Key deadlines

The Challenge is currently accepting submissions and will stop accepting them on May 26, 2012, 11:59 PM. After that, the submissions will be judged for a couple of months (May 27th to July 22nd). Winners will be announced on July 31stand an award ceremony will take place at the Biomedical Engineering Society Conference in October 2012 (exact dates to be determined).

What’s required for entries?

Any entry for the Challenge must be conceived, designed, and implemented by the student team. Each team can only submit one entry through a designated team captain. The entry has to describe an original biomedical engineering project which fits into one of the following three categories:

  • Diagnostic Devices/Methods – Examples include sensors, imaging devices, imaging agents, telehealth, clinical laboratory diagnostics
  • Therapeutic Devices/Methods – Examples include implants, biomaterials, surgical tools, tissue engineering, drug and gene delivery
  • Technology to Aid Underserved Populations and Individuals with Disabilities – Examples include point-of-care technologies, devices/methods to address health disparities, mhealth, and aid for individuals with disabilities


While the examples provide an idea of what the sponsors are looking for, they are not meant to limit what participants can create. The only limit the sponsors place on any submission is that it is an innovative solution to an unmet health and/or clinical problem.

Also, some entries may fit more than one category, which is allowed. All the entries have to comply with accessibility standards for people with disabilities that are set by the federal government.

In addition to requisite eligibility forms, statement of the health/clinical problem being addressed, and descriptions of the innovation, participants have to provide evidence of a working prototype of the submission.

How will winner’s be selected?

Winners will be selected for each of the three submission categories. The criteria use to select the winners include:

  • Significance of the problem addressed
  • Impact on potential users and clinical care
  • Innovative design
  • Working prototype that implements the design concept and produces targeted results

NBIB plans to weight the criteria equally for all of the Challenge categories. They do not state who the judges of the competition will be.


The winning student team for each category of the Challenge will receive $10,000 (divided among all team members). In addition, the teams will receive an award at the NIBIB DEBUT Award Ceremony at the 2012 Biomedical Engineering Society Annual Meeting (October 24th – 27th) in Atlanta, GA. Teams will also be awarded with up to $2,000 toward the travel and registration costs for attending the award ceremony.

More details

For further details and updates about the challenge, visit the DEBUT Challenge websites or contact Dr. Zeynep Erim at or by way of telephone at (301) 451-4797.