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Announcement of Requirements and Registration for the NIBIB DEsign by Biomedical Undergraduate Teams (DEBUT) Challenge

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Authority: 15 U.S.C. 3719.

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National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering, National Institutes of Health (NIH), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).




The National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) DEBUT Challenge is open to teams of undergraduate students working on projects that develop innovative solutions to unmet health and clinical problems. NIBIB's mission is to improve health by leading the development and accelerating the application of biomedical technologies. The goals of the DEBUT Challenge are (1) to provide undergraduate students valuable experiences such as working in teams, identifying unmet clinical needs, and designing, building, and debugging solutions for such open-ended problems; (2) to generate novel, innovative tools to improve health care, consistent with NIBIB's purpose to support research, training, dissemination of health information, and other programs with respect to biomedical imaging and engineering and associated technologies and modalities with biomedical Start Printed Page 66736applications; and (3) to highlight and acknowledge the contributions and accomplishments of undergraduate students.


The competition begins October 27, 2011.

Submission Period: January 03, 2012, 12:01 a.m. (EST) to May 26, 2012, 11:59 p.m. (EDT).

Judging Period: May 27, 2012, to July 22, 2012.

Winners announced: July 31, 2012, 5 p.m. (EDT).

Award ceremony: October 2012, Biomedical Engineering Society Conference (exact date to be determined).

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Dr. Zeynep Erim at (301) 451-4797 or

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Subject of Challenge Competition: The NIBIB DEBUT Challenge solicits entries that develop innovative solutions to unmet health and clinical problems under one of the following categories:

  • Diagnostic Devices/Methods.
  • Therapeutic Devices/Methods.
  • Technology to Aid Underserved Populations and Individuals with Disabilities.

Eligibility Rules for Participating in the Competition:

1. To be eligible to win a prize under this challenge, each individual on the Student Team must:

(a) Be a citizen or permanent resident of the United States;

(b) Be an undergraduate student enrolled full-time in an undergraduate curriculum during the academic year 2011-2012;

(c) Have his/her own active account that he/she has created at;

(d) Form or join a “Student Team” with at least two other individuals who satisfy the criteria in (a), (b), and (c) above for the purpose of developing an entry for submission to this challenge. While it is expected that most of the individuals participating in the competition may be students from biomedical engineering departments, interdisciplinary teams including students from other fields are welcome and encouraged;

(e) Acknowledge understanding and acceptance of the DEBUT Challenge rules by signing the NIBIB DEBUT Challenge Certification Form found at​Training/​UndergradGrad/​DEBUT/​Form.pdf. Each entry must include one NIBIB DEBUT Challenge Certification Form, completed with dates and the printed names and signatures of each individual member of the Student Team. Entries that do not provide a complete Certification Form will be disqualified from the challenge;

(f) Comply with all the requirements under this section; and

(g) Not be a Federal employee acting within the scope of his or her employment. Federal employees seeking to participate in this challenge outside the scope of their employment should consult their ethics official prior to developing a submission.

2. By participating in this challenge, each individual agrees to abide by all rules of this challenge and the Terms of Participation (​terms).

3. Each entry into this challenge must have been conceived, designed, and implemented by the Student Team. Student Teams participating in capstone design projects are especially encouraged to enter the challenge.

4. Each Student Team may submit one entry into this challenge through one member of the Student Team appointed to do so by that Student Team (e.g., the “captain” or “submitting participant” of that Student Team).

5. Each entry into this challenge must describe an original biomedical engineering project that falls into one of the following 3 categories:

(a) Diagnostic Devices/Methods

e.g., sensors, imaging devices, imaging agents, telehealth, clinical laboratory diagnostics;

(b) Therapeutic Devices/Methods

e.g., implants, biomaterials, surgical tools, tissue engineering, drug and gene delivery;

(c) Technology to Aid Underserved Populations and Individuals with Disabilities

e.g., point-of-care technologies, devices/methods to address health disparities, m-health, aids for individuals with disabilities (see​pubs/​adastatute08.htm#12102 for a definition of “disability”).

The examples under the different categories above are provided for illustration but not limitation. It is possible for an entry to fit into more than one category. In such instances, Student Teams should choose the category to which the entry is most closely related.

6. Each entry must comply with Section 508 standards that require Federal agencies' electronic and information technology be accessible to people with disabilities,​.

7. Each individual on the Student Team must be 13 years of age or older. Individuals who are younger than 18 must have their parent or legal guardian complete the Parental Consent Form found at​parental_​consent_​form.pdf.

