Regeneron

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The DNA Diversity Challenge

Help Regeneron address health inequity by sharing your big ideas for increasing Black American participation in genetics research
stage:
Enter
prize:
$17,500
Partners
Overview

Challenge Overview

Increasing Black representation in genomics research will directly contribute to medical advances and related health benefits for people with African ancestry. Bridging the gaps that keep participation in DNA-related research low is one way to help achieve health equity. 

We are looking for new ideas on how to increase participation of Black Americans in genomics research. 

Regeneron is a leading biotechnology company that invents life-transforming medicines for people with serious diseases. Base 11 is a non-profit, workforce and entrepreneur development company on a mission to close the STEM gap and build a sustainable middle class in America. Together, Regeneron and Base 11 seek the help of young changemakers like you to increase the participation of Black Americans in genomics research by addressing any of these key known barriers: access, awareness, and trust. Your new ideas will shape the way Regeneron and collaborators from across the healthcare, academic and nonprofit sectors can bring their unique strengths together to make this happen. 

The DNA Diversity Challenge (the “Challenge”) is sponsored by Regeneron  Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (“Sponsor”).  To participate in the Challenge, complete all required fields in the entry form (the “Submission”) and follow the specific instructions in the Guidelines tab above.   There will be multiple winners and the total value of prizes to be awarded is $17,500.  As a part of the Submission, you can respond to one or both of the following questions:

 

  • Influencer Challenge - Prompt 1: How would you persuade a person of African ancestry who is close to you that it’s worthwhile to participate in genomics research? Document and share with us how you would influence someone to participate.

This prompt might be for you if you are feeling creative, and like working in video, audio, still images or written word. It won’t require much research - just a good pitch! 

 

  • Collaboration Challenge – Prompt 2: Propose innovative ways that a cross-sector collaboration (for example, from biotech, healthcare, education, and/or nonprofit sectors) could work together to increase participation of Black Americans in genomics research by addressing issues of access, awareness, or trust.

This prompt is for you if you like reaching lots of people. It’s a bigger prompt, and involves some research, strategy, and idea generation.

Submissions to each of the questions above will be judged only against other Submissions for that particular question. LIMIT: three (3) Submissions per person or team.  Those who do not follow all of the instructions, provide the required information in their Submission, or abide by these Official Rules or other instructions of Sponsor may be disqualified.  Sponsor is not responsible for lost, late, illegible, misdirected, mutilated, or incomplete, entries.

 

Guidelines

Challenge Guidelines

 

The promise of genomics research

Genomics is the study of the ways genes interact with each other and the environment to influence a variety of traits and characteristics. Genes play an important role in virtually every aspect of human health and health outcomes, including infectious diseases and many complex conditions such as cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. By contributing to better understanding of these relationships, genomics research is the foundation for advancements in medicines and healthcare. 

Increasing Black American representation in genomics research will directly contribute to medical advances and related health benefits for people with African ancestry. Bridging the barriers that keep participation low is one way to help achieve health equity for Black Americans. 

 

What’s the problem?

Research in human genetics has a complicated past. One legacy is that Black Americans are under-represented in genomics research. This leaves significant gaps in scientific knowledge, and contributes to current and future health disparities across different racial and ethnic groups. Intentional action is needed to change this dynamic. Regeneron is working with cross-sector collaborators to actively improve access to the benefits of genomic research for people of African ancestry. 

This Challenge focuses on three known factors that limit the participation of Black Americans in genomic research: access, awareness, and trust.

 

Access

Bias in medical research and trial design cause and perpetuate inequities. Research design influences who can or will participate in research. Studies are often designed to make things easy for researchers, while ignoring real-life hurdles for potential participants. This is one reason why Black Americans have been under-represented at all stages of DNA-related research, and in many cases not even asked to participate. 

 

Awareness 

Factual information about genomics research is not always available, or not communicated in ways that work for most people. Misinformation spreads easily, and can increase concerns about costs, safety, privacy, and worries about discrimination from insurers or employers. The benefits of genomics research are not always communicated in ways that are meaningful, leaving many people without compelling reasons to participate.

 

Trust 

It is not surprising that trust influences participation in genomics research. There are many examples of how research in human genetics has reflected and perpetuated racial injustice. Individuals, families and communities may share skepticism about how data will be stored, who will have access, and how information might be used now or in the future. Negative experiences with healthcare providers, insurers, and pharmaceutical companies also influence who is willing to participate in research, regardless of the potential benefits.

