The Open Science Prize Logo Wins Open Science Prize! 

Congratulations to Trevor Bedford, Richard Neher, and their team, winners of the grand prize of $230,000. The Open Science Prize is a collaboration between the National Institutes of Health, Wellcome Trust, and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute to unleash the power of open content and data to advance biomedical research and its application for health benefit. 

To read the official press release, click here.

The Winners

Real-Time Evolutionary Tracking for Pathogen Surveillance and Epidemiological Investigation

Try out the prototype:

The goal of this project is to promote open sharing of viral genomic data and harness this data to make epidemiologically actionable inferences. The team will develop an integrated framework for real-time molecular epidemiology and evolutionary analysis of emerging epidemics, such as Ebola virus, MERS-CoV and Zika virus. The project will use an online visualization platform where the outputs of statistical analyses can be used by public health officials for epidemiological insights within days of samples being taken from patients.

Find out more about the winning prototype

The Prize

In the first phase of the Open Science Prize, six international teams received prizes to develop innovative tools or services that seek to unleash the power of data to advance discovery and improve health.

In the second phase, public input for the award was gathered via a global public voting portal. This public voting phase narrowed the six finalists to three top contenders who went forward to the next stage of review. Find out more about all six teams and their prototypes below.

We received 3,730 votes from voters representing 76 countries, highlighted in the map below. See a list of the countries.

Public Announcement of Phase II Finalists 

Public voting is now closed. Thank you to everyone who voted. The 3 prototypes which scored highest and will therefore be going forward to the next stage of review are (in alphabetical order):

MyGene2: Accelerating Gene Discovery with Radically Open Data Sharing


Real-Time Evolutionary Tracking for Pathogen Surveillance and Epidemiological Investigation

We will now collect expert reviews of these 3 prototypes. We anticipate announcing the winner of the Grand Prize in early March 2017. 

Enabling Discoveries for Health – Let's Harness the Innovative Power of Open Data

The Office of the Associate Director of Data Science (ADDS) is proud to announce the inaugural Open Science Prize, an international scientific challenge competition designed to encourage and support the prototyping and development of services, tools, and/or platforms that enable open content – including publications, datasets, code, and other research outputs – to be discovered, accessed, and re-used in ways that will advance research, spark innovation, and generate new societal benefits.

The Open Science Prize is a unique multinational partnership between the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the U.K.-based Wellcome Trust, and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute to unleash the power of open content and data to advance biomedical research and its application for health benefit. It also aims to forge new international collaborations that bring together open science innovators to develop services and tools of benefit to the global research community.

The Open Science Prize consists of a two-phase competition. For Phase I, international teams will compete for funding to take their ideas for new products or services to the prototype stage or to further develop an existing early-stage prototype. Six prizes of $80,000 each will be awarded to successful teams to develop their innovation over an eight to nine month period. In Phase II, the Phase I team finalist judged to have the prototype with the greatest potential to advance open science will receive a grand prize of $230,000.

For details about the Open Science Prize and to view the full gallery of applicants, click here.

Public Announcement of Phase I Finalists

The Open Science Prize Phase I finalists were announced publicly at the 7th Health Datapalooza in Washington, DC on May 9, 2016 at 10:20am EST during the morning plenary session. The announcement was delivered by the NIH Associate Director for Data Science, Dr. Philip E. Bourne, and Wellcome Trust Director of Strategy, Clare Matterson.

To read the official press release, click here.

Our Six Finalists (teams listed in no particular order)

Fruit Fly Brain Observatory

Open Neuroimaging Laboratory

MyGene2: Accelerating Gene Discovery with Radically Open Data Sharing

OpenAQ: A Global Community Building the First Open, Real-Time Air Quality Data Hub for the World

Real-Time Evolutionary Tracking for Pathogen Surveillance and Epidemiological Investigation


Competition Schedule

Phase I application deadline: 
February 29, 2016

Phase I judging completed:  
April 30, 2016

Phase I finalists announced:
May 9, 2016

Phase II applications deadline:
December 1, 2016

Public voting period:
December 1, 2016 through 11:59pm PST January 6, 2017

Phase II finalists announced:
January 9, 2017

Grand prize winner announced:
February 28, 2017

Open Science Prize Sponsors

The Open Science Prize is made possible through a collaboration between NIH and the Wellcome Trust. The Howard Hughes Medical Institute, is also contributing funds to Wellcome Trust for the effort. The NIH effort is part of the Big Data to Knowledge (BD2K) Initiative, launched in December 2013 as a trans-NIH program with funding from all 27 institutes and centers as well as the NIH Common Fund.


NIH Logo




About the National Institutes of Health (NIH):  NIH, the nation's medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary Federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases.  For more information about NIH and its programs, visit NIH…Turning Discovery Into Health®


Wellcome Trust Logo



About the Wellcome Trust:  The Wellcome Trust is a global charitable foundation dedicated to improving health that supports bright minds in science, the humanities, and the social sciences as well as education, public engagement, and the application of research to medicine. Its investment portfolio allows for the independence to support such transformative work as the sequencing and understanding of the human genome, research that established front-line drugs for malaria, and Wellcome Collection, a free venue for the incurably curious to explore medicine, life, and art.


Howard Hughes Medical Institute Logo




About the Howard Hughes Medical Institute:  The Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) plays a powerful role in advancing scientific research and education in the United States. Its scientists, located across the country and around the world, have made important discoveries that advance both human health and our fundamental understanding of biology. The Institute also aims to transform science education into a creative, interdisciplinary endeavor that reflects the excitement of real research. HHMI's headquarters are located in Chevy Chase, Maryland, just outside Washington, DC.


This page last reviewed on September 4, 2018