The Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), announces its Decoding Maternal Morbidity Data Challenge to help advance research on maternal health and promote healthy pregnancies. The Challenge goal is to devise new ways of analyzing the large dataset from its Nulliparous Pregnancy Outcomes Study: Monitoring Mothers-to-be (nuMoM2b) to identify factors that impact maternal morbidity and severe maternal morbidity so that clinicians can more quickly and accurately identify and treat pregnancy-related conditions and prevent severe illness or death for a pregnant person. The total purse for the Challenge is $400,000.
Each year in the United States, more than 50,000 women experience severe maternal morbidity (SMM), unexpected outcomes of labor and delivery that result in significant short- or long-term health consequences, and many more experience maternal morbidity (MM), unexpected outcomes of labor and delivery that affect women’s health but are less significant. In addition, the United States has the highest ratio of maternal mortality among developed nations; according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Pregnancy Mortality Surveillance System, as of 2019 there were 16.7 deaths per 100,000 live births, a number that has been increasing since the surveillance began in 1987. Large disparities exist based on race/ethnicity and other factors.
The Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) mission is to lead research and training to understand human development, improve reproductive health, enhance the lives of children and adolescents, and optimize abilities for all. In support of this mission, NICHD conducted the Nulliparous Pregnancy Outcomes Study: Monitoring Mothers-to-be (nuMoM2b) to study nulliparous women, those for whom this pregnancy would lead to their first delivery. Potential adverse pregnancy outcomes among these women are less predictable because they have not given birth before and no prior data on how they respond to pregnancy is available. NuMoM2b began in 2010 and compiled data on more than 10,000 racially, ethnically, and geographically diverse participants. Data collection began in the 6th week of pregnancy and continued through delivery. Collected data include interviews, questionnaires, clinical measurements, patient charts, and biological specimens.
Through the Decoding Maternal Morbidity Data Challenge, NICHD seeks innovative approaches to identify new areas of research on SMM and MM from the nuMoM2b dataset. NICHD invites scientists and teams of scientists to use novel computational analysis, data mining, or unique learning approaches on the data to identify factors that impact SMM and MM so that clinicians can more quickly and accurately diagnose and treat pregnancy-related conditions and prevent severe illness and death among pregnant people.
Total Cash Prize Pool
Up to seven (7) winners will be selected, with each winning $50,000.
Up to five (5) additional prizes of $10,000 will be awarded to winning solutions that address MM in at-risk racial and ethnic groups.
Winners may be given the opportunity to present their solution at a symposium. NICHD will not provide travel funds for the event.
Award Approving Official
The Award Approving Official will be Dr. Diana Bianchi, NICHD Director.
Payment of the Prize
Prizes awarded under this Challenge will be paid by electronic funds transfer and may be subject to Federal income taxes. All payments will be made to U.S. bank accounts only. HHS/NIH will comply with the Internal Revenue Service withholding and reporting requirements, where applicable.
NIH reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to (a) cancel, suspend, or modify the Challenge, or any part of it, for any reason, and/or (b) not award any prizes if no submissions are deemed worthy.