What is BeHEARD?
The BeHEARD (Helping Empower and Accelerate Research Discoveries) Challenge provides technology and financial grants for rare disease research. This competition is hosted annually by the Rare Genomics Institute and is open globally to researchers, foundations, or anyone whose research is constrained due to limited resources. Families with a child afflicted with a rare disease will have the opportunity to work with a network of academic researchers to develop research proposals tailored to advancing treatments for their child’s disease.
How It Works
We partner with companies to provide technology grants such as mouse models, genome analysis software, and cell lines. Applicants select one or more technologies that they think would benefit their research, and submit a proposal for each technology. Research proposals are evaluated by an expert panel of scientists, RG staff, and company representatives, who determine winners for each technology based on the technology’s fit with the research and the potential for the research to advance rare disease treatments. All winners of the technology prizes are entered into a competition for our cash research grants, which come from company and RG funding. The winners of the cash grants are determined by a combination of Facebook voting and our expert panel.
In 2015, BeHEARD received 120 applications from researchers and organizations in 21 different countries. We awarded over $600,000 worth of technologies to support research for 31 rare diseases. Since the first BeHEARD competition in 2012, we have raised over $1.2 million dollars in technology and cash grants that has gone directly to researchers on rare diseases.