NCATS Challenges and Prize Competitions Program

NCATS runs Challenges to find new and creative approaches to problems from innovative thinkers. Challenges are a flexible alternative to traditional funding mechanisms, such as contracts and grants. By using Challenges, NCATS can encourage collaborations, stimulate innovative ideas, and engage a diverse array of people from all across the country in developing successful solutions to government needs.

Learn more about Challenges.

Current Opportunities

There are no open Challenges at this time.

Expired Opportunities

The 2020 ASPIRE Reduction-to-Practice Challenge aimed to spur the development of a comprehensive integrated platform for translational innovation in pain, opioid use disorder and overdose. Winners have been announced.

The 2020 Rare Diseases Are Not Rare! Challenge entrants created a gallery of social media and art submissions, from videos and poems to spoken-word performances and personal stories. Winners and honorable mentions have been announced. 

The 2018 ASPIRE Design Challenges encouraged innovative and catalytic approaches toward solving the opioid crisis by developing “A Specialized Platform for Innovative Research Exploration” (ASPIRE).

The 2018 Rare Diseases Are Not Rare! Challenge received nearly 50 submissions, including posters, videos, and poems from people around the country to help bring attention to rare diseases and encourage interest in medical research.


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