Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What does the Global Surgical Training Challenge aim to achieve?

Current surgical training programmes rely heavily on access to cadavers, live animal training models and expensive simulation-based training that is often not globally accessible. Our aim is to address this by changing the way surgical training is delivered through incentivizing the creation of low-cost surgical modules and accompanying self-assessment frameworks to teach psycho-motor skills.

The surgical modules created by our participating teams will be made freely available on a new online platform, the Global Surgical Training Community. All surgical practitioners globally will have access to use these modules and test and develop their surgical skills.

2. Who is running the Challenge?

The Challenge is run by Nesta Challenges in partnership with the Intuitive Foundation and MIT Solve.

For more information on the Challenge partners, visit our page Who’s Involved.

3. How is the Challenge structured?

The Challenge launched on the 15th July 2020 and will run until December 2022. The Challenge comprises four major milestones;

Solveathon® workshops (July-October 2020)

Following the Challenge launch in July 2020, MIT Solve will host a series of Solveathon workshops. These are virtual, high-energy workshops designed to build teams and strengthen their applications.

We’re hosting Solveathon workshops in five regions globally. Each region will have three activities; online networking, a Team Building Solveathon, and a Refinement Solveathon.

During these Solveathon workshops, you will;

  • Connect with professionals who are interested in surgical training,
  • Further your understanding of the Challenge and requirements to compete,
  • Build or expand your project team,
  • Refine your project through facilitated design thinking activities developed at MIT,
  • Learn to compile a skills assessment framework.

 

Discovery Awards (December 2020)

Following the Solveathon workshops, you will have the opportunity to enter the first round of grants, the Discovery Awards. The Discovery Awards are initial grants of up to $200,000 to allow teams to develop and test their prototype surgical modules. Applicants will enter the Discovery Awards through the Intuitive Foundation’s grant application system.

Applications open on 16th September 2020.

Entries must be submitted by 12:00 PDT on 11th November 2020.

Discovery Award Winners will be announced, date TBC, December 2020.

Finalist Awards (December 2021)

The Finalist Awards are grants of up to $500,000 to allow teams to further develop and improve their original prototype and to develop further modules. Finalist Award grantees will undergo external validation (organised by Challenge partners) of their prototype between January-October 2022.

Finalist Award Winners will be announced, date TBC, December 2021.

Grand Prize (December 2022)

The Grand Prize will be awarded to the Finalist team deemed to have most successfully improved upon their original prototype and created the most impact through further module development.

The Grand Prize Winner will be announced, date TBC, December 2022.

4. What type of participants are we looking for?

To find out if you are eligible for the Challenge, you should read our eligibility criteria and the Challenge Terms and Conditions.

We are looking for multidisciplinary teams of educators, clinicians, technology developers and creatives, including;

  • surgical education specialists with experience in resource-constrained settings,
  • clinicians with experience in resource-constrained settings,
  • engineers, software and game developers,
  • artists, medical illustrators, designers.

Teams participating in the Challenge must be comprised of the following participants:

  • Team lead from a low or middle-income country – The Challenge is open to teams made up of individuals or groups from any organisation or company, and from any country, not currently listed as on the US Sanction List, as long as the project lead is based in a low or middle-income country (LMIC), as defined by the current World Bank list.
  • Multi-disciplinary teams – Competing teams must have team members that fulfill at least three key roles – educator, clinician and technical expert. Where applicable, two lead roles can be fulfilled by the same person but multidisciplinary collaborations and clear sharing of responsibilities is strongly preferred. The team leads will take ownership of the following responsibilities:

Educator – manages the pedagogical objectives of the training module, and is an expert in the field of skill acquisition and assessment.

Clinician – surgical practitioner with clinical experience in LMICs, who will contextualise the design of the simulation training module with first-hand experience.

Technical Expert – manages the development of the technology and materials needed for the delivery of the simulation module.

We anticipate many of you wishing to apply already work in such multidisciplinary teams. However, we also anticipate interest from individuals in related fields and we will work with you to place you in a team suitable to take on the Challenge.

Should you have any questions regarding your participation in the Challenge, please send your query to globalsurgicaltraining@challenges.org.

5. What do you mean by ‘surgical practitioner’?

For the purposes of this Challenge, ‘surgical practitioner’ includes all medical roles involved in surgery (surgeons, anesthesiologists, midwives, clinical officers, nurses, students).

6. What kind of solutions are you looking for?

The Challenge seeks novel surgical training modules that allow for the training and assessment of psycho-motor skills acquisition. The surgical module should comprise of a package of open source know-how on how to build a novel, low cost surgical training model and the associated training materials needed to train and self-assess skills acquisition using the model.

We encourage highly innovative entries using any relevant affordable technology. The judging panel will favourably consider frugal innovations that do not rely on high-tech solutions. The Challenge is open to completely new, early stage ideas or existing solutions that are pivoting or adding new elements or functionality.

