7 Frequently Asked Questions

Thank you to all who have expressed their excitement and interest in the Challenge. We’ve received a number of questions since launch on April 6; below are responses to some of the frequently raised topics. Please contact with any additional inquiries.

What areas of mood should entrants focus on? Can we study a specific population?

While entrants may propose a study that aligns with their specific research interests and expertise, please keep in mind the Challenge’s goal of producing modules that could contribute to future ResearchKit studies. We encourage expansive thinking around the imagining of active and passive tasks that will broadly enrich the study of mood and how it relates to our daily lives, health, and well-being.

Can entrants submit a study or app that is already being developed or has already launched?

Yes, existing research studies or apps may be entered into the Challenge. Careful consideration should be given to ensure these submissions align with the goals of the Challenge and address the evaluation criteria.

Is there a limit to the size of teams or number of submissions we can enter?

There is no limit to the size of teams, though we advise listing only core team members in your submission. Eligible Team Leads only need to register for Luminary Lightbox once, though they must complete a submission form for each entry if submitting multiples.

What sort of expertise is needed to submit? Do we need development skill or can we bring that support in later in the Challenge?

Though a clinical or research background would certainly be helpful, the Challenge is designed with the understanding that the most innovative and progressive ideas can come from those with experience in mood research and those new to the field. The customized and targeted Virtual Accelerator will provide coaching and mentorship from experts in app development and mobile research to help semi-finalists bring their proposals to life. In order to inform the design of the Virtual Accelerator, please be realistic in describing anticipated barriers, needed competencies, and resources as part of the initial submission.

What sort of outside data sources can we use? Are proprietary data sources allowed? What data can iPhone collect?

Apple makes a number of iPhone data sources available to developers. Click here to learn about the health data sources available on iOS and Apple Watch devices, or click here for a more detailed overview of how to develop apps with this health data. That said, we encourage you to expand beyond these sources and use any data source that could support your mood-related hypotheses.

Can you clarify how award funds must be used? For example, can we hire development talent during the Virtual Accelerator phase? Is there reporting needed?

Award winners will be required to sign an award letter from the New Venture Fund confirming the receipt of the award as recognition for the public benefit associated with their proposed technological solution. A portion of semi-finalist awards is dedicated for use to travel to Challenge events. Financial reporting is not necessary. Please read the Challenge Rules, Terms and Conditions for more details.

Can you provide an overview of the Innovators’ Boot Camp? Is it meant for the software developer or for members of the team lacking experience in app development?

The two individuals most closely involved with ResearchKit study design and execution should attend the Boot Camp. The Boot Camp will feature upskilling around development for ResearchKit, mobile mood measurement, data management and Challenge next steps. We recommend sending your Team Lead, if available.