Mood Challenge for ResearchKit Calls for Proposals

    • April 6, 2016
The Mood Challenge for ResearchKit

Princeton, N.J.—The Mood Challenge for ResearchKit calls upon researchers and technologists to submit proposals for ResearchKit studies that will further our understanding of mood and how it relates to daily life. The Challenge, a New Venture Fund program funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and powered by Luminary Labs, will award $500,000 and provide finalists with expert mentorship and piloting opportunities. ResearchKit, an open source software framework designed by Apple, turns iPhone into a powerful tool for medical research by helping doctors, scientists, and other researchers gather data more frequently and more accurately from participants anywhere in the world.

iPhone, through the use of ResearchKit, provides an unprecedented opportunity to investigate mood through the collection of active and passive data. Semi-finalists and finalists will contribute developments back to the open source community, making their submissions available for use in future ResearchKit studies. Entrants are encouraged to go beyond measuring the surface level of what we call emotion and mood to explore contextual factors and social determinants—such as weather, pollution, access to food, sleep, and social connectedness—that relate to mood.

“We think platforms like ResearchKit have the potential to revolutionize how research is conducted, and we’re launching this competition to help explore that,” said RWJF President and CEO Risa-Lavizzo-Mourey. “We know that mood is one of the keys to health, but much more can be learned about the relationship between mood and the many social and economic factors that affect it, and our health. We’re thrilled to help advance research in this field that will help build a Culture of Health in America.”

Proposals for ResearchKit studies will be accepted through May 22, 2016. Five semi-finalists will receive $20,000 each and have the opportunity to develop their proposals into app designs during the Virtual Accelerator, which includes an in-person boot camp to help with the development of their designs. Following the Virtual Accelerator, two finalists will receive $100,000 and move ahead to the Finalist Incubation and Testing phase, during which teams will fully develop their designs into prototypes. Following testing, one winner will be chosen to receive $200,000 to continue development and, finally, submit to the App Store.

For a complete list of Challenge rules and to submit a proposal, visit:

Follow the Challenge:


About THE New Venture Fund

The New Venture Fund, a 501(c)(3) established in 2006, conducts public interest projects and provides professional insight and support to institutions and individuals seeking to foster change through strategic philanthropy. It helps donors and social entrepreneurs launch new projects quickly and effectively, collaborate efficiently, and develop high-impact grant-making programs. NVF offers domestic and international grant-making support, executes donor-developed projects, and provides full fiscal sponsorship, including grants and contracts management for innovative public-interest projects. To date, it has run close to 300 domestic and international projects across a range of issues, including global health and development, conservation, education, civic engagement, women’s empowerment, disaster recovery, and music and the arts.


About the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

For more than 40 years the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has worked to improve health and health care. We are working with others to build a national Culture of Health enabling everyone in America to live longer, healthier lives. For more information, visit Follow the Foundation on Twitter at or on Facebook at

Media Contacts

Melissa Blair

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (609) 627-5937

From The Blog

Measuring Mood for Apple’s ResearchKit

RWJF's Paul Tarini discusses the Mood Challenge for ResearchKit, a competition designed to further the understanding of mood and how it relates to daily life.

Read the blog post