The “Neuromod Prize” (“the Competition”) is a SPARC (Stimulating Peripheral Activity to Relieve Conditions) initiative from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) that is accelerating the development of targeted neuromodulation therapies. The first phase of the Competition calls on scientists, engineers, and clinicians to submit novel concepts and proposals.
The deadline for Phase 1 submissions is 4:59 p.m. EDT on April 28, 2022.
The official governing document for the Competition can be found here.
The Competition is managed by Luminary Labs, L.L.C. (Luminary Labs) under contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) for NIH. Activities conducted by Luminary Labs in addition to Competition management may include providing technical assistance to potential participants, quarterfinalists, semifinalists, and finalists.
To be eligible to win a prize under the Competition, a Participant (whether an individual, group of individuals, or entity) —
- Shall have registered to participate in the Competition under the rules promulgated by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) as published in this announcement;
- Shall have complied with all the requirements set forth in this announcement;
- In the case of a private entity, shall be incorporated in and maintain a primary place of business in the United States, and in the case of an individual, whether participating singly or in a group, shall be a citizen or permanent resident of the United States. However, non-U.S. citizens and non-permanent residents can participate as a member of a team that otherwise satisfies the eligibility criteria. Non-U.S. citizens and non-permanent residents are not eligible to win a monetary prize (in whole or in part). Their participation as part of a winning team, if applicable, may be recognized when the results are announced.
- Shall not be a federal entity or federal employee acting within the scope of their employment;
- Shall not be an employee of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS, or any other component of HHS) acting in their personal capacity;
- Who is employed by a federal agency or entity other than HHS (or any component of HHS), should consult with an agency ethics official to determine whether the federal ethics rules will limit or prohibit the acceptance of a prize under the Competition;
- Shall not be a judge of the Competition, or any other party involved with the design, production, execution, or distribution of the Competition or the immediate family of such a party (i.e., spouse, parent, step-parent, child, or step-child).
- Shall be 18 years of age or older at the time of submission.
- Federal grantees and recipients of cooperative agreements or other transaction (OT) awards are eligible to participate in the Competition but may not use Federal funds from a grant award, cooperative agreement, or OT award to develop their Competition submission or to fund efforts in support of their Competition submission unless use of such funds is consistent with the purpose, terms, and conditions of the grant award, cooperative agreement, or OT award. Each Participant (whether an individual, group of individuals, or entity) intending to use Federal grant, cooperative agreement, or OT award funds must register for and participate in the Challenge as an entity on behalf of the awardee institution, organization, or entity. If a Participant uses Federal grant, cooperative agreement, or OT award funds to win the Competition, the prize must be treated as program income for purposes of the original grant, cooperative agreement, or OT award in accordance with applicable Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards [2 CFR § 200].
- Federal contractors may not use federal funds from a contract to develop their Competition submissions or to fund efforts in support of their Competition submissions.
- By participating in this Competition, each Participant (whether an individual, group of individuals, or entity) agrees to assume any and all risks and waive claims against the federal government and its related entities, except in the case of willful misconduct, for any injury, death, damage, or loss of property, revenue, or profits, whether direct, indirect, or consequential, arising from participation in this Competition, whether the injury, death, damage, or loss arises through negligence or otherwise.
- Based on the subject matter of the Competition, the type of work that it will possibly require, as well as an analysis of the likelihood of any claims for death, bodily injury, property damage, or loss potentially resulting from Competition participation, no Participant (whether an individual, group of individuals, or entity) is required to obtain liability insurance or demonstrate financial responsibility in order to participate in this Competition.
- By participating in this Competition, each Participant (whether an individual, group of individuals, or entity) agrees to indemnify the federal government and Luminary Labs against third party claims for damages arising from or related to Competition activities.
- A Participant (whether an individual, group of individuals, or entity) shall not be deemed ineligible because the Participant used federal facilities or consulted with federal employees during the Competition if the facilities and employees are made available to all Participants participating in the Competition on an equitable basis.
- By participating in this Competition, each Participant (whether an individual, group of individuals, or entity) warrants that they are sole author or owner of, or has the right to use, any copyrightable works that the submission comprises, that the works are wholly original with the Participant (or is an improved version of an existing work that the Participant has sufficient rights to use and improve), and that the submission does not infringe any copyright or any other rights of any third party of which the Participant is aware.
- By participating in this Competition, each Participant (whether an individual, group of individuals, or entity) irrevocably grants to NIH and Luminary Labs the right to the use of their name, affiliation, city and state, and likeness or image for the purposes of publicity releases and any other promotion of this Competition.
- By participating in this Competition, each Participant (whether an individual, group of individuals, or entity) grants to the NIH an irrevocable, paid-up, royalty-free non exclusive worldwide license to reproduce, publish, post, link to, share, and display publicly the submission title, headline, and executive summary on the web or elsewhere. Each Participant will retain all other intellectual property rights in their submissions, as applicable. To participate in the Competition, each Participant must warrant that there are no legal obstacles to providing the above-referenced nonexclusive licenses of the Participant’s rights to the federal government. Participants will not be required to transfer their intellectual property rights to NIH, but Participants must grant to the federal government the nonexclusive licenses recited herein.
- Each Participant (whether an individual, group of individuals, or entity) agrees to follow all applicable federal, state, and local laws, regulations, and policies.
- Each Participant (whether an individual, group of individuals, or entity) participating in this Competition must comply with all terms and conditions of these rules, and participation in this Competition constitutes each such Participant’s full and unconditional agreement to abide by these rules. Winning is contingent upon fulfilling all requirements herein.
- As a condition for winning a cash prize in this Competition, each Participant (whether an individual, group of individuals, or entity) that has been selected as a winner must complete and submit all requested winner verification and payment documents to NIH within 7 calendar days of formal notification. Failure to return all required verification documents by the date specified in the notification may be a basis for disqualification of a cash prize winning submission.
Amount of the prize
The total prize purse for Phase 1 of the Neuromod Prize is $800,000, which will be evenly distributed across up to eight (8) quarterfinalists.
Award approving official
The Award Approving Official will be James M. Anderson, M.D., Ph.D., Director of the Division of Program Coordination, Planning, and Strategic Initiatives (DPCPSI) within the NIH Office of the Director.
Payment of the prize
Prizes awarded under the Competition will be paid by electronic funds transfer and may be subject to Federal income taxes. NIH will comply with the Internal Revenue Service withholding and reporting requirements, where applicable. Only one prize payment will be issued to each winning Individual, Team Captain, or Point of Contact’s Entity; any subsequent distribution of prize funds to other team members or entities is at the prize recipient’s discretion and is not the responsibility of NIH.
If any potential winner is found to be ineligible, has not complied with the Official Rules, Terms and Conditions, or declines the monetary prize for any reason prior to award, an alternate winner may be selected.
NIH reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to (a) cancel, suspend, or modify the Competition, or any part of it, for any reason, and/or (b) not award any prizes if no submissions are deemed worthy.