100-Second Overview

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 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 foundations and companies to provide a combination of cash grants and technology grants such as mouse models, genome analysis software, and cell lines. Applicants select one or more grants that they think would benefit their research, and submit a proposal for each one. Research proposals are evaluated by an expert panel of scientists, RG staff, and company representatives, who determine winners for each grant. Grants are awarded based on the technology’s fit with the research (if applicable), the feasibility of the research, and the potential for the research to advance rare disease treatments. 

Competition Results

In our 2016-2017 competition, BeHEARD received over 100 applications from researchers and organizations in 20 different countries. We awarded $750,000 worth of technologies to support research for 23 rare diseases. Since the first BeHEARD competition in 2012, we have raised over $2 million dollars in technology and cash grants that has gone directly to researchers on rare diseases.