 

The DNA Diversity Challenge

Regeneron is working to improve medicine for all. Regeneron and its collaborator, Base 11, seek the help of young changemakers like you to increase the participation of Black Americans in genomics research by addressing any of these key known barriers: access, awareness, and trust. Your ideas will shape the ways Regeneron and collaborators from across the healthcare, academic and nonprofit sectors combine their unique strengths to support increased participation of Black Americans in genomics research. 

There are two ways to get involved:

 

  1. Influencer Challenge- Prompt 1  : How could you persuade someone of African ancestry who is close to you that it’s worthwhile to participate in genomics research? Document, and share with us how you would influence someone to participate.

This challenge might be for you if you are feeling creative. Submissions are accepted in video, audio, still image or written formats. It won’t require much research - just a good pitch! $1,000 will be awarded to up to five participants who share compelling and persuasive submission. 

 

  1. Collaboration Challenge – Prompt 2: Propose innovative ways that a cross-sector collaboration (for example, from biotech, healthcare, education, and/or nonprofit sectors) could work together to increase participation of Black Americans in genomics research by addressing issues of access, awareness, or trust.

This prompt is for you if you like reaching lots of people. It’s a bigger prompt , and involves some research, strategy, and idea generation. $16,500 will be awarded to up to six participants who share a great idea, and explain how and why the idea could succeed. 

 

Prize

We encourage submissions from young changemakers and early career innovators. Prizes for each Challenge question will be awarded as follows:

 

Influencer Challenge- Prompt 1 Prizes 

Winners  

Award 

Total

1st 

$500 

$500

Runners Up (up to 4 winners)

$125 

$500

Total Prize Purse  

$1,000

 

Collaboration Challenge – Prompt 2 Prizes 

Winners  

Award 

Total

1st 

$6,000 

$6,000

2nd (up to 2 winners)

$3,000 

$6,000

3rd  (up to 3 winners)

$1,500 

$4,500

Total Prize Purse  

$16,500

 

Judging Criteria

 

Influencer Challenge- Prompt 1  

All eligible entries will be judged according to the following criteria:

  • Persuasion 40%  Is the pitch persuasive? Does it hold the judges’ interest? Does it convey its message effectively in 90 seconds or less? Does the medium work well with the approach, message and target audience?
  • Originality 30% Do the judges learn something new? (e.g. about the problem, or the potential for using the medium to address this problem). Is the submission creative? Does it stand out from other submissions? Does it have a spark?
  • Alignment 30% Does the submission address the goals of the challenge? Is it clear from the submission who the intended audience is? Are the approach and message clear?

_______________________________________________________________

 

Collaboration Challenge – Prompt 2 

All eligible entries will be judged according to the following criteria:

  • Effectiveness 40% Is it clear that the idea could work? Would your target audience respond well to the approach? Would potential collaborators want to get involved? Can collaborators contribute their unique strengths? What is the scale of the potential impact — how many people or communities might benefit? Could it work in multiple settings? Are there risks — what could go wrong?
  • Originality 25% Is it a unique and creative approach? Does it use new ideas, or existing ideas in new ways? If this were successful, what else might become possible?
  • Feasibility 20% What special resources are needed to succeed? What would be the most difficult steps? Is there a path to success?
  • Alignment 15% Does the submission address the goals of the challenge? Is it clear from your submission which part of the issue are you focusing on? Is it clear why this is important?

 

Rules

 

Participation Eligibility:

The Challenge is open to all legal residents of the 50 United States and the District of Columbia who are at least 18 years of age or the age of majority in their state of residence, whichever is older. Submissions can be made by individuals, private teams, public teams, and collegiate teams who are residents of the United States. Submissions must be made in English. There is a maximum of five [5] team members per team.  All Challenge-related communication will be in English.

Individuals and teams should not be representing a for-profit business. Additionally, healthcare professionals are not eligible to participate – this includes Medical Doctors, Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine, Dentists, Podiatrists, Optometrists, Licensed Chiropractors, Physician Assistants, Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (including Nurse Practitioners, Certified Nurse Midwives, Clinical Nurse Specialists and Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists). 

