In August 2023, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) launched the Build UP (underserved populations) Trust Challenge to identify new and promising scalable strategies that increase research participation and the adoption of existing and new tools and approaches to detect, treat, and monitor diseases, conditions, and disorders by improving engagement with minority health populations and populations with health disparities.
The NIH will award a total of up to $1.25 million. As many as ten Finalists will win up to $45,000 each and get the opportunity to compete for one of four $200,000 prizes.
Racial injustice and inequities in many aspects of health care continue to contribute to health disparities. The absence of trust and the presence of mistrust among members of minority health populations and populations with health disparities contribute to people’s reluctance to engage with biomedical research and utilize healthcare technologies. Underserved communities vary greatly across the United States, including racial and ethnic minority groups, people with lower socioeconomic status, underserved rural communities, and sexual and gender minority groups. In such a broad and complex group of communities, different factors lead to and sustain a lack of trust in health care. These factors include historical marginalization, lack of cultural awareness, lack of appropriately tailored information, and the inundation of misinformation.
Research shows that a fundamental element of the successful adoption and implementation of effective interventions is strong community-level engagement and trust in healthcare workers and healthcare systems.
Research and healthcare institutions must make systemic changes by identifying specific barriers in their environments and developing targeted strategies that combat underrepresentation in health research and underutilization of health care.
The purpose of the NIH Build UP Trust Challenge is to identify new and promising strategies that leverage community engagement to build trust and help increase participation by minority health populations and populations with health disparities in disease research and adoption of medical care to detect, treat, and monitor diseases, conditions, and disorders.
Individuals and teams with innovative community engagement solutions that build trust, increase research participation, and expand the adoption of existing and new tools and approaches to detect, treat, and monitor diseases, conditions, and disorders among members of minority health populations and populations with health disparities should consider participating in the NIH Build UP Trust Challenge. Solutions can include improvements to existing strategies, as well as the creation of new ones.
NIH encourages participants to ensure they have strong connections to one or more historically underserved communities. This could include individuals who are members of an underserved community or those who work directly with underserved communities (e.g., healthcare, family and youth services, members of faith-based organizations, housing and homelessness services).
The Build UP Trust Challenge is offering a total prize purse of $1.25 million, which will be distributed across two phases of the competition and awarded to participants who successfully complete the objectives and requirements of each phase.
PHASE I: Community-engaged solvers will submit and present their strategies. In May 2024, participants with valid submissions within the scope will have the opportunity to join a virtual demonstration event to share their solutions and connect with others. Up to ten finalists will each receive up to $45,000, and up to five honorable mentions will be named.
PHASE II: Up to ten Finalists will further strengthen, implement, and test their proposed solutions and demonstrate how implementing their strategies improved trust, increased research participation, and/or expanded the adoption of existing and new tools and approaches to detect, treat, and monitor diseases, conditions, and disorders among members of minority health populations and populations with health disparities. Finalists will have the opportunity to submit Phase II proposals and pitch their solutions at an in-person demonstration event in June 2025 for the opportunity to win one of four $200,000 prizes.
Review our FAQs, scoring rubric, and timeline on this website. Details are also available at challenge.gov. The Build UP Trust Challenge team will host question and answer (Q&A) webinars leading up to registration and submission deadlines. Information about the webinars will be emailed to those who register for the challenge and will be available on News & Updates.
The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) is administering this challenge competition along with the following cosponsors from across the National Institutes of Health (NIH):