NCATS Rare Diseases 2020 Challenge Detailed Submission Requirements

Submissions for this Challenge are now closed.

Submission Period: February 29, 2020–June 15, 2020

Entries must be submitted by email to by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on June 15, 2020. Include in your subject line: “RDANR Challenge Entry.”

Please follow the instructions below to submit your entry.

By submitting a solution, all solvers agree to the Challenge terms and conditions, which are detailed on NCATS’ Challenge Details page.

Each entry for this Challenge requires a complete “Submission Package.” The Submission Package includes a Cover Letter, the Communication Vehicle and, when appropriate, participant consent forms. Appropriate types of submissions (communication vehicles) include, but are not limited to, songs, music videos, poems, paintings, dramatic readings, mimes, puppets, posters, comics, animations, photos/collages or names for “rare diseases” as a whole. Use any format you choose from those listed below, provided it supports the type of submission—be as creative and original as possible.

Please include the following sections and content in your submission and observe page limits.

Cover Letter

Submission Title
Team Leader:
Name, email
Team Members: Name, role for each team member

Other Information

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 margin (1 inch) requirements.

In the Cover Letter

  1. Describe how your submission provides a solution to the Challenge; that is, how does your entry address the problem?
  2. Explain why you selected the type of communication vehicle.
  3. Describe the target audience and propose a dissemination plan for the entry to reach as many people as possible.
  4. Describe whether any collaborations contributed to producing the final entry and the uniqueness of those collaborations (for example, a patient-researcher team, siblings from different diseases, a rare-common disease team and others).

Communication Vehicle

Follow all instructions to submit the material. Care should be given to select and attach the appropriate file types and formats. Note the following.

Accepted File Types

  • Images: .jpg/.jpeg, .gif, .png
  • Microsoft Office: .doc, .docx, .ppt, .pptx, .xls, .xlsx
  • Adobe PDF: .pdf
  • Text: .txt, .rtf
  • Audio/Video: YouTube link (see below)

Videos are limited to two minutes in duration. Entrants must post their video submission to YouTube as an unlisted video and send the link to their video entry, along with the required paperwork, to by the deadline.

Participant Consent Forms

Consent forms must be included for anyone appearing in a submission entry (such as in a photograph or a video), allowing NCATS to use the individual’s name and likeness. Parental consent is required for anyone appearing in the photograph or video who is under the age of 18 years old. Download the consent form (PDF - 148.68KB).

To ensure your submission is not blocked by NIH servers, please keep emails smaller than 10 megabytes.

Note: You must not use the logo or official seal of HHS nor the logo of NIH or NCATS in the entries, and entries must not claim federal government endorsement.