Employees of Regeneron, Base11, HeroX, their affiliated companies, subsidiaries, vendors, agencies, and the immediate family members and members of the same residing in the household of any of the above are not eligible to enter or win.

To be eligible to compete, you must comply with all the terms of the Challenge as defined in the Challenge-Specific Agreement (collectively, these “Official Rules”).

 

Registration and Submissions:

Submissions must be made online (only), via upload to the HeroX.com website, on or before the Submission Deadline (see Timeline here[1] ). No late Submissions will be accepted.

This Challenge allows a maximum of three (3) Submissions per individual/team. Each Submission will be considered separately. Whether or not multiple entries from the same individual or team may be chosen for a prize is up to the discretion of the Sponsor. You are not required to submit multiple entries.

By submitting a Submission you warrant and represent that it: (a) is your original work, (b) has not been previously published, (c) has not won previous awards, (d) does not infringe upon the copyrights, trademarks, rights of privacy, publicity or other intellectual property or other rights of any person or entity; (e) that you have obtained permission from a person who's name, likeness or voice is used in the Submission and (f) and that publication of the Submission via various media, will not infringe on the rights of any third party rights. Any such entrant will indemnify and hold harmless, Sponsor from any claims to the contrary.  Any entrant whose Submission includes likenesses of third parties or contains elements not owned by the entrant (such as, but not limited to, depictions of persons, buildings, trademarks or logos) must be able to provide legal releases for such use including Sponsor’s use of such Submission, in a form satisfactory to administrator, upon request, prior to award of prize and/or naming of entrant as a winner.

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All Submissions must comply with the following requirements:

1. Submissions must not contain material that violates or infringes another’s rights, including without limitation, intellectual property rights infringement, privacy, or publicity;

2. Submissions must not disparage or adversely affect the name, brand image, reputation or goodwill of Sponsor or any other person or party affiliated with the Challenge;

3. Submissions must have permission from all individuals that appear or are referenced in any Submissions (if any) to use their name and likeness and to grant the rights set forth herein;

4. Submissions must not contain any viruses, worms, spy ware, or other components or instructions that are malicious, deceptive, or designed to limit or harm the functionality of a computer;  

5. Submissions must not contain material that is inappropriate, indecent, obscene hateful, tortious, defamatory, slanderous or libelous;

6. Submissions must not contain material that promotes bigotry, racism, hatred or harm against any group or individual or promotes discrimination based on race, gender, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or age; and

7. Submissions must not contain material that is unlawful or describes or depicts any unlawful activity.

 

Judging

The judging panel will be composed of Regeneron and Base 11 employees with expertise in advancing equity in health, education and/or community.

No information regarding judging deliberations or selections will be disclosed.

 

Intellectual Property Rights:

As detailed in the Challenge-Specific Agreement, if Challenge Sponsor notifies Innovator that Submission is eligible for a Prize, Innovator will be considered qualified as a finalist (“Finalist”). Submission of an entry grants Sponsor and its agents an unlimited, worldwide, perpetual, license and right to publish, use, publicly perform the Submission in any way, in any and all media, without limitation, and without consideration to the entrant. Except where prohibited by law, each winner grants (and agrees to confirm this grant in writing, if requested) permission for Sponsor and those acting under its authority to use his/her name, photograph, voice and/or likeness, for advertising and/or publicity purposes in any and all media now known or hereinafter invented without territorial or time limitations and without compensation. 

 

Awarding of the Prize:

Winners will be posted on the Innovator Challenge website -  [herox.com/dnadiversity].

The Individual Submitter or Team Captain is automatically designated as the Recipient of the prize monies. The Team Captain will also determine how the prize is distributed among other Team members. The Individual’s or Team Captain’s name must also match the Authorized Person on the receiving Bank Account . No changes are permitted to the prize Recipient after the Submission Deadline date. If you wish to change who would receive the prize monies, those changes must be completed prior to the Submission Deadline. View our Knowledge Base article here for how to change Team Captains.  Prizes are non-transferable,  Prize recipient cannot assign the payments.  Winners are only entitled to the awarded Prize. Potential winners are subject to verification, including verification of age.  If a potential winner is found not to be eligible or not in compliance with these Official Rules, or if any prize is returned as  undeliverable, the potential winner will be disqualified.  In the event that a potential winner is disqualified for any reason, Sponsor reserves the right to award the prize to an alternate entrant who will also be selected randomly, even if the disqualified potential winner’s name may have been publicly announced.  Sponsor is not responsible for any change of email address, mailing address and/or telephone number of entrants.

