The National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering is challenging biomedical engineering student teams to design innovative solutions to unmet health and clinical problems.

The National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) DEBUT Challenge is open to teams of undergraduate students working on projects that develop innovative solutions to unmet health and clinical problems. Entries are solicited in one of the following categories:

•   Diagnostic Devices/Methods
•   Therapeutic Devices/Methods
•   Technology to Aid Underserved Populations and Individuals with Disabilities

NIBIB’s mission is to improve health by leading the development and accelerating the application of biomedical technologies.  The goals of the challenge are 1) to provide undergraduate students valuable experiences such as working in teams, identifying unmet clinical needs, and designing, building and debugging solutions for such open-ended problems; 2) to generate novel, innovative tools to improve healthcare, consistent with NIBIB’s purpose to support research, training, the dissemination of health information, and other programs with respect to biomedical imaging and engineering and associated technologies and modalities with biomedical applications; and 3) to highlight and acknowledge the contributions and accomplishments of undergraduate students.

For further details and updates about the challenge, visit contact Dr. Zeynep Erim at

View full rules


Please read the full rules for eligibility.


Please read the full rules for submission requirements.

How to enter

  1. Create an account on or log in to an existing account. Every member of your team must create an account.
  2. Read and agree to the Terms of Participation.
  3. Complete NIBIB DEBUT Challenge Cover Page (downloadable from listing project title, team member information and challenge category the entry is submitted under.
  4. Read the Official Rules for the challenge and acknowledge your understanding and acceptance of these Rules by signing the NIBIB DEBUT Challenge Certification Form (downloadable from
  5. Obtain a letter from a faculty member from the Biomedical Engineering, Bioengineering or similar department who is familiar with your team and your entry. The letter must verify that the entry was achieved by the named student team, which must be enrolled full-time in an undergraduate curriculum during the academic year 2012-2013.  The faculty letter must also describe clearly any contribution from the advisor or any other individual outside the Student Team.
  6. Submit your entry as a single pdf file that includes the DEBUT Cover Page, Challenge Certification Form, the faculty letter, and the project descritption. Be sure to complete all the required fields on the submission page (which will be available once the challenge has opened to entries).


NIH Staff

NIH Staff

Judging Criteria

  • Significance of the problem addressed
    Does the project address an important problem or a critical barrier to progress in clinical care or research?
  • Impact on potential users and clinical care
    How likely is it that the project will exert a sustained, powerful influence on the problem and medical field addressed?
  • Innovative design
    Creativity and originality of concept: Does the entry utilize novel theoretical concepts, approaches or methodologies, or instrumentation?
  • Working prototype
    Has evidence been provided (in the form of results, graphs, photographs, films, etc.) that a working prototype has been achieved that implements the design concept and produces targeted results?