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Who is eligible: Winners of the 120 Under 40: The New Generation of Family Planning Leaders
Grant award amount: Minimum of 3 grant awards up to 15,000 USD per award
Launch date: Sunday, September 26, 2021
Application deadline: Monday, October 18, 2021 at 11:59 PM EST

120 Under 40: The New Generation of Family Planning Leaders recognizes and highlights the achievements of the next generation of family planning leaders worldwide. Launched on World Contraception Day in 2015, 120 Under 40 shines a light on the “positive disruptions” made by young leaders in family planning, enabling others to model their behavior and build on their success. The project is led by the Gates Institute, with support from Bayer.

Through the project, over the course of 4 years, 120 family planning champions, 40 years old or younger, have been chosen by the public and a jury of experts in family planning. The selection of the last cohort of 40 winners in 2019, resulted in an impressive roster of 120 outstanding young leaders being assembled, just in time for 2020 — the year by which the Family Planning 2020 (FP2020) partnership aims to enable 120 million additional women and girls to access life-saving contraceptives and other reproductive health supplies — and as the conversation about achieving universal access to family planning by 2030 is heating up.

Since launching, 120 Under 40 has quickly become an integral part of the global family planning landscape. 120 Under 40 winners are recognized as leaders in their communities and countries, and on the global stage. The program has supported the winners individually and has invested in strengthening them as a community and a network, enabling them to use 120 Under 40 as a key that can unlock doors to new opportunities.

As 120 Under 40 has grown and matured, the Gates Institute and Bayer have looked to extend the reach and impact of the program beyond the final selection of leaders. Together, winners from the 2017 cohort developed a proposal for a funding mechanism that would support and expand the visibility of their work further. Beginning in 2019, the 120 Under 40 Ingenuity Fund was launched to fulfill this request and providing funding to 120 Under 40 winners for creative and innovative solutions to family planning and reproductive health. The 120 Under 40 Ingenuity Fund seeks to galvanize the 120 Under 40 winners to think big and bold about family planning challenges.

We are delighted to be launching third round of the 120 Under 40 Ingenuity Fund in 2021. This round of funding will build on the 2020 round of funding to continue to foster creative, groundbreaking solutions to family planning’s biggest challenges, especially as we look at COVID-19 and beyond.


The overall purpose of the 2021 120 Under 40 Ingenuity Fund is to encourage the winners of 120 Under 40 to think creatively and inventively about ways to advance family planning and reproductive health for women and men, communities, and countries around the world. The fund is designed to reward fresh, inventive thinking that will enable breakthroughs in family planning and reproductive health — the kind of thinking that can cause a “positive disruption” in some aspect of family planning, and in this unique circumstance also alleviate a much-needed gap in family planning and reproductive health. The primary objectives of the 2021 120 Under 40 Ingenuity Fund are the following:

  1.  Award funding to 120 Under 40 winners to implement creative and inventive problem-solving about challenges in reproductive health and family planning, encouraging them to grow as thought leaders and participate even more fully in charting the course of the family planning movement.
  2. Infuse additional creative energy and ideas into the thinking around the future of family planning.
  3. Amplify the visibility and reach 120 Under 40 Ingenuity Fund winners’ projects, including spotlighting their work at the 2022 World Contraception Day, 6th International Conference on Family Planning, and through multiple Gates Institute and 120 Under 40 promotional activities and materials, such as website, social media posts, and e-mail newsletters.


  • Applicants may apply as individuals or can team up with other 120 Under 40 winners to submit a proposal for a larger amount. Applicants may select any family planning and reproductive health topic or challenge to address in their proposal. This round of funding is not limited to any specific issue.
  • Awards will be given at several levels up to $15,000. Applicants may request the level of funding they think appropriate to their proposal, and funds will then be disbursed as the committee deems appropriate.
  • The total number of proposals funded will depend on the number of submissions and total amount available in the fund.
  • The 2021 120 Under 40 Ingenuity Fund winners will be selected according to the Evaluation Criteria listed below.
  • Gates Institute will select winners and manage the award process.Applicants must submit a written proposal (no more than 10 pages) to be considered for the 120 Under 40 2021 Ingenuity Fund.In addition, video applications will also be accepted to accompany the written applications. For video applications:
  • Video should be no more than 5 minutes long.
  • Video should provide an overview of your proposal, as well as demonstrate an understanding of why your proposal is “ingenious” and what impact it could have on addressing the gaps and challenges in the reproductive health and family planning field.
  • As part of the application, applicants should be prepared to explain how their video satisfies the below evaluation criteria. Videos must be uploaded to YouTube or Vimeo, and a link must be provided as part of the application.


    • September 26, 2021: 120 Under 40 Ingenuity Fund Application opens
    • October 18, 2021: 120 Under 40 Ingenuity Fund Application closes at 11:59 PM EST
    • November 2021: 120 Under 40 Ingenuity Fund recipients are announced and notified via email

    ​​Click here to view a PDF of the full request for proposal and guidelines

    Click here to view a PDF of the application questions

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