debut

Design by Biomedical Undergraduate Teams challenge

DEBUT logo

NIH and VentureWell Logos

with $100,000 in prizes for 2020, the DEBUT challenge is open to undergraduate student teams working on innovative solutions to unmet health and clinical problems

The National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) and VentureWell have come together to support and expand DEBUT, a competition that recognizes undergraduate excellence in biomedical design and innovation.

DEBUT challenges teams of students in undergraduate biomedical education to solve real-world problems in healthcare. Prizes of up to $20,000 will be awarded.

Strong DEBUT submissions will demonstrate a mastery of analytical and design skills and capabilities; the ability to manage the product development process; the ability to work effectively in teams; and technical communication skills.

revised criteria for 2020

In light of the social distancing measures that kept most students from entering labs this year, we are modifying our criteria to acknowledge teams that had excellent ideas for healthcare innovations but could not build and/or test/debug a prototype. We also want to reward teams who were able to achieve a working prototype.

For 2020, each team will receive two scores: an ideation score and a prototype score. The team’s final score will be the higher of the two. The following criteria, weighted equally, will be used in determining the team’s scores:

Ideation Score

  • Significance of the problem being addressed
  • Impact of the proposed solution on potential users and clinical care
  • Innovative design

Teams that could not achieve a prototype should indicate this in their write-up and focus their video on the presentation of the problem addressed and the conceptual design developed to address it.

Prototype Score

  • Significance of the problem being addressed
  • Impact of the proposed solution on potential users and clinical care
  • Innovative design
  • Working prototype

Prizes will be based on the final scores.

Additional prizes will be awarded to projects that also demonstrate:
  • market potential
  • economic feasibility
  • patentability

For application and eligibility details please read the complete guidelines

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