Apply: New Wellcome Data Re-use Prizes to help unlock the value of research

Data re-use can generate new insights that in turn lead to vital health benefits. To stimulate and celebrate the innovative re-use of data, today we’re launching the Wellcome Data Re-use Prizes.

Woman looking at computer code

Credit: istock

Prize submissions are likely to be a piece of code or analysis, plus a short description of the work.

Wellcome is fully committed to ensuring that research outputs are made available to accelerate health benefits. This means that the researchers we support must maximise the availability of their data and other outputs with as few restrictions as possible.

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Making data available in a timely and responsible way ensures other researchers can verify it, build on it and use it to advance knowledge and make health improvements.

But we don’t want to encourage data sharing for its own sake – we want the data that is shared by our researchers to be re-used by others to generate new insights and tools.

That’s why we’re launching the Wellcome Data Re-use Prizes.

What we’re looking for – and what you could win

Entries have to generate a new insight, tool or health application from data available in an open data resource of Wellcome’s choosing.

There are two prizes, each based on a topic of strategic importance to Wellcome: AMR surveillance and malaria.

The winner of each prize will get £15,000. Two runners-up will get £5,000.

Wellcome Data Re-use Prize: AMR surveillance

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is one of the major public health concerns of this century.

The AMR Register is an open data resource launched in March 2018, following a pilot project funded by Wellcome’s Drug-resistant Infections programme and led by the Open Data Institute. The register has collected information from AMR surveillance programmes generated by the pharmaceutical industry.

Potential research questions entrants could explore are:

  • predicting AMR trends and linking pathogen resistance data to morbidity and mortality burden, and health economic costs of AMR, for example connecting with the Global Burden of Disease initiative
  • supplementing national-level data from low- and middle-income countries with industry-generated data to identify gaps in capability and capacity in those countries
  • integrating diverse surveillance datasets to develop a harmonised and comprehensive public health approach, for example connecting with WHO GLASS.

Key dates for the AMR Surveillance Prize

  • Registrations open: Monday 12 November 2018
  • Submission deadline: Thursday 28 February 2019
  • Winner announced: Monday 1 April 2019

Wellcome Data Re-use Prize: Malaria

The World Health Organization (WHO) considers nearly half the world’s population is at risk from malaria. In 2016 there were an estimated 216 million new cases and 445,000 deaths, mostly in sub-Saharan Africa.

The Malaria Atlas Project launched its Repository of Open Access Data (ROAD-MAP) resource in 2013, with support from a Wellcome Biomedical Resources grant, and then funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

It contains a wealth of data on malaria risk and intervention coverage – all of which is free to be accessed, re-analysed and re-used by anyone.

Potential research questions suggested by the ROAD-MAP team include:

  • exploring novel explanations for unattributed residual malaria transmission present in ROAD-MAP’s statistical models.
  • novel approaches to ‘down-scaling’ of areal incidence data provided by MAP for three endemic countries where case totals (corrected for treatment-seeking and reporting biases) are available at a range of spatial scales
  • visualising the measures of uncertainty associated with MAP’s typical modelled outputs.

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Key dates for the Malaria Prize

  • Registrations open: Monday 12 November 2018
  • Submission deadline: Friday 15 March 2019
  • Winner announced: Thursday 25 April 2019 (WHO World Malaria Day)

How to enter

Individuals and teams from anywhere in the world can register at two dedicated websites hosted by Synapse:

The sites have links to information, and tutorials about both of the data resources.

There’s also a discussion forum where contestants can discuss the prize, and find potential collaborators to form teams and work on the prize together.

Submissions to both prizes will be judged against specific success criteria including:

  • novelty
  • potential health impact
  • robustness of methodology.

The form submissions take is likely to be a piece of code or analysis, plus a short narrative description of the work undertaken and how it meets the success criteria.

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