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Center for Purpose and Performance Prize

Submit a proposal that is firmly rooted in existing empirical research while also charting new trajectories in real-world application.

This challenge is closed

stage:
Judging
prize:
$200,000

This challenge is closed

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Updates12
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Summary

Vision

In 2022, BetterUp®, the human transformation platform, founded the Center for Purpose and Performance. The Center is chaired by Adam Grant, one of the world’s leading researchers, writers, and thinkers on organizational psychology, motivation, and cognitive agility. With an innovative research and convening agenda, Grant will drive the Center’s mission of partnering with industry leaders to deepen understanding of the intersections of well-being, purpose, and performance.

To supercharge its inaugural year, the Center launched an applied science research competition to enable the application and extension of peer reviewed research across diverse disciplines. Emphasizing the need for interdisciplinary collaboration, the competition intends to advance the science behind workplace performance at scale, building on the peer review process within Organizational Behavior and Psychology. 

For this project to be successful, the Center is calling upon you, the public, to submit proposals that are firmly rooted in existing empirical research while also charting new trajectories within an applied setting. Winner(s) will have the opportunity to receive substantial funding and conduct the proposed work, longitudinal studies, or workplace interventions in partnership with BetterUp Labs, coaches and/or partners. 

The Center Prize is committed to facilitating the translation and dissemination of research findings, ensuring that the valuable knowledge generated from existing research is effectively applied and has a meaningful impact on organizations and individuals. The prize will be awarded based on the strength of the proposals to advanced published work and its potential for transformative advancements in the field. 

What’s new and innovative about this opportunity?

  • Applied empirical focus: Many existing awards and grants emphasize theoretical contributions; the Center takes a distinctive stride by emphasizing empirical research that directly applies to the real world. It’s about generating ideas and testing them in practical settings to ensure viability and effectiveness. 
  • Building on peer-reviewed research: The Center values the established peer review process and hopes to to bridge the gap between theoretical insights, controlled laboratory settings, and practical application. The Center believes that true breakthroughs occur when research aligns with the complexities of everyday workplace environments. 
  • Strategic collaboration: The prospective opportunity to collaborate with BetterUp over an 18-month period amplifies the potential for real-world impact and facilitates the translation of research findings into tangible improvements. By fostering collaboration, the Center ensures that interventions and insights are developed with scalability in mind, facilitating lasting effects across diverse organizations and industries.

Theme

The theme for this year’s Center Prize is Managing for Purpose and Performance. We are particularly interested in research proposals that help people and leaders:

  • Rethink purpose and performance
    • Development and analysis of structures and models that advance organizational effectiveness through innovation, collaboration, and adaptation in dynamic and complex work environments. 
  • Reimagine cultures of inclusion and well-being 
    • Utilization of novel sources of data on human and organizational behavior to improve our understanding of the barriers to, and facilitators of, psychological safety, vitality, and mattering in the workplace. 
  • Revolutionize management’s relationship to machines

Demonstration of new and effective approaches for exploring AI-mediated communication, collaboration, and management to enhance productivity and flourishing.


Values

All decisions related to competition will be made in alignment with our values:

  • Integrity: We strive to maintain an extremely high caliber of scientific rigor and ethical accountability, and expect the same of our prize winners.
  • Inclusivity: We proactively seek diverse and multidisciplinary perspectives in data collection and implementation design.
  • Accessibility: We design interventions and models to optimize value to all stakeholders (partners, members, coaches, and scientists).

Interdisciplinary collaboration: We encourage researchers to form cross-disciplinary teams, leverage diverse methodologies and perspectives, and tackle multifaceted issues from different angles.


Award

Prizes (# of recipients)

Grand Prize (1)

$100K award to fund an 18-month partnership with BetterUp Labs + 1-year BetterUp subscription + an invitation to join the Center for Purpose and Performance community (which includes access to invite-only events and the potential to co-author research in partnership with BetterUp Labs)

 

Distinction Awards (x2) : 

$50K award each to fund an 18-month partnership with BetterUp Labs + 1-year BetterUp subscription + an invitation to join the Center for Purpose and Performance community (which includes access to invite-only events and the potential to co-author research in partnership with BetterUp Labs)

Total Prize Purse

$200,000

  • 1-year BU subscriptions

Note: BU subscriptions will be given to the individual or team winner(s) – up to a max of 5 per team.


