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Prize Challenge Seeking Ideas for New Approach Methodologies to Transform Biomedical Research
Data Ecosystem (diagram): in vitro, in silico, in chemico.

The NIH Common Fund has teamed up with NASA’s Tournament Lab to launch the Complement Animal Research In Experimentation, or Complement-ARIE Challenge, a crowdsourcing competition for innovative ideas on New Approach Methodologies, or NAMs. With up to $1,000,000 in total prizes, the NIH is seeking ideas for new ways of conducting basic research, uncovering disease mechanisms, and translating knowledge into products and practice.

While traditional research models currently remain indispensable in some contexts, there is a growing realization that human-based NAMs, such as microphysiological systems and digital models, offer unique advantages. They can provide insights into human biology that were previously elusive, answering complex biomedical questions with greater precision. However, because these human-based models are relatively young in the field of biomedical research, the NIH Common Fund is seeking the public’s help in transforming and elevating these promising methods.

The NIH Common Fund is hosting this challenge as part of the strategic planning process for a potential new program: Complement-ARIE. This program concept is aimed at development, standardization, validation, and use of new approaches that will more accurately model human biology and complement, or in some cases, replace traditional models. This challenge will provide NIH with information about where innovation can be incorporated into NAMS and what types of new NAMs science may benefit from further investment.

Solvers are tasked with describing their innovative solutions through the submission form on the challenge website. Forming a powerful team and submitting a novel concept that is both feasible and impactful will be essential to winning in the challenge.

NIH has contracted with HeroX to support the design, implementation, and management of the challenge through a contract awarded by the NASA Tournament Lab.

The Challenge: The Complement-ARIE Challenge asks the public to propose their novel ideas for transforming methodologies in human-based biomedical research. Out-of-the-box solutions are encouraged from participants of any background.

The Prize: Up to 20 participants/teams who submit the top solutions will each receive $50,000 in prize money.

Eligibility to Compete and Win Prize(s): The prize is open to anyone aged 18 or older participating as an individual or as a team, so long as the team captain is an American citizen or legal permanent resident. Other team members may originate from any country, as long as United States federal sanctions do not prohibit participation (some restrictions apply, see Guidelines for full details). 

To accept the challenge, visit

Do you have a question about the challenge? Email:

This page last reviewed on November 14, 2023