This challenge is no longer accepting new submissions.
NCATS Rare Diseases Are Not Rare! Challenge
Share innovative ways to communicate to educate people about rare diseases through social media or art
Department of Health and Human Services - National Institutes of Health
Submission Start: 09/30/2018 12:00 PM ET
Submission End: 10/31/2018 12:00 AM ET
The National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), is seeking innovative ways to communicate with others to educate people about rare diseases through social media or art. The goal of this Challenge, which is being led by NCATS’ Office of Rare Diseases Research, is threefold: First and foremost, it is to raise awareness for all rare diseases in a collective manner. Second, it is intended to bring attention to the many people with rare diseases; and finally, it is to highlight the need for research and the development of new treatments. You can help us get the word out by competing in our rare diseases prize competition!
In addition to cash prizes for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners, the 1st place winner(s) will be invited to NIH to present the winning entry at the Rare Disease Day at NIH event (February 2019); all winners and 10 honorable mentions will be posted on the NCATS public website.
Dates and Deadlines
Entries must be submitted to Challenge.gov by Noon Eastern time on October 28, 2018.
The Challenge begins: September 30, 2018
Submission Period: September 30, 2018 – October 28, 2018
Judging Period: November 12, 2018 – November 26, 2018
Winners Announced: December 2018
Subject of the Challenge Competition
Rare Diseases Are Not Rare! If you know 10 people, chances are you know someone with a rare disease. There are about 7,000 different rare diseases that affect an estimated 30 million Americans. This is more than twice the number of people living with cancer, more than the number of people living with HIV and Alzheimer’s disease combined, and more than the population of Texas.
Some difficulties with rare diseases are that they are hard to recognize, are often hidden conditions, and most currently are not being studied via ongoing medical research. We are asking you to help us bring attention to rare diseases so that they can gain more medical research interest, thereby improving the lives of people with rare diseases. Science, especially genetic medicine, has moved forward to the point now where treatments are possible — such as gene therapies, 3-D printing (devices, tissues and organs) and new drugs. Everyone deserves a chance at an effective medical treatment — whether for a common disease or a rare one — so let’s get the word out!
Here are a few facts to consider:
- Most rare diseases are genetic (around 80%) — they are caused by changes to a person’s DNA (mutations) usually present at birth. We all have DNA, and we all have mutations, whether they cause a disease or not depends on where the mutations are and whether they impact our ability to function.
- Rare diseases also can be due to infections, such as Ebola, or in the U.S., malaria, Chagas’ disease or tuberculosis.
- Many types of cancer, such as leukemia and lymphoma, and brain tumors are rare diseases.
- About half of those diagnosed with rare diseases are children.
- Rare diseases can affect anyone, in any family, anywhere in the world. Sometimes they run in families, but often they occur with no family history.
- Rare diseases can affect many different organs and disease areas, such as rare lung diseases (e.g., cystic fibrosis), movement (muscular dystrophy), the brain (certain types of autism or cerebral palsy), the blood (sickle cell anemia), and many others.
- “Cancer” is actually a collection of hundreds of diseases, even though it is often referred to by just one easily recognizable word.
- Many common diseases are actually collections of several different rare diseases that affect people in a similar way. For example, “breast cancer” is actually a collection of several different cancers, some of which are rare.
You can help by competing in our rare disease prize competition. Here’s what we’re asking you to do:
Find a way to communicate with others and to educate people about rare diseases through social media or art. Use any communication vehicle you choose; be as creative and original as possible. Here are examples of appropriate communication vehicles:
- music video
- song (with or without sheet music)
- dramatic reading
- new name for “rare diseases” as a whole
Each team or individual may submit only one entry.
Evaluation and Winner Selection
Basis upon Which Winner Will Be Selected. A panel of federal and non-federal judges, with expertise directly relevant to this Challenge, will evaluate the entries based on criteria listed below and will select the Challenge winners. NCATS will provide feedback from the judges to the winners and non-winners.
The percentages assigned to each set of evaluation criteria are guidelines from NCATS to suggest which features are of emphasis and interest to the Center.
Only complete submissions will be reviewed.
