nih technology accelerator challenge for maternal health faqs

NIH Technology Accelerator Challenge for Maternal Health

This page includes answers to some of the most common questions that have been asked about the NIH Technology Accelerator Challenge for Maternal Health (NTAC: Maternal Health).

For further questions about the challenge, contact the Challenge Manager, NIBIBCHALLENGE@mail.nih.gov. If you need technical assistance with the submission portal, contact grants@venturewell.org. This page will be updated when possible with additional common questions that have been submitted.

Scientific/Clinical

Technical (Registration & Submission Portal)

Do I have to register first if I plan to submit?
Yes. Registration is required and must be completed prior to 11:59pm Eastern Time on April 1, 2022. Submissions will only be accepted from registered participants.

Miscellaneous

What is a challenge, and why does NIH utilize this open innovation mechanism?
Challenges, also referred to as prize competitions, are tools for incentivizing the achievement of scientific, technological, and other categories of innovation by offering monetary or non-monetary awards to challenge participants who demonstrate success. They are a mechanism that allows the public to solve problems presented by federal agencies and receive awards for the best solutions. Challenges also enable NIH to establish an ambitious goal without bearing high levels of risk or having to predict which team or approach is most likely to succeed, and then to pay only for the successful solutions. NIH has used challenges to spark new ways of thinking, solve tough problems, stimulate innovation, and advance its core mission of turning discovery into health. Challenges enable NIH Institutes, Centers, and Offices to establish ambitious goals without bearing high levels of risk and pay only for results. This mechanism also affords NIH the opportunity to engage innovators across the country who have a wide range of skillsets and diverse backgrounds, but who may not typically contribute to NIH research activities. With a focus on proven results, challenges empower untapped talent to deliver unexpected solutions to tough problems.

How are challenges different from NIH grants and contracts?
Challenges are an effective tool within the NIH toolbox to catalyze biomedical innovation and complement our more traditional funding mechanisms. Grants and contracts are typically awarded based on proposals for future work, while challenges typically award previous work that meets the criteria for winning a prize. Importantly, grants and contracts are usually awarded to an institution or organization to carry out an activity approved by the government in accordance with applicable rules, regulations, and policies, such as the NIH Grants Policy Statement or Federal Acquisition Regulations. Challenges, in contrast, typically award cash or non-cash prizes directly to individuals, teams, or entities and, except in limited situations, there are no restrictions on how the prize is award is used. An individual participant, or an individual identified as a team captain, who participates in, meets the eligibility criteria, and wins a NTAC: Maternal Health cash prize will be paid the cash prize directly to their personal bank account to be spent however the individual sees fit, with the associated personal income tax implications.

How should senior/key personnel of Federal grantees or recipients of cooperative agreements register for and participate in NTAC: Maternal Health?
Senior/key personnel of grantees and recipients of cooperative agreements should carefully consider how to register for and participate in a challenge: whether as an individual, as a team captain or member of a team, or as an entity on behalf of their institution. An individual participant, or an individual identified as a team captain, who participates in and wins a challenge is typically paid the cash prize directly to their personal bank account to be spent however the individual sees fit, with the associated personal income tax implications. That individual should consult with their appropriate institutional official(s) to ensure they are permitted to compete in a challenge, whether as an individual or team or on behalf of the institution, prior to registering or submitting a solution. Individuals are responsible for ensuring that their participation is consistent with their contractual obligations with their institutions. To the extent the institution determines that an individual must participate on behalf of the institution, the institution is responsible for ensuring that it is able to comply with the rules of the Challenge. Additionally, to the extent Federal grant or cooperative agreement funds would be used to develop, or to fund efforts in support of, a challenge submission, the institution is responsible for ensuring that any cash prizes are treated as program income based upon the terms and conditions in the notice of the relevant grant award or cooperative agreement.

If a Federal grantee or recipient of a cooperative agreement, or senior/key personnel designated on such awards, uses Federal funds to compete in NTAC: Maternal Health and wins a cash prize, how must the prize money be treated?
If a grantee or recipient of a cooperative agreement, or senior/key personnel designated on such awards, uses Federal award funds to support or develop a challenge submission and subsequently wins a cash prize award, the award must be treated as program income as required by the terms and conditions of the grant award or cooperative agreement (see NIH Grants Policy Statement, 8.3.2 Program Income). Per the terms and conditions of the grant award or cooperative agreement, the amount of program income earned and the amount expended must be reported on the appropriate annual financial report, which is currently the Federal Financial Report (FFR). Whether the cash prize is treated as additive or otherwise will depend on the terms specified in the Notice of Award of the grant or cooperative agreement; however, the additive alternative applies to all NIH awards unless there is a concern with the recipient or activity or the program requires a different alternative.

How should students, postdocs, or other research personnel supported by Federal grant awards or cooperative agreements register for and compete in NTAC: Maternal Health?
The guidance above is also applicable to any undergraduate students, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, or other research personnel who compete in a NIH challenge and are supported by a Federal grant award or cooperative agreement, regardless of whether they are listed as senior/key personnel on a Federal grant award or cooperative agreement. Such participants are responsible for ensuring that their participation is consistent with their contractual obligations with their institutions. Additionally, if such participants intend to use Federal grant or cooperative agreement funds to develop their challenge submission they must register for and participate in the challenge on behalf of the awardee institution, organization, or entity.

If senior/key personnel designated on federal grant awards, or other research personnel, participate in NTAC: Maternal Health but do not use any Federal funds to develop their submissions, are they required to register and compete on behalf of their institution?
All participants should consult with their appropriate institutional official(s) to ensure they are permitted to compete in a challenge, whether as an individual, group of individuals, or on behalf of the institution, prior to registering or submitting a solution. Individuals are responsible for ensuring that their participation is consistent with their contractual obligations with their institutions, regardless of whether Federal funds are used to develop the challenge submission. To the extent the institution determines that an individual or group of individuals must participate on behalf of the institution, the institution is responsible for ensuring that it is able to comply with the rules of the Challenge. For example, institutions may claim ownership of any intellectual property and/or income generated by employees when using institutional resources or if the solution is developed within the scope of employment. Therefore, institutions may require their employees to register on behalf of the institution and not as individuals or a team of individuals so that any cash prizes are paid directly to the institution.

For further questions about the challenge, contact the Challenge Manager, NIBIBCHALLENGE@mail.nih.gov. If you need technical assistance with the submission portal, contact grants@venturewell.org. This page will be updated when possible with additional common questions that have been submitted.

Last updated January 4, 2022

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. Read More