7-10 winners 
Up to $10,000 will be awarded to each winner
Submission Period: November 9, 2015 – January 29, 2016

Submit your best ideas to help parents and caregivers to talk—and engage in more back and forth interactions—with their young children. Submissions should demonstrate that the proposed intervention could be used across diverse backgrounds and easily put into action.


In five pages or less, your Phase 1 submission must include the following sections:

  1. A one paragraph summary of your proposed intervention;

  2. Background information showing evidence to support your idea;

  3. A description of how you arrived at your idea;

  4. A description of the methods and technologies to be used when implementing the intervention, and;

  5. An evaluation demonstrating your ability to implement the proposed intervention in Phase 2 (Development and Small-Scale Testing) and Phase 3 (Scaling).

The above sections are also outlined in the required applicant submission form. 

Please note that for Phase 1, HRSA will accept ideas for a proposed intervention or a description of an existing intervention. For existing interventions, you should describe how you adapted or improved upon the existing intervention for participation in this Challenge. For all phases, submission requirements will be the same for new ideas as for existing interventions.



  • Will the proposed intervention be easily used by parents and caregivers of diverse economic, social, and cultural backgrounds? Is it functional across disciplines/users?


  • Will the effectiveness of the proposed intervention be easy to evaluate (in both lab testing and in the real world)? Can it be measured among different audiences?


  • Is the proposed intervention “sticky?” Does it fit into daily life? Is it fun to use?


  • Is there a theory or explanation of how the proposed intervention would lead to behavior change?

Development and Small-Scale Testing

3-5 winners will be selected
Up to $25,000 will be awarded to each winner
Submission Period: March 11, 2016 – August 11, 2016 

The winners from Phase 1 of the prize competition will then advance to Phase 2, where they will focus on prototyping their proposed intervention and testing its effectiveness. Both the evidence base for their proposed intervention and its usefulness should be demonstrated. 

Mentors will be available to help participants design appropriate testing methodologies and to provide more information about the evidence base.



  • What was the impact of the proposed intervention on parents/caregivers and children? What did the data show?


  • Is the proposed intervention grounded in existing science related to the word gap, behavior change, etc.?


  • Was the proposed intervention “sticky” among users? Did users want to continually engage with the program?


  • Is the proposed intervention practical? If it were implemented, what would the estimated financial and time commitment look like?


1 winner will be selected
Up to $100,000 will be awarded
Submission Period: September 26, 2016 – March 26, 2017

In the final phase, winners of Phase 2 will test their proposed interventions on a larger scale. With the help of Challenge organizers, each intervention will be matched with an appropriate community or program.

This will show:

  • the scalability of the intervention at low-cost,

  • the feasibility of implementation, and

  • the impact on the intended outcomes.



  • How effective was the intervention when implemented at-scale? Did the impact(s) on parents/caregivers from Phase 2 remain consistent?


  • How practical was the intervention on a larger scale? What were the financial and time commitment requirements for implementation of the model?

  • How challenging was the actual program implementation?


  • How costly was the intervention in a real-world setting? Would the intervention be cost-effective overall?

  • Can the device be used in existing platforms?