News Release

The health research alliance and PLOS announce essay challenge winners

Grant and Award Announcement


The Health Research Alliance and PLOS Announce Essay Challenge Winners

SAN FRANCISCO — The Health Research Alliance (HRA) and PLOS are pleased to announce the winners and honorable mentions of the Reimagine Biomedical Research for a Healthier Future Essay Challenge.  The biomedical research enterprise experienced a year of reckoning in 2020. Global cooperation to create a COVID-19 vaccine at an unprecedented pace shows the promise of research. Yet the pandemic, the resulting economic and social uncertainties, and the urgency of addressing systemic racial and regional inequities all add to longstanding concerns about the sustainability of the biomedical research enterprise.

Most of us in the biomedical research community agree — we need a new vision for a healthier future. We invited the community to submit ideas that re-commit to serving society and achieving an equitable, diverse, and creative environment for all those working to advance scientific discovery and improve human well-being.

The winners and honorable mentions of the challenge will all present their ideas in a Reimagine Biomedical Research for a Healthier Future Symposium to be hosted by HRA on September 23, 2021, from 12–1pm EDT (UTC−04:00).

Here are the winning essays, which were published as perspectives in PLOS Biology and PLOS Medicine:

Four honorable mentions essays are posted on PLOS’ Your Say blog.  The fifth essay is in press at a non-PLOS journal.

To spark conversation and action, we encourage you to read the perspectives and the blogs, and to attend the symposium on September 23, 2021, prepared to ask questions of the authors.


About the Public Library of Science

PLOS is a nonprofit, open access publisher empowering researchers to accelerate progress in science and medicine by leading a transformation in research communication. Since our founding in 2001, PLOS journals have helped break boundaries in research communication to provide more opportunities, choice, and context for researchers and readers. For more information, visit

About the Health Research Alliance
The Health Research Alliance (HRA), a collaborative member organization of over 90 nonprofit research funders, is committed to maximizing the impact of biomedical research to improve human health. HRA members represent a variety of types of funders, including voluntary health agencies, private foundations, public charities, and societies. Members strive to identify and adopt effective practices in funding biomedical research and speed the translation of biomedical science into applications that improve health.

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