Dear colleagues:The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is now accepting grant proposals for Round 8 of Grand Challenges Explorations, an initiative to encourage innovative and unconventional global health and development solutions. Applicants can be at any experience level; in any discipline; and from any organization, including colleges and universities, government laboratories, research institutions, non-profit organizations and for profit companies.Grant proposals are being accepted online until November 17, 2011 on the following topics: NEW - Protect Crop Plants from Biotic Stresses From Field to Market NEW - Design new approaches to optimize immunization systems NEW - Explore New Solutions in Global Health Priority Areas Explore Nutrition for Healthy Growth of Infants and Children Apply Synthetic Biology to Global Health ChallengesInitial grants will be US $100,000 each, and projects showing promise will have the opportunity to receive additional funding of up to US $1 million. Full descriptions of the new topics and application instructions are available at:www.grandchallenges.org/r8_gceWe are looking forward to receiving innovative ideas from around the world and from all disciplines. If you have a great idea, apply. If you know someone else who may have a great idea, please forward this message.Thank you for your commitment to solving the world's greatest health challenges.