Timeline

Challenge AnnouncementNovember 14, 2023
Submission deadlineFebruary 19, 2024
Judging ConcludesMarch 15, 2024
Winners AnnouncedApril 10-11, 2024

Submission Requirements

We encourage proposals that extend published research and facilitate the practical application of science in the workplace in the following focus areas: purpose and performance, inclusion and well-being, management and machines. Submissions may not exceed five pages and must include the following:

Submissions must include the following:

  1. Empirical rigor: Provide the published prior research article(s) upon which your proposal is based, including title, link, abstract, authors, and affiliations. Only proposals based on articles published in the last five years will be considered. Ensure that the submitted research article(s) are directly accessible via the provided link or attachment. The prior existing research submitted should be authored by the submitting team.
  2. Proposed extension/ application: Complete a proposal that builds upon research published within the last five years. Include a succinct statement about the importance of the proposed research's contribution to advancing the field of workplace performance and well-being. Clearly state the objectives and hypotheses of the proposed project and outline how the original research findings will be extended within the context of the proposed project. 
  3. Theme Alignment: Demonstrate how your new, proposed research aligns with at least one of the provided themes: "Rethink purpose and performance," "Reimagine cultures of inclusion and well-being," or "Revolutionize management’s relationship to machines." 
  4. Expected Impact: Provide a clear and specific explanation of the expected impact of the proposed research on organizational practices, outcomes, or individual well-being.
  5. Methods and sample requirements: Elaborate on how the data collected during the proposed research will be utilized beyond the research phase. Discuss plans for analyzing, presenting, and disseminating the findings to maximize impact and ensure that the research is grounded in rigorous scientific methods, data collection, and analysis techniques.
  6. Statement of research ethics and diversity considerations: Proposals should address ethical implications related to the proposed interventions and specify the importance of adhering to rigorous scientific methods, data collection, and analysis techniques.  
  7. Research Timeline: The prize purse is intended to support up to an 18 month partnership with BetterUp Labs. The extent to which winners partner with BetterUp can be mutually agreed upon based on after winners are announced. Provide a timeline that includes key milestones, anticipated dates for data collection, analysis, and completion of the project. Please view the contract terms below for further information.
  8. Budget: Detail any additional costs associated with the proposed research project. Solvers are welcome to propose budgets that exceed the challenge prize purse, insofar as these external sources of funding (such as additional grants) are able to be vetted and approved by BetterUp. 
  9. Challenge Guidelines: Solvers need to accept a Challenge Specific Agreement.

All competitors must submit their application through the submission form on this challenge page. Each eligible submission will then be evaluated using the criteria listed in the Screening Rubric. 


Screening Rubric

The Center Chair and Panel of Judges will review submissions and select the awardees based on the criteria below:

CriterionDescriptionOverall Weight
Innovation and originalityNovelty and originality of the research including new concepts, approaches, or perspectives and/or extension of existing knowledge gaps.35
Practical application at work and potential for impactPotential for scalability, sustainability, and general applicability of the research results to a broader context or population. Potential application of the research findings outside of the lab. Translatable into real-world work settings including BetterUp members, partners, coaches. 30
Methodological and ethical rigor Study design, data collection, and analysis techniques used, reliability of results in both the existing and proposed research. Ethical implications or considerations, particularly when applied outside of the lab.15
Significance of the researchThe significance of the existing and proposed research in addressing a set of specific problems related to the stated themes. Magnitude of the impact on addressing the problem or challenge at hand. 15
Communication clarityClarity and effectiveness of how the research has been communicated, both in the published paper(s) and in submission.5

Total

100

 


Milestones

The following estimated milestone timeline should be referenced while drafting your proposed research project's timeline. Note that the overall timeline for your proposed research should be confined to 18 months.

 Grand Prize (1) Distinction Award (2) 
 

Deliverable/Activities

Optional weekly syncs with BetterUp Labs

$$$

Deliverable/Activities

Optional bi-monthly syncs with BetterUp Labs

$$$

April 2024 

Winner Announcement

Winning proposal$100KWinning proposal$50k
July 2024Report 1: 
Data collection and analysis plan
 Report 1: 
Data collection and analysis plan
 
October 2024Report 2: 
Progress report
 Report 2: 
Progress report
 
January 2025Report 3: 
Outcomes/ Impact Assessment
 Report 3: 
Outcomes/ Impact Assessment
 
April 2025Preliminary Findings Presentation Preliminary Findings Presentation 
July 2025Final Report and dissemination plan Final Report and dissemination plan 
Total $100K $50K (x2)

 


Submission Form

QuestionTypeDetails

Character Count

Default Questions   
TitleText (One Line)Give your submission a title.

50 

Short DescriptionText (Multiple Lines) 

140

Your TeamText (One Line)Give your team a name and identify the organization(s) represented by your team

250

Team InformationText (multiple lines)Please list your team members, their educational backgrounds, and their roles within your team’s structure. Please ensure that your team captain on the HeroX website is also the leader and main point of contact for your team. 

1000

Eligibility Various questions to certify authorship of the original research and other eligibility criteria as outlined in the Challenge Specific Agreement 
Your Submission  

Character Count (not to exceed 5 pages)

Executive SummaryText with formatting (multiple lines)Provide a concise summary of your proposed solution, emphasizing its significance and innovation.

