under 30, in addition to any specific criteria mentioned in individual challenges.

Selection Criteria

Reviewers will be encouraged to champion proposals according to the following criteria:

  • Challenges Responsiveness: Does the proposal address the problems described in the challenge? (Please note each challenge description includes a list of excluded items, typically under the heading “we will not consider funding for”);
  • Innovative Approach: Does the idea offer an unconventional or creative approach to the problem outlined in the challenge? Does it demonstrate application of a new or pioneering approach? Does the proposal describe how the project varies from current approaches, offers new premises or hypotheses to test, and does it provide a rational basis for expecting success?


Learn more about the current challenges:

  1. Global Citizenship
  2. Education

All applicants must complete the Application Form and submit their idea in order to be considered.

For more information, visit Misk Grand Challenges.