Pandemic Response CoLab is in read-only mode.
Learn more at
Skip navigation

Retooling methods of scientific communication


Question: How can we validate and communicate science and data in a way that is trusted, faster, and understandable?
View Contributions:
Submit Contributions:
Rules: All entrants must agree to the Challenge rules and Terms of Use
Deadline: Friday, Jan 15, 2021 at 23:59:00 PM Eastern Standard Time
Judging Criteria & Prizes: See below.

Key Issues

Some areas of opportunity to consider are:


How we can develop novel ways to share data globally.


How we can incentivize rapid reproduction and validation of critical research.


How we can accelerate the validation and sharing of scientific insights.


How we can improve communication within the scientific community.


How we can accelerate peer review processes while maintaining high standards of scientific rigor.


How we can build trust in scientific information and new forms of communication, especially in communities who have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic.


How we can use existing communication channels to share scientific insights with a broader audience.


How we can re-design or build new institutions that the public can trust.


How we can reduce the spread of miscommunication.


How we can ensure a consistent flow of validated information.


How we can make scientific information understandable for everyone.


How we can encourage communication between scientists and the general public.


How we can improve scientists’ communication skills.

Judging Criteria

Subject matter experts will evaluate the solutions submitted to the challenge to identify possible promising ideas. Sometimes there is one who stands above the rest, and sometimes there are two to three. This is not a typical challenge where there are winners and losers. We are hoping to build a much more inclusive and collaborative platform to encourage others to cross-pollinate ideas and work together.


There may be some novel and promising solutions that will emerge and those will receive the following: 


1) Visibility in the form of an announcement by MIT Pandemic Response CoLab on MIT News;


2) A badge for their social media platforms and Pandemic Response CoLab that shows they were selected as a “Most Promising Solution” by experts;


Personal mentorship (minimum three months)

Free ticket to attend Curious2021 Future Insight Conference, hosted by Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany

A spot at the 2021 Innovation Cup*, hosted by Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany

*Applicants must be postgraduate students in the life sciences working towards a PhD in biology, medicine, biotech, bioinformatics, computer science, data science, biochemistry, chemistry, pharmacy, engineering or related fields. Postdoctoral students, advanced MBA students or recent MBA graduates with an interest in the pharmaceutical business and a background in life sciences are also welcome. This program is not open to healthcare professionals.