Overview | Announcements | Competition Schedule

The Antimicrobial Resistance Diagnostic Challenge is a $20 million federal prize competition seeking innovative, rapid point-of-care laboratory diagnostic tests to combat the development and spread of drug resistant bacteria. A rising public health problem, antibiotic resistant bacteria cause at least 2 million infections and 23,000 deaths each year in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  The Challenge calls for new, innovative, and novel laboratory diagnostic tests that identify and characterize antibiotic resistant bacteria and/or distinguish between viral and bacterial infections to reduce unnecessary uses of antibiotics, a major cause of antibiotic resistance. With real-time detection, healthcare providers would be able to identify infecting pathogens and resistance factors within hours, rather than days, and use the knowledge to tailor treatment to each individual.

The Challenge is a joint effort between the National Institutes of Health and the HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) in support of the National Action Plan for Combating Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria. NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and ASPR’s Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) are each contributing $10 million to the Challenge. The Challenge also was developed with technical and regulatory expertise from the CDC, Food and Drug Administration, and NIH Office of the Director.

For more information about the challenge or how to apply, please visit the challenge website.


January 29, 2019
Notice to Announce Requirements and Registration for Step 3 of Antimicrobial Resistance Rapid, Point-of-Need Diagnostic Test Challenge

January 9, 2019
Notice of Information: Updates on clarifications of several components of the Challenge competition posted within the Federal Register

December 3, 2018
Antimicrobial Resistance Diagnostic Challenge names five finalists

May 3, 2017
Notice of Correction for Announcement of Requirements and Registration for "Antimicrobial Resistance Rapid, Point-of-Need Diagnostic Test" Challenge (2017-08920)

March 27, 2017
Antimicrobial Resistance Diagnostic Challenge selects 10 semifinalists in first phase of competition

October 3, 2016
Notice of Correction for Announcement of Requirements and Registration for "Antimicrobial Resistance Rapid, Point-of-Care Diagnostic Test" Challenge (NOT-OD-17-004)

September 8, 2016
Federal prize competition seeks innovative ideas to combat antimicrobial resistance
Announcement of Antimicrobial Resistance Rapid, Point-of-Care Diagnostic Test Challenge Competition (NOT-OD-16-137)

October 7, 2015
Public Consultation on Antimicrobial Resistance Rapid, Point-of-Care Diagnostic Test Challenge

September 18, 2014
NIH Director’s Statement on Prize for Diagnostic Devices to Identify Antimicrobial Resistant Bacterial Infections


Step One: Initial Concepts Submitted and Semifinalists Selected

From all submitted concepts, 10 semifinalists were selected, each receiving $50,000 to develop prototypes and analytical data for their diagnostic devices. More information about the concept submissions can be found here.

Deadline for Letter of Intent: December 23, 2016
Deadline for submissions: January 9, 2017
Semifinalists selected: March 27, 2017

Step Two: Finalists Selected

Five finalists were selected to receive $100,000 each to develop and supply their prototypes for testing by two CLIA-certified independent laboratories.  

Deadline for Letter of Intent: August 3, 2018
Deadline for submissions: September 4, 2018
Finalist selection: December 3, 2018

Step Three: Winner(s) Selected

Up to three winners will share an amount equal or greater than $19 million to further develop their prototypes. FAQs for Step 3 can be found here.

Deadline for submissions: January 3, 2020
Winner(s) selected: July 31, 2020