Notice of Upcoming Prize Competition Announcement for the NIH Build UP Trust Challenge
Notice Number:

Key Dates

Release Date:

June 12, 2023

Related Announcements


Issued by

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)


The NIH Build UP Trust Challenge seeks new approaches to improve engagement with underserved populations with a focus on increasing their participation in disease research and adoption of existing and new tools and strategies to detect, treat and monitor diseases and disorders. The NIH Build UP Trust prize challenge aims to utilize new and existing strategies to improve engagement with underserved populations, in order to generate new solutions that address trust as a barrier to the adoption of both new and existing healthcare tools and diagnostics. These new solutions can include improvements to existing tools/devices, as well as the creation of new ones.

To make strides towards eliminating all types of underrepresentation in health research, institutions must target systemic change through institutional transformation by identifying specific barriers in their environment and developing targeted strategies to combat them. These strategies will likely also include common components such as mentoring, role models, cohort building, and special efforts to enhance inclusion and equity and instill a sense of belonging. 

Successful participants will be composed of teams with a strong connection to one or more underserved community groups. This could include individuals who are members of an underserved community or individuals who work directly with underserved communities (e.g., healthcare, family and youth services, members of faith-based organizations, housing and homelessness services).

This Notice is being provided to inform potential solvers of the upcoming opportunity to compete in the NIH Build UP Trust Challenge.  The anticipated dates are: 

  •  Publication Date of Challenge Announcement on August 8, 2023 
  •  Registration Due Date on portal: November 14, 2023 
  •  Submission Due Date to portal: December 5, 2023 
  •  Award Date: March 2024

NIH intends to award a total prize purse of $1,250,000 which will be awarded across the two phases of this competition. Additional information about the planned prize competition is included below.


The COVID-19 pandemic and racial unrest of 2020 have raised awareness that racial injustice and inequities in many aspects of health care continue to contribute to the disproportionate rates of morbidity and mortality. There is a critical need to identify the fundamental drivers of health disparities and research opportunities that could reduce barriers to medical diagnosis and treatment and effective interventions in underserved populations. A fundamental aspect of the adoption and implementation of effective interventions is strong community-level trust in healthcare workers and the broader healthcare system. In the absence of trust and the presence of mis-trust, socially marginalized and under-resourced communities are reluctant to participate in disease research studies and less likely to adopt existing and new technologies to address and prevent underlying health conditions.

Underserved communities vary greatly across the United States, and include racial and ethnic minorities, rural and urban communities and unique populations such as LGBTQ, veterans, and individuals with disabilities. In such a broad and complex group of communities there are different factors that lead to and sustain a lack of trust in health care. These factors include historical marginalization, lack of cultural awareness, lack of appropriately tailored information and the inundation of mis-information. The purpose of this prize challenge is to identify new ideas to address factors leading to mistrust in the healthcare system among members of underserved communities through community engagement.

The main objective of the NIH Build Underserved Populations (UP) Trust Challenge is to develop new approaches to improve engagement with underserved populations with a focus on increasing their participation in disease research and adoption of existing and new tools and strategies to detect, treat and monitor diseases and disorders.

Examples of successful solutions may include community engagement strategies and new tools and interventions such as:

  • Faith-based lifestyle interventions
  • Wellness screening at local farmer’s market
  • Culturally-tailored in-home interventions
  • Assessing wastewater for community health
  • Screenings and health information at trusted places within a community such as a beauty salon or place of worship
  • Antimicrobial resistance detection and prevention


Participation in the Build UP Trust Challenge is open to citizens or permanent residents of the United States, or in the case of a private entity, be incorporated in or maintain a primary place of business in the United States. Full eligibility criteria will be available in the challenge announcement.

Prize Competition Details

The NIH Build UP Trust Challenge is offering a total prize purse of $1,250,000 which will be distributed across two phases of the competition and awarded to participants who successfully complete the objectives and requirements of each phase.

Phase 1: In Phase I, community-engaged solvers will present the strategies to improve trust for health monitoring and diagnostics in an underserved community.

Phase 2: In Phase II, finalists will demonstrate how implementing their strategy improved trust or adoption of a health monitoring tool or diagnostic in the community.


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