1,500 

(0.5 pages)

Challenge Theme AddressedDropdown

Select the specific challenge theme your proposed solution targets. Choices:

  •  Rethink purpose and performance
  •  Reimagine cultures of inclusion and well-being
  • Revolutionize management’s relationship with machines

n/a

Empirical Rigor of Prior ResearchText with formatting (multiple lines)Provide the published research article(s) that your proposal is based on including title, link, abstract, authors (which must include yourself), and affiliations. Ensure that the submitted research article(s) are directly accessible via the provided link or attachment.

1,500

(0.5 pages)

Proposed Research Extension/ApplicationText with formatting (multiple lines)Complete a proposal that builds upon research published within the last five years. Include a succinct statement about the importance of the proposed research's contribution to advancing the field of workplace performance and well-being. Clearly state the objectives and hypotheses of the proposed project and outline how the original research findings will be extended within the context of the proposed project.

3,000

(1 page)

Theme AlignmentText with formatting (multiple lines)

Demonstrate how the proposed research aligns with at least one of the provided themes: 

  • Rethink purpose and performance
  •  Reimagine cultures of inclusion and well-being
  • Revolutionize management’s relationship with machines

750

(0.25 pages)

Expected ImpactText with formatting (multiple lines)Provide a clear and specific explanation of the expected impact of the proposed research on organizational practices, outcomes, or individual well-being.

1,500

(0.5 pages)

Methods and sample requirementsText with formatting (multiple lines)Elaborate on how the data collected during the proposed research will be utilized beyond the research phase. Discuss plans for analyzing, presenting, and disseminating the findings to maximize impact and ensure that the research is grounded in rigorous scientific methods, data collection, and analysis techniques.

1,500

(0.5 pages)

Statement of research ethics and diversity considerationsText with formatting (multiple lines)Proposals should address ethical implications related to the proposed interventions and specify the importance of adherence to rigorous scientific methods, data collection, and analysis techniques.

750

(0.25 pages)

Research TimelineText with formatting (multiple lines)Include key milestones, anticipated dates for data collection, analysis, and completion of the project.

1,500

(0.5 pages)

BudgetFile Upload (Excel/PDF)Detail and additional costs associated with the proposed research project. 

 


Official Challenge Rules

Please refer to the Challenge Specific Agreement that will be linked below.

Timeline
Updates12

Challenge Updates

Thank you for Your Submissions!

Feb. 19, 2024, 2:30 p.m. PST by Shane Jenkins

And just like that, it’s over! Thank you to all of you who sent in submissions. We can’t wait to finally see what you’ve been working so hard on. 

Crowdsourcing would be nothing without the crowd — that’s you! Thank you for being an indispensable part of this process, and using your brainpower for the greater good.

Congratulations on completing your submission. This is not an easy process, and you deserve a pat on the back for your hard work and dedication. Thank you!


8 Hours Left

Feb. 19, 2024, 7 a.m. PST by Shane Jenkins

You now have less than a day left to submit to the Center for Purpose and Performance Prize challenge. Now’s the time to make final changes and send it off!

Please remember that the deadline is February 15, 2024 at 5:00pm Eastern Time. We don’t accept any late submissions, so do your best to get it in ahead of time.

We can’t wait to see what you’ve come up with! Best of luck.


Two Day Warning

Feb. 17, 2024, 9 a.m. PST by Shane Jenkins

The time has almost come! You now have two days left to finish your Center for Purpose and Performance Prize submission. The final project is due on February 15, 2024 at 5:00pm Eastern Time.

We don’t accept any late submissions, so now is the time to make sure that everything is good to go. Double check file formats and make sure that all of your project components are easily accessible.

We are more than happy to answer your last-minute questions about the submission process. Post a question in the forum or leave a comment on this post, and we will be in touch with you.

We can’t wait to see the final projects. Good luck!


Attention: CPP Prize Submission Deadline Extension

Feb. 12, 2024, 11 p.m. PST by Shane Jenkins

Hello there, Center for Purpose and Performance Prize researchers and innovators.

The team over at BetterUp would like to offer the entire community a short extension to the challenge's submission deadline. Instead of taking place this Thursday February 15th at 5:00pm ET, the new submission deadline has been updated to Monday February 19th at 5:00pm ET.

This should hopefully allow you and your team one more weekend to put the final touches on your submission and to ensure that you are able to submit well in advance of the submission deadline. This new submission deadline will be reflected elsewhere on this webpage as well. Please feel free to comment below or in the challenge forum with further questions.


1 Week Warning

Feb. 8, 2024, 9 a.m. PST by Shane Jenkins

This is your one week warning! The final submission deadline is February 15, 2024 at 5:00pm Eastern Time (New York/USA). No late submissions will be accepted, so make sure to give yourself plenty of buffer time.

If there’s anything you’re unsure about, there is still time to ask for help. Post on the discussion forum or leave a comment on this post. We’ll keep an eye out for your questions.

We can’t wait to see what you’ve been working on. Best of luck finishing up your submissions!


Forum13
Teams288
FAQ
The Center Judges