Application and Guidelines

As part of the Healthy Longevity Global Competition leading by the U.S. National Academy of Medicine (NAM), the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences (CAMS), has carried out 4 consecutive rounds of Catalyst Award Competition from 2020 to 2023, with 120 Catalyst Awards issued. CAMS will further seek and folster Catalyst Awardees in 2024 and 2025. Each Catalyst Award includes a ¥400,000 fund support as well as opportunity to compete in the Accelerator phase and Grand Prize phase, as well as to attend the annual Innovator Summit held by the NAM.

There will be one application period per year. Application requests for the 2024 China Healthy Longevity Catalyst Awards will come soon, please stay tuned. 

Catalyst Awards will reward bold, new, potentially transformative ideas to improve the physical, mental, or social well-being and health of people as they age, in a measurable and equitable way. We seeks innovative approaches that aim to extend the human healthspan, especially approaches that challenge existing paradigms or propose new methodologies or concepts. High-risk ideas that could potentially yield high rewards and, in turn, dramatically change the field of healthy longevity are encouraged.

Ideas may focus on any stage of life, as long as they ultimately promote health as people age.

Applications may also originate from any field or combination of fields (e.g., biology, chemistry, medicine, engineering, behavioral and social sciences, technology, data science, and policy).

The competition does not seek to fund the following: existing programs (or slight variations thereof), approaches that are primarily public awareness or educational campaigns, or products that are already commercially available.

Applicant Eligibility

CAMS accepts applications from non-profit China-based organization (e.g., colleges and universities, hospitals, government laboratories, research institutions, non-profit organizations).

There must be one principal investigator (PI) named on each application (applicants may also name up to three co-PIs). A particular individual may only be listed as PI on one Catalyst Award application per round of the China Healthy Longevity Catalyst Award competition. However, a PI can be named on another application as a co-PI within the same round.

There is no limit on the number of applications a particular organization may submit.

Review Process

The review process includes the following steps:

Administrative Review: Applications will be screened to determine whether they are complete, adhere to the formatting requirements, and meet basic relevance and eligibility criteria.

Innovation Review: Responsive applications will be evaluated by at least two external innovation reviewers. These reviewers include luminaries and experts from across disciplines (e.g., basic and biomedical science, clinical medicine, social science, engineering, computer and data science, health technology, and more). All reviewers have a history of thinking “outside the box” and conducting innovative work. (See Evaluation Criteria below for further detail.)

Subject Matter Expert (SME) Review: Finalist applications (approximately twice the number of Catalyst Awards to be issued) will be distributed to external SMEs to evaluate the scientific merit and feasibility of the proposed idea.

Selection Committee Hearing Review: A final selection panel appointed by CAMS will hold a hearing review which combines the presentation performance of the finalists and previous reviewers’ assessments, identifying the most innovative, novel, and potentially groundbreaking ideas.

Potential conflicts of interest in the evaluation process will be mitigated by the use of a double-blind review process: reviewers will not have access to information about applicants’ identities or affiliations, nor will applicants have access to such information about reviewers. In addition, CAMS will make every effort to assign an application to reviewers without apparent conflict.

Evaluation Criteria

Reviewers will evaluate applications based on the following criteria (in order of descending importance):

Innovation: The extent to which the proposed idea challenges existing paradigms and employs new methodologies or concepts. (**This is the most important criterion.**)

Potential for Impact: The extent to which the proposed idea may have a significant impact on the physical, mental, or social well-being of people as they age.

Quality: The extent to which the proposed idea and the research methodology are clearly explained and the application includes a compelling or well-defined outcome metric.

Scope: The extent to which the proposed idea represents a challenge impacting the entire field, and not solely the interests of the applicant.


The table below lists an estimated timetable for 2024 Catalyst Award Competition.

March and April 2024 | Application period

 May and June 2024 | Review period

 July 2024 | Catalyst Awardees announcement

September 2024 | 2024 Innovator Summit 

CAMS will post updates of the key dates on this website alongside the competition process.

Overview of Application Components

In the application portal, you will be asked to:

Complete a brief Eligibility Form to ensure you meet the basic eligibility criteria of China Healthy Longevity Catalyst Award competition

Complete an Application Form, which includes:

Whether you are applying as an individual or an institution

PI contact information

Topic area(s) of your application

Project title

Project abstract (details below)

PI demographic questions (optional)

Upload your 2-page application (details below)

Project Abstract

All applicants will be required to submit an abstract, intended to be a summary of the application. The abstract must not exceed 250 words. Please write in plain language, so both experts and non-experts can understand the idea. Note that abstracts will not be considered by reviewers in their assessment of the application. However, abstracts may be used by the NAM to publicly share applicants’ ideas (e.g., on the Healthy Longevity Global Competition websites maintained by NAS and other Global Collaborators) after competition results are announced.

Two-Page Application Upload

All applicants will be required to upload a two-page PDF that is organized into two sections. Applicants may decide on the length of each section, however, it is suggested that the sections be of equal length (i.e., one page each). Please structure your application with a Section I and a Section II, and speak to each of the questions and considerations outlined below. CAMS does not provide a template for the two-page application. Applicants are to create their own two-page document using the guidelines provided.

Please write in plain language, so both experts and non-experts can understand your idea. Do not include identifying information (e.g., individual or organizational affiliation) nor refer to project partners/collaborators by name or with other identifying information.

Section I. Explain your idea. Why is it innovative and potentially transformative?

Briefly describe your idea and why it is innovative and potentially transformative. Notably, if your idea works, what impact will it have on the health and well-being of people as they age? What will it change?

Briefly describe the specific issue that your idea will address.

Briefly state, in one or two sentences, the crux of your idea.

What is the link between your idea and healthy longevity?

How is your idea an innovative, unconventional, or creative approach?

Why is now the right time for this idea?

Describe the hypothesis for your proposal (if applicable) and why you expect it to be successful.

Section II. How would you implement and test your idea?

Briefly describe the project design and a feasible implementation plan, and then explain how you would test your idea.

Describe the project design and how you would realize or implement the idea. Explain why the approach is feasible.

How would you establish proof of concept? How would you measure the effectiveness of your idea?

If you were successful in demonstrating the feasibility and effectiveness of your idea, what are the next steps you would take?

Formatting & Other Requirements


must be in both Chinese and English

must be submitted in PDF format

must not exceed two pages in length

must be single spaced

must not include identifying information (e.g., individual or organizational affiliation) nor refer to project partners/collaborators by names or with other identifying information

must not use a font smaller than 11 point and have margins of at least ½” on all sides

may include a maximum of one figure, to be counted towards the two-page limit

may include up to three key references to literature, theories, and/or evidence to suggest the proposed idea would be effective, to be counted towards the two-page limit

must not include hyperlinks

must not include embedded videos

must not consist of or include a slide presentation

Applications that do not adhere to the requirements may be removed from consideration.