 

Taxes:

Prize winners will be solely responsible for all federal, state and/or local taxes, and for any other fees or costs associated with the prizes they receive, regardless of whether it, in whole or in part, are used .

Privacy:

Please see the privacy policy located at https://www.regeneron.com/privacy-policy for details of Sponsor's policy regarding the use of personal information collected in connection with this Challenge.  If you are selected as a winner, your information may also be included in a publicly-available winner’s list. 

 

Additional Information

  • By participating in the challenge, each competitor agrees to adhere to the HeroX Intellectual Integrity Policy and promises to submit only their original idea. Any indication of "copying" amongst competitors is grounds for disqualification.
  • All applications will go through a process of due diligence; any application found to be misrepresentative, plagiarized, or sharing an idea that is not their own will be automatically disqualified.
  • All ineligible applicants will be automatically removed from the competition with no recourse.
  • No purchase or payment of any kind is necessary to enter or win the competition.
  • Void wherever restricted or prohibited by law.

Sponsor reserves the right, in its sole discretion to cancel or suspend this Challenge should fraud, virus, bugs or other causes beyond the control of Sponsor corrupt the administration of the Challenge.  Sponsor is not responsible for computer system, phone line, hardware, software or program malfunctions, or other errors, failures or delays in computer transmissions or network connections that are human or technical in nature.  Sponsor reserves the right at its sole discretion, to disqualify any individual (and all of his or her entries) who tampers with the entry process.  Participants may not register with multiple email addresses nor may entrants use any other device or artifice to register multiple times or as multiple registrants. Any Participant who attempts to enter with multiple email addresses under multiple identities or uses any device or artifice to register/play multiple times will be disqualified and forfeits any and all prizes won, in Sponsor's discretion.  Judges’ decisions are final in all matter relating to this Challenge.

 

Limitations of Liability and Release:

As a condition of entering, entrants (or their parent or legal guardian if an eligible minor) agree (and agree to confirm in writing): (a) to release Sponsor, its affiliates, subsidiaries, retailers, sales representatives, distributors and each of their officers, directors, employees and agents (“Challenge Parties”), from any and all liability, loss or damage incurred with respect to the awarding, receipt, possession, and/or use or misuse of any prize, including any traveling related thereto (b) under no circumstances will entrant be permitted to obtain awards for, and participant hereby waives all rights to claim, punitive, incidental, consequential, or any other damages, other than for actual out-of-pocket expenses; (c) all causes of action arising out of or connected with this Challenge, or any prize awarded, shall be resolved individually, without resort to any form of class action; and (d) any and all claims, judgments, and award shall be limited to actual out-of-pocket costs incurred, excluding attorneys’ fees and court costs.   These Official Rules and the Challenge are governed by US law and are subject to all applicable federal, state and local laws and regulations. All issues and questions concerning the construction, validity, interpretation and enforceability of the Official Rules, or the rights and obligations of each entrant and Sponsor in connection with the Challenge, shall be governed by, and construed in accordance with, the laws of the State  of New York, U.S.A., without giving effect to the conflict of laws rules thereof, and any matters or proceedings shall take place in the State of New York.

 

Winners List:

The Winners will be announced and listed on the Innovator Challenge website – herox.com/dnadiversity.

Timeline
Updates2

Challenge Updates

Learn more about the DNA Diversity Challenge!

May 11, 2022, 2 p.m. PDT by Despina Maliaka

Watch the below webinar to learn more about the challenge and get the answers to some common questions.

Have a question that we didn't answer? Comment in the ​forum and we'll get back to you with a response.


Get talking on the forum

May 4, 2022, 9 a.m. PDT by Lulu

Feeling stuck? Have questions, thoughts, or ideas about the challenge so far, and need a place to take them? That’s what the forum is for.

The forum is a great way to gain insights and generate ideas about different aspects of the challenge. Use the forum to ask questions, help out your fellow innovators, and maybe even make a few friends along the way. 

You can browse through the forum to see what people have already been saying. To ask a question, click “New Topic” and write out your message.

HeroX checks the forum regularly, so it’s a good way to touch base with us directly.

See you on the forum!


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