8. Each entry must:

a. Include the following:

  • Cover letter, on department letterhead, from a faculty member from the Biomedical Engineering, Bioengineering or similar department of the institution in which the Student Team members are enrolled, verifying that the entry was achieved by the named Student Team that is enrolled full-time in an undergraduate curriculum during the academic year 2011-2012;
  • The NIBIB DEBUT Challenge Certification Form (downloadable from​Training/​UndergradGrad/​DEBUT/​Form.pdf), completed with dates and the printed names and signatures of each individual member of the Student Team;
  • Project Title;
  • Team members and affiliations;
  • Challenge category;
  • Abstract;
  • Description of clinical need or problem, including background and current methods available;
  • Design, including a discussion of the innovative aspects;
  • Evidence of a working prototype (results/graphics obtained with the designed solution);
  • A completed Parental Consent Form, accessible at​parental_​consent_​form.pdf, for each individual on the Student Team who is under the age of 18.

b. Use Arial font and a font size of at least 11 points.

c. Not exceed 6 pages, including any graphics. Submissions exceeding 6 pages will not be accepted. An optional 2-minute video displaying the operation of the device/method may be included. However the 6-page write-up must be a stand-alone description of the project.

9. NIBIB will claim no rights to intellectual property. Individuals on the Student Team will retain intellectual property ownership as applicable arising from their entry. By participating in this challenge, such individuals grant to NIBIB an irrevocable, paid-up, royalty-free, nonexclusive worldwide license to post, link to, share, and display publicly the entry on the Web, in newsletters or pamphlets, and by other information products. It is the responsibility of the individuals on the Student Team to obtain any rights necessary to use, disclose, or reproduce any intellectual property owned by third parties and incorporated in the entry for all anticipated uses of the entry.Start Printed Page 66737

10. One individual appointed by his/her Student Team (e.g., the “captain” or “submitting participant”) will submit a Student Team's entry on behalf of the Student Team by following the links and instructions at​ and certify that the entry meets all the challenge rules.

11. All entries must be submitted by the challenge deadline, May 26, 2012, 11:59 p.m. EDT.

12. Entries must not infringe upon any copyright or any other rights of any third party.

13. By participating in this challenge, each individual 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 prize challenge, whether the injury, death, damage, or loss arises through negligence or otherwise.

14. Based on the subject matter of the challenge, the type of work that it will possibly require, as well as an analysis of the likelihood of any claims for death, bodily injury, or property damage, or loss potentially resulting from challenge participation, individuals are not required to obtain liability insurance or demonstrate financial responsibility in order to participate in this challenge.

15. By participating in this challenge, each individual agrees to indemnify the Federal Government against third party claims for damages arising from or related to challenge activities.

16. An individual shall not be deemed ineligible because the individual used Federal facilities or consulted with Federal employees during this challenge if the facilities and employees are made available to all individuals participating in the challenge on an equitable basis.

Prize: One winning Student Team will be selected for each of the three challenge categories. The winning Student Team in each category will be awarded a $10,000 prize, to be distributed among the members of the Student Team.

Winning Student Teams will be honored at the NIBIB DEBUT Award Ceremony during the 2012 Conference of the Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES) in Atlanta, Georgia, in October 2012. Each winning Student Team will receive, in addition to the prize, up to $2,000 toward the travel and registration costs for the members of the Student Team to attend the award ceremony. Winners will need to provide receipts to document travel expenses for reimbursement purposes in accordance with NIH policy and applicable laws and regulations (​manualchapters/​management/​1500/​), for example:

—Air travel must be by coach class, unless an alternative is medically necessary and documented.

—If you choose to drive to the meeting instead of taking a common carrier (airplane, train, or bus), you may be reimbursed at 51 cents per mile, not to exceed the cost of common carrier.

—Limousine/taxi reimbursements are provided to and from airports as well as to and from meetings. Receipts are required whenever a fare exceeds $75 per trip.

—Per diem rates include lodging and meals and incidental expenses (M&IE). Reimbursement for these varies by city. The first meeting of BMES at which the award ceremony will be held will be in October 2012 in Atlanta.

The current allowable room rate is $132 and the M&IE is $56. For future years, the lodging and M&IE for the host city will be posted on the NIBIB Web site.

Reimbursement rates are subject to change. Updates will be posted on the NIBIB Web site at​Training/​UndergradGrad/​DEBUT.

Basis Upon Which Winner Will Be Selected:

The winning entry in each category of the challenge will be selected based on the following criteria:

  • Significance of the problem addressed—Does the entry address an important problem or a critical barrier to progress in clinical care or research?
  • Impact on potential users and clinical care—How likely is it that the entry will exert a sustained, powerful influence on the problem and medical field addressed?
  • Innovative design (creativity and originality of concept)—Does the entry utilize novel theoretical concepts, approaches or methodologies, or instrumentation?
  • Working prototype that implements the design concept and produces targeted results—Has evidence been provided (in the form of results, graphs, photographs, films, etc.) that a working prototype has been achieved?

The above four criteria will be weighed equally and will apply to all challenge categories.

Additional Information: For more information and to submit entries, visit​.

The NIBIB prize-approving official will be Roderic Pettigrew, PhD, M.D., Director, NIBIB. Prizes will be paid using electronic funds transfer and may be subject to Federal income taxes. NIH will comply with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) withholding and reporting requirements, where applicable.

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Dated: October 21, 2011.

James M. Anderson,

Director, Division of Program Coordination, Planning, and Strategic Initiatives, National Institutes of Health.

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[FR Doc. 2011-27860 Filed 10-26-11; 8:45 am]