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 $1.25M. As many as ten Finalists will win up to $45K each and get the opportunity to win one of four $200K prizes.
Participation in the Build UP Trust Challenge is open to citizens or permanent residents of the United States, or in the case of a private entity, those that are incorporated in or maintain a primary place of business in the United States. Please review full eligibility criteria.
Please note: In order to be eligible for a prize, individuals must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents of the United States and be 18 years of age or older, and organizations must be an entity incorporated in and maintaining a primary place of business in the United States. If you are selected as a potential Winner and you are an individual, you will be asked to confirm citizenship or permanent residency. If you are selected as a potential Winner and you are an organization, you will be asked to confirm the location of your primary place of business.
This is a challenge prize competition and not a grant or cooperative agreement, so there are no indirect cost stipulations, and it is not required to submit the entry by an authorized official. You may also want to check with your organizational leadership as needed to understand any requirements they may have regarding your submission.
The NIH Build UP Trust Challenge is seeking scalable, innovative solutions that improve engagement with minority health populations and populations with health disparities that are underrepresented in disease research and are hesitant to adopt medical care. Per the scoring rubric, strong solutions will be:
Complete the Readiness Tool to help determine eligibility and ensure your solution is a strong fit for the Build UP Trust Challenge, then register no later than 5:00 PM Eastern Time on Tuesday, November 14, 2023. Registration is required and is a simple two-step process. First, create a username and password, then check your inbox to confirm your registration. Next, complete the online registration form. Once you are registered, complete your submission online no later than 5:00 PM Eastern Time on Tuesday, December 5, 2023.
Eligible lead participants will serve as the primary point of contact and will be responsible for receiving any prize funds. Nonprofit participants are strongly encouraged to request and obtain a UEI before submitting an entry.
Once the submission deadline passes, the Build UP Trust Challenge team will perform an administrative review to confirm each submission meets the rules and submission requirements before advancing to Peer-to-Peer Review.
During Peer-to-Peer Review, each lead participant will score and comment on up to five submissions from fellow participants. At this time, NIH will also conduct a separate scope assessment on each submission. Valid submissions within scope move on to the Expert Panel for evaluation. A subset of submissions will then move on to the Judging Panel. All reviewers will use the scoring rubric.
NIH will review top-scoring submissions and request additional information as needed to select up to ten Finalists based on the Judging Panel’s recommended rank order. NIH will make the final determination of the up to ten Finalists who will each receive up to $45,000 and the four winners of the $200,000 prizes. During 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 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 compete for one of four $200,000 prizes.
You may only complete one submission as the Lead Participant. A participant can serve as a partner on a team for multiple submissions as long as each of those submissions proposes a separate, distinct solution. This means each project can only be submitted once, and we leave it up to each team to designate their eligible Lead Participant.
For regional or location-specific branches of larger organizations, as well as departments, schools, and nonprofits within or based in a college/university: You can each register and submit separately as the Lead Participant as long as the proposed solutions are separate and distinct. There should be no overlap in team members. The intent of this rule is to help ensure that each team is concentrating its efforts on a single complete submission that reflects the scoring criteria.
Peer-to-Peer Review is a feature of this competition that aligns with our broader goal of fostering a culture of collaboration and helping to ensure the process includes input from those closest to the work. It allows participants to receive feedback on their ideas from other teams with diverse perspectives working toward a similar vision. It also exposes each participant/team to other teams who aim to achieve the same goal.
Participants who submit valid applications will have the opportunity to participate in Peer-to-Peer Review. During this phase, participants will be invited to read and provide feedback on five other submissions using the scoring rubric on the same online platform you will use to submit an entry.
Peer Review should take approximately 4-5 hours over the course of a two-week period – Tuesday, January 9, 2024, through Wednesday, January 24, 2024. A webinar training and additional resources will be provided in advance of the Peer Review.
In addition to the opportunity to win prize funds, valid submissions will receive feedback from fellow participants and expert judges. Up to five entries may be recognized as honorable mentions with non-monetary awards. All Phase I participants will have the opportunity to share information and connect with each other at a virtual demonstration event in May 2024. Up to ten solutions from Phase I, also known as Finalists, each receive up to $45,000 and the opportunity to present results of their solution at an in-person demonstration event in June 2025. Demonstration day details will be shared in the coming months. Review the timeline to learn more.
In May 2024, all participants are invited to join us for a virtual demonstration day to learn more about each other’s submissions. Up to ten Finalists, who will receive up to $45,000 each, will also be announced.
The Finalists will then enter Phase II and have one year to strengthen, implement, and test their solutions further. The finalists will present their results in June 2025, when NIH will select up to four challenge Winners who will each receive up to $200,000.
NIH Build UP Trust Challenge prize funds are not restricted and finalists and winners may use the prize as they see fit.
Agreements with finalists and winners of the Build UP Trust Challenge will be a confirmation of eligibility and rules. Please follow any processes and procedures required by your entity's leadership to participate in the challenge.
No - there are no plans to launch another Build UP Trust Challenge at this time. Please check out our News page for updates and announcements on future opportunities.
The video is required and allows participants to share more about their submissions in a format other than written descriptions. The video does not need to be professionally produced and can simply be recorded on a phone.
Federal funds may not be used to prepare the submission to the Build UP Trust Challenge, but proposed solutions with prior NIH and other Federal funding are eligible to apply.
Please contact us with any competition-related questions, requests for help with accessibility and special accommodations, and technical support.