School of Public Health receives Grand Challenges Explorations Grant for groundbreaking research in global health and development

December 2, 2016

The Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University announced today that it is a Grand Challenges Explorations winner, an initiative funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Kristin Wall, PhD, assistant professor of epidemiology will pursue an innovative global health and development research project, titled "Improving post-partum intrauterine device services in Rwanda."

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. Wall's project is one of more than 55 Grand Challenges Explorations Round 17 grants announced today by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. 

Wall and her team plan to develop and pilot test a multi-level intervention in Rwanda to improve post-partum intrauterine device (IUD) services to help improve maternal and newborn health, reduce unintended pregnancy and abortion, and control birth spacing. The copper IUD, a highly cost-effective, long-acting, reversible method of contraception, will be promoted and provided alongside the other contraceptive method options available to women in Rwanda.

"Although capacity building has been successful and interest in post-partum IUD services among women in Rwanda reported, demand remains low," explains Wall. "We believe that with a multi-level intervention focusing on quality service provision as well as innovative promotional strategies, we will see a considerable increase in uptake of post-partum IUD services. Findings from this work will lay the groundwork for larger, randomized studies." 

To receive funding, Wall 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.    

About Grand Challenges Explorations

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.

About The Rollins School of Public Health

The Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University is a top-ranked public health program that comprises six academic departments: behavioral sciences and health education, biostatistics, environmental health, epidemiology, health policy and management, and global health, and hosts over two dozen interdisciplinary centers. More than 200 full-time, doctoral-level faculty members teach and conduct research in areas such as mathematical modeling of infectious disease transmission, exploring relationships between nutrition and chronic disease, and investigating cancer causation and control. At the Rollins School of Public Health, students learn to identify, analyze and intervene in today's most pressing public health issues.