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New grants launched for lab equipment, specialist reagents, and consumables

Small grants are now available to address the challenges of global supply chains and improve research capacity for genomic surveillance of malaria.

News 23 Feb 2023
Mosquito Parasite

Procurement grants for specialist genomic surveillance reagents and equipment are now available.
Image credit: Greg Moss/Wellcome Sanger Institute

Update 18/04/2023: The procurement grant has received a high level of interest since its launch in February 2023. We are placing a temporary pause on receiving new applications while we work through those already in process. We will make an announcement when we are accepting applications again in due course. Thank you for your interest and please reach out if you have any questions.

We’ve heard from many partners that, when it comes to in-country operations, logistics continues to be a hurdle. Existing procurement and funding mechanisms are sometimes proving insufficient to get the right materials to the right places. This can make it difficult to obtain the equipment, specialist reagents, and consumables needed to effectively carry out genomic surveillance of malaria. This, in turn, causes unnecessary delays, increases costs, and impacts the efficiency of research.

To fill this gap, MalariaGEN is working with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to provide small grants for researchers in endemic countries to supply equipment, reagents, and consumables.

“This pilot project is a new level of collaboration for us,” says Dr. Vikki Simpson, Head of Partnerships and Engagement in the Wellcome Sanger Institute’s Genomic Surveillance Unit and leader of the MalariaGEN Community Team. “By leveraging our existing relationships with suppliers and funders, we can support scientists in endemic countries to more efficiently conduct their research. What’s more, these grants are not just for MalariaGEN partners, they are open to the wider genomic surveillance of malaria community.”

“We are delighted to be supporting this new mechanism for malaria researchers in endemic countries to acquire the materials they need for their work,” says Estée Torok, Senior Program Officer at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. “This innovative solution to addressing supply chain issues will enable much-needed research to progress more quickly.”

“This is a much-welcome development that will tremendously help scientists in sub-Saharan Africa,” says Prof. Abdoulaye Djimde, Director of the Malaria Research and Training Center – Parasitology (MRTC-P) at the University of Science, Techniques and Technologies of Bamako, Mali (USTTB) . “Supply chain issues in Africa are well known. This new fund that capitalises on relationships between suppliers, MalariaGEN, and the Gates Foundation makes a lot of sense as it will help in-country research happen faster.”

“This will be a game changer. Imagine that for a 12-month grant you no longer need to wait for 8-10 months to get reagents to start analysing samples. That will be just great!” says Dr Antoine Dara, associate Professor of Molecular Biology and Bioinformatics at USTTB and head of the Genomics lab at MRTC-P in Mali.

Applications for the new procurement grants open today.

Apply now

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