Cash Prize Amount: $3000
Cash Prize Amount: $1500
Cash Prize Amount: $500
Cash Prize Amount: $0
Up to 10 will be awarded.
Solvers must be 18 years of age or older and may participate singly or as part of one or more teams. Teams are not limited in the number of members. Each team must designate a captain who must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident who is responsible for all correspondence regarding this Challenge. Teams may also merge, collaborate, subdivide, or otherwise organize themselves and their members as needed to prepare a solution for this challenge.
- To be eligible to win a prize under this challenge, an individual or entity—
- Shall have registered to participate in the Challenge under the rules promulgated by the NIH as published in this Notice;
- Shall have complied with all the requirements set forth in this Notice;
- In the case of a private entity, shall be incorporated in and maintain a primary place of business in the United States, and in the case of an individual, whether participating singly or in a group, shall be a citizen or permanent resident of the United States. However, non-U.S. citizens and non-permanent residents can participate as a member of a team that otherwise satisfies the eligibility criteria. Non-U.S. citizens and non-permanent residents are not eligible to win a monetary prize (in whole or in part). Their participation as part of a winning team, if applicable, may be recognized when the results are announced.
- May not be a Federal entity or federal employee acting within the scope of their employment;
- May not be an employee of HHS (or any component of HHS) acting in their personal capacity;
- Who is employed by a federal agency or entity other than HHS (or any component of HHS), should consult with an agency Ethics Official to determine whether the federal ethics rules will limit or prohibit the acceptance of a prize under this challenge;
- May not be a judge of the challenge, or any other party involved with the design, production, execution, or distribution of the Challenge or the immediate family of such a party (i.e., spouse, parent, step-parent, child, or step-child).
The total prize purse is up to $5,000 awarded as follows:
•First place: $3000 and travel expenses for up to 4 people to participate in Rare Disease Day at NIH, February 28, 2019 to present the winning entry
•Second place: $1500
•Third place: $500
•Honorable mentions (10) will be posted on NCATS’ website
The NIH reserves the right to cancel, suspend, and/or modify this challenge at any time through amendment to this notice. In addition, the NIH reserves the right to not award any prizes if no entries are deemed worthy. The award approving official will be Christopher P. Austin, M.D., NCATS director.
Payment of the Prize. Prizes awarded under this competition will be paid by electronic funds transfer and may be subject to federal income taxes. HHS/NIH will comply with the Internal Revenue Service withholding and reporting requirements, where applicable.
Evaluation criteria that judges will be asked to address are specified below.
Entries will receive up to 5 points for each criterion, for a total of up to 15 points per entry. > How creative and original is the entry? > To what extent does the entry address rare diseases collectively? > How likely is it that the entry could be an effective communication vehicle? Will it appeal to a broad audience? Is it easy to disseminate?
How To Enter
- Go to the NCATS Rare Diseases are Not Rare! page and see "Submission Requirements and Instructions" or read the requirements and instructions below.
- Create an account on Challenge.gov, or use an existing account, to submit your solution, including all information required in the instructions.
- Submit your entry by noon Eastern time on October 28, 2018.
- You may submit only one entry.
Submission Requirements and Instructions
Instructions for submission: Use any format you choose, provided it supports the type of submission – be as creative and original as possible. Appropriate types of submissions (communication vehicles) include, but are not limited to, songs, poems, paintings, dramatic readings, mimes, puppets, posters, comics, animations, photos/collages or names.
Each submission for this Challenge requires a complete “Submission Package.” The Submission Package includes a cover letter and the communication vehicle.
The cover letter must be written in English and observe the page limit (1 page), page dimensions (8.5 x 11 inches), font size (11 point or greater), and margins (1 inch).
In the Cover Letter:
1. Describe how your submission provides a solution to the Challenge (i.e., how your entry addresses the problem).
2. Explain why you selected the type of communication vehicle.
3. Describe the target audience and suggest means of disseminating the entry.
Follow the instructions at Challenge.gov to submit the material. Care should be given to select and upload the appropriate file types and formats. Videos are limited to 2 minutes duration.
Note: You must not use HHS’s logo or official seal or the logo of NIH or NCATS in the entries and must not claim federal government endorsement.
Additional details can be found at: Detailed submission requirements and instructions.