The SPRINT Data Analysis Challenge

How To Enter

How To Enter

Individuals and groups are invited participate in the SPRINT Data Analysis Challenge by analyzing the dataset underlying the SPRINT article — A Randomized Trial of Intensive versus Standard Blood-Pressure Control (N Engl J Med 373: 2103-2116) — and identifying novel scientific or clinical findings that advance medical science.

The SPRINT Challenge will have two rounds: a Qualifying Round and a Challenge Round. Participants must complete the Qualifying Round to become eligible to enter the Challenge Round.

Important Dates


SPRINT Challenge opens: September 15, 2016

NHLBI Applications for SPRINT data opens: September 15, 2016

SPRINT data available from NHLBI: November 1, 2016

Qualifying Round open: November 15, 2016 – January 20, 2017 at midnight EST

Challenge Round open: December 1, 2016 – February 14, 2017 at midnight EST

Judges review and crowdvoting period: February 15–28, 2017

Challenge participants notified: March 1, 2017

Aligning Incentives for Sharing Clinical Trial Data summit: April 3–4, 2017


Step-By-Step Instructions

Step-by-step instructions are provided below. Have any questions or comments?

  • Read the FAQs for answers to common questions.
  • Contact BioLINCC for technical support for issues regarding download errors, problems with opening files, and data format questions.
  • Any other questions can be directed to the SPRINT Data Analysis Challenge team at


Step 1 | Follow the SPRINT Challenge for News and Updates

Register to 'Follow' the SPRINT Challenge and stay informed of news, updates and important deadlines. Comment on submissions during the Challenge Round and cast your crowdvote for the best entry.


Step 2 | Request Access to the SPRINT Data

The NHLBI data repository will make the SPRINT dataset that underlie the published NEJM article available for download on November 1, 2016. Early attention to IRB or ethics committee approval and other administrative tasks is advisable. For additional information, please reference the BioLINCC handbook on accessing the NHLBI data repository.

Register with BioLINCC

Go to to register with BioLINCC, the NHLBI data repository coordinating center.

  • Tip: BioLINCC will allow one Principal Investigator to register and download the data on behalf of several groups of students/postdocs.

Apply to Your IRB or Ethics Committee to Use the Data

Apply for an approval letter/certificate or exemption certificate, which will be required with your application for the data.

  • Tip: When applying to your IRB/Ethics Committee, stress that these data are de-identified (no personally identifiable health information) and not in the public domain (a data use agreement is required).
  • Tip: If your certificate is not in English, an English translation should be provided in addition to the original certificate when possible.

Submit Your Data Request Form

Go to the SPRINT Primary Outcome Paper (SPRINT-POP) page. Look for the study listed as ‘SPRINT-POP’ on the BioLINCC website which differentiates the trial data that underlie the NEJM article from the full SPRINT study data (to be released in November 2017).

Click the “Request Data” button found at the bottom and upper right corner of the page. Fill out the Data Request Form, and upload your IRB/Ethics Committee approval or exemption certificate.

  • Tip: Please indicate “SPRINT Data Analysis Challenge” in the “Describe this request” and “Design and analysis plan” fields.

Your request will be reviewed by BioLINCC and confirmed within 1-2 business days.

  • Tip: An email notification will be sent whenever your request is updated. Any comments or questions from BioLINCC staff will be posted to the “Comments” tab of the request.

Complete a Data Use Agreement

You will receive an email when your request is approved from BioLINCC asking you to complete key fields for the Data Use Agreement (termed a Research Materials Distribution Agreement or RMDA).

  • Tip: If this agreement will require your institution’s full legal review, save time by asking them to review a template agreement while you are waiting for IRB/Ethics Committee approval.
  • Tip: Post grads or students will need to have permanent faculty or staff sign the agreement.

Have the Data Use Agreement signed by the designated Principal Investigator and an Institutional Business/Signing Official.

Upload a scan of the signed Agreement to the ‘RMDA’ tab on your request page. A representative of the NHLBI will sign the agreement, and BioLINCC will post a comment notifying you when this copy is available.

Access the SPRINT Data

Receive a data download link to the “comments” tab of your request from BioLINCC when the SPRINT dataset is available on November 1, 2016.

  • Tip: Contact BioLINCC for technical support issues regarding download errors, problems with opening files, data format questions, and the like. Questions and comments related to data content must be emailed to the SPRINT Data Analysis Challenge team at


Step 3 | The Qualifying Round: Analyze and Answer

The Qualifying Round will be open from November 15, 2016 to January 20, 2017. Participants will be required to submit the answer to one of two qualifying questions as follows:

QUESTION 1: What is the log likelihood ratio statistic for the Cox proportional hazards model described in Table 2 of the NEJM article for the primary outcome (first occurrence of myocardial infarction, acute coronary syndrome, stroke, heart failure, or death from cardiovascular causes)?

QUESTION 2: What is the sample size and the mean for the systolic blood pressure at the last recorded [post-baseline] study visit for each participant by treatment arm (Intensive and Standard)?

The submission form is on the Newsfeed page.

Please allow up to one week from submission for our team to review your entry to the Qualifying Round.


Step 4 | The Challenge Round: Identify a Novel Finding

The Challenge Round will be open from December 1, 2016 to February 14, 2017. As participants pass the Qualifying Round, they will be notified of the details for how to submit an entry to the Challenge Round. Participants will be required to submit the following information:

  • A lay summary of 75 words
  • An extended abstract manuscript of up to 700 words
  • No more than one (1) figure

The SPRINT dataset must be used in the formulation of every entry. Other publically available datasets may also be used. It is acceptable to use datasets that require application for use to the dataholder as long as such application can be made by anyone.

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