Call for Challenges

The ISBI 2014 Conference is soliciting proposals for scientific challenges. The aim of the challenges program is to promote the interest in cutting-edge research and accelerate the pace of improving quantitative maturity of competing approaches on common datasets.

Each challenge needs an organizer(s), who will be responsible for providing training and testing data, defining the task(s), specifying the metrics, managing entries, conducting the studies, and coordinating on-site presentations.  The format of each challenge is up to the organizer(s) and should be detailed in the proposal. Live, on-site evaluations are encouraged. There will be presentations by the top scoring teams. ISBI will assist in advertising challenges, but the organizer(s) is ultimately responsible for challenge participation and success.

Challenges will be held on different dates throughout the ISBI conference, April 28-May 2, 2014. Each challenge will be allocated to a half-day session.

Data papers is a new feature of ISBI’14, which emphasizes data sharing and reproducible research. Some of the standard datasets generated in grand challenges will be recommended for publications as data papers in an open access journal (or a special issue of a well-respected journal). Our goal is to credit the invaluable efforts of organizers in preparing and utilizing these datasets. The data paper effort is led by Dr. Hengyong Yu (, a member of the ISBI’14 Organizing Committee.

Please direct any inquiries to the ISBI 2014 Contest Co-Chairs:

Important Challenge Dates

  • Challenge Proposal Submission: Jun 3 – Oct 1 Oct 14, 2013, 11:59pm EST
  • Notification of Acceptance: Notification will be given in real time if possible and no later than Dec 1, 2013
  • Challenge Announcements (Tasks, Data, and Metrics): Jan 2, 2014
  • Summary of Challenge Participants: Feb 1, 2014

How to Submit Challenge Proposal

To propose a challenge, a document containing sufficient information must be submitted using the following link:

Please include the following in the submitted document:

  1. Contest title and abstract;
  2. Name and contact information of the main organizer(s) and at least 2 other expert committee members;
  3. General description of the problem;
  4. Description of the dataset(s) to be used and allocation to training and testing;
  5. Description of the actual competition task(s);
  6. Evaluation metrics;
  7. Contest planning;
  8. Estimated number of participants;
  9. Other points that should be taken into account such as
  • The dataset(s) should be interesting, important, and sufficiently large;
  • The tasks should be novel and also accessible to a not-too-small community, without too much domain specific knowledge;
  • The evaluation metrics should be clear and easy to apply;
  • Implementations in C++, MatLab, Python, or other common languages are desirable.

Reference Material

The following links are provided for convenience. The services provided are not specifically endorsed by ISBI.