UC Receives Grand Challenges Exploration Grant for Global Health
CINCINNATI – The University of Cincinnati announced
today that it is a Grand Challenges Explorations winner, an
initiative funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Jennifer Brown, PhD, an associate professor in the Department of
Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience at the UC College of
Medicine will pursue an innovative global health and development
research project, titled "Family Planning Needs of South African
Grand Challenges Explorations (GCE) supports innovative
thinkers worldwide to explore ideas that can break the mold in how
we solve persistent global health and development challenges.
Brown’s project is one of more than 55 Grand Challenges
Explorations Round 17 grants announced today by the Bill &
Melinda Gates Foundation.
To receive funding, Brown and other Grand Challenges
Explorations winners demonstrated in a two-page online application
a bold idea in one of six critical global heath and development
topic areas. The foundation will be accepting applications for the
next GCE round in February 2017.
Globally, South African adolescent girls have some of the
highest rates of both unintended pregnancies and sexually
transmitted infections (including HIV). Such outcomes can result in
numerous adverse health or socioeconomic consequences including
elevated risk of maternal and infant mortality, decreased
educational attainment and exacerbation of poverty, among
"There is a lack of research examining the broader cultural
influences on the family planning needs of this population,”
says Brown. "The primary aim of this study is to use a novel
methodology to expound on the culturally relevant factors
associated with the contraceptive practices of South African
adolescent girls between the ages of 14 and 17, who are at
increased risk for unintended pregnancies and sexually transmitted
The study is a collaboration with Lochner Marais, PhD,
professor at the University of the Free State in South Africa;
Jessica Sales, PhD, associate professor at Emory University; and
Carla Sharp, PhD, professor at the University of Houston.
About Grand Challenges
Grand Challenges Explorations is a US$100 million initiative
funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Launched
in 2008, over 1228 projects in more than 65 countries have received
Grand Challenges Explorations grants. The grant program is open to
anyone from any discipline and from any organization. The
initiative uses an agile, accelerated grant-making process with
short two-page online applications and no preliminary data
required. Initial grants of US$100,000 are awarded two times a
year. Successful projects have the opportunity to receive a
follow-on grant of up to US$1 million.
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