The modules should focus on the acquisition of one or more of the psycho-motor skills needed to deliver a critical step of a specific surgical procedure.

Preference should be placed on elements of procedures that are either technically complex and/or do not happen frequently enough for surgical practitioners, or surgical trainees to experience them in their practice, as both of these scenarios result in an increased risk of patient mortality.

Targeted surgical skills should be complex enough to necessitate simulation training by surgical practitioners or surgical trainees who possess basic surgical training.

7. What surgical skills should my module teach?

You are able to choose the surgical skills your module will teach. However, the modules must focus on the acquisition of one or more psycho-motor skills needed to deliver a critical step of a specific surgical procedure.

Preference should be placed on elements of procedures that are either technically complex and/or do not happen frequently enough for surgical practitioners, or surgical trainees to experience them in their practice, as both of these scenarios result in an increased risk of patient mortality.

Targeted surgical skills should be complex enough to necessitate simulation training by surgical practitioners or surgical trainees who possess basic surgical training.

8. What do you mean by ‘surgical module’?

For the purposes of this Challenge, the surgical module is a package of open source know-how to build a surgical training model and the associated training materials needed to train and self-assess skills acquisition using the model.

9. Who decides on the Challenge winners and how many prizes will be awarded?

We are bringing together a high-profile panel of judges, surgical simulation specialists, surgical practitioners, engineers, cross-sector leaders and healthcare professionals who are dedicated to supporting applicants to the Prize throughout all phases of the Challenge.

For more information specific to the Judging Criteria, please see our Innovator Handbook.

10. What can the money received from the Discovery, Finalist and Grand Prizes be used for?

If you are selected as a grantee, you will be expected to use any funding received through the Challenge for the purposes of developing your solution. This could also cover costs for staff working on your solution, or engaging external expertise or advice (not already provided by the Challenge). All Discovery and Finalist Award grantees will be asked to sign a grant agreement, as described in the Terms and Conditions.

All entrants to the Challenge are expected to abide by the Terms and Conditions. Please read these in full before submitting your entry.

11. Is there a guaranteed winner?

No, the distribution of the Awards will depend on performance against our criteria. We will only award the grant money if the judges consider applications to have met or exceeded the Challenge criteria.

Please read more in the Terms and Conditions.

12. What kind of Non-Financial support will be offered?

Non-Financial Support

The Challenge will offer participants a range of non-financial support:

Solveathon Workshops

Following the Challenge launch in July 2020, MIT Solve will host a series of Solveathon workshops. These are virtual, high-energy workshops designed to build teams and strengthen their applications for the Challenge. During these Solveathon workshops, you will;

  • Connect with professionals who are interested in surgical training,
  • Further your understanding of the Challenge and requirements to compete,
  • Build or expand your project team,
  • Refine your project through facilitated design thinking activities developed at MIT,
  • Learn to compile a skills assessment framework.

To learn more about Solveathon workshops and register, please see our page Participate.

Package of Tools

Grantees at both the Discovery Award and Finalist stages will have access to capacity development support and a package of tools to help develop their solutions.

This in-kind support will be tailored to your needs while ensuring equity of support and access. The nature of this support will be discussed with competitors when they apply to the Discovery Awards in September 2020.

Mentoring

Throughout both the Discovery Award and Finalist development phases, you will have the opportunity to receive mentorship from a leading surgical education organisation. The mentors, to be announced ahead of the Discovery Awards in December 2020, will provide support on model development and feedback on usability in the field.

13. What are the key dates for this Challenge?

Solveathon Workshops

  • Solveathon workshops will be held between July and October 2020. Please register here.

Discovery Awards

  • Applications close 12:00 PDT on 11th November 2020.
  • Winners will be announced December 2020.

Finalist Award Winners

  • Applications close October 2021
  • Winners will be announced December 2021

The Grand Prize

  • Applications close October 2022
  • Winner will be announced December 2022.

 

14. How do I enter the Challenge?

Applicants will enter the Discovery Awards through the Intuitive Foundation’s grant application system when applications open on 16th September 2020. Further details will be given to registered applicants by email and will be listed on the Challenge website closer to the application window opening.

Entries must be submitted by 12:00 PDT on 11th November 2020.

Before completing your application form, make sure that you’ve;

 

15. Is there a registration fee?

There are no fees to participate in the Challenge.

16. Will entries to this Challenge be kept confidential?

Any information you submit to the Challenge will be kept confidential as described in the Terms and Conditions, except for your surgical module, which will be shared on the Global Surgical Training Community platform should you win an award.

17. Do entrants retain their intellectual property rights for their idea?

If your entry is selected for an Award (Discovery, Finalist, Grand Prize) you authorize Nesta Challenges (Nesta) and the Intuitive Foundation to make your surgical training module publically and freely available on the Global Surgical Training Community platform.

More information is given in the Challenge Terms and Conditions.

18. I have a question about the Challenge, how do I get in touch with you?

Please send your query to globalsurgicaltraning@challenges.org and a member of our teams will get back to you.