The Mood Challenge

The Mood Challenge for ResearchKit calls for proposals for ResearchKit studies that will further our understanding of mood and how it relates to our daily lives, health, and well-being.

Congratulations to the winner, BiAffect! 

  • Call for Submissions
    April 6, 2016
  • Semi-Finalists Announced
    July 20, 2016
  • Virtual Accelerator
    July – September 2016
  • Finalists Announced
    October 5, 2016
  • Finalist Incubation and Testing
    October 2016 – April 2017
  • Winner Announced
    May 2017


The two finalists will spend the coming months developing prototype apps to pilot with iPhone users in TestFlight

Interested in trying either of the studies? Follow the links below to learn more and sign up to be notified when prototypes are ready.

  • Aware Study

    Aware aims to be the largest applied research study to assess mood and its relationship to PTSD and will seek to tailor insights to an individual’s context. The study lasts 28 days and asks participants to respond to surveys every week and perform two daily tasks, all while collecting data passively.

  • BiAffect

    BiAffect is a system for understanding mood and neurocognitive functioning in bipolar disorder using keystroke dynamics, such as typing speed and errors, to track and predict mood episodes. Alteration in communication is one of the main problematic symptoms of bipolar disorder. This study will unobtrusively monitor non-verbal communications on iPhone to improve our understanding of mood disorders and provide a means of predicting future mood fluctuations.

About The Challenge

Psychology, evolutionary biology, psychiatry, economics, and many other fields have studied human mood for decades. While many theories have been developed, the full complexity of this macro-measure of mental and emotional condition is still a mystery.

Mobile devices provide an unprecedented opportunity to investigate mood through the careful collection of active and passive data.

To capture this opportunity, the Mood Challenge for ResearchKit calls on researchers, technologists, and data scientists to submit proposals for ResearchKit studies that will further our understanding of mood, its correlates, and its relation to social context through the novel interpretation of signals from iPhone, related sensors, and other data sources.

More About the Challenge

About ResearchKit


Apple’s ResearchKit is an open source software framework that makes it easy for researchers and developers to create apps that could revolutionize medical studies, potentially transforming medicine forever.

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5 semi-finalists receive $20,000
to translate their proposals into designs for ResearchKit studies.

2 finalists receive $100,000
to develop their designs into prototypes to pilot with users in Apple’s TestFlight.

1 award winner receives $200,000
and guidance for submission of their ResearchKit study to the App Store.

More About Awards

Awards for this Challenge will be administered as payments from the New Venture Fund. Award winners are responsible for any applicable local, State, and Federal taxes and reporting that may be required under applicable tax laws. Read the Rules, Terms and Conditions for more details about awards.

Submissions by Round

Over the course of the Challenge, entrants will submit three separate submissions, each iterating off the last to build towards a full ResearchKit study. The three submissions are as follows:


  • Photo of Lisa Feldman Barrett

    Lisa Feldman Barrett

    Northeastern University
    full bio
  • Photo of Jeff Frazier

    Jeff Frazier

    THREAD Research
    full bio
  • Photo of Kevin Johnson

    Kevin Johnson

    Vanderbilt University Medical Center
    full bio
  • Photo of Kevin Patrick

    Kevin Patrick

    University of California, San Diego
    full bio
  • Photo of Indu Subaiya

    Indu Subaiya

    Health 2.0
    full bio

Additional Information

Read Criteria to see the types of solutions the Mood Challenge is seeking.

Read Rules, Terms and Conditions for full eligibility, evaluation criteria, and other Challenge requirements.