Rethink EMG Challenge


Rules & Regulations

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Phase I

Carefully follow the instructions provided before submitting your entry. Deadline: October 31st, 2021

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Rules & Regulations


To identify new and innovative approaches for integrating Electromyography with standard objective performance measurement tools for evaluation and management of sports performance assessment and rehabilitation outcomes.

The competition will provide equipment and cash awards to researchers, sports trainers, clinicians, rehabilitation professionals, and graduate students to support research projects, with a maximum duration of 2 years, that:

  • Combine EMG with one or more standard objective measurements used in applied research, clinical practice, or athletic training.
  • Provide a “rethinking” or novel approach for integrating EMG technology with standard objective measures for applications in PT, OT, Athletic Training, Fitness, Geriatrics, Speech, Post-Covid Rehab, Telehealth, and others that could benefit from EMG measures of neuromuscular function.

Areas of Focus

A few examples of work that will be considered for funding:

  • Developing a battery of physiological/biomechanical tests that combine established physiological monitoring with EMG tools for sports performance assessment and rehabilitation outcomes.
  • Testing & implementing markers that combine EMG and established physiological monitoring tools to identify performance outcomes and communicate their value. (Example: HPM).
  • Developing a performance or rehabilitation APP that combines EMG and established physiological monitoring tools for communicating performance outcomes. (Example: Ghostly App)


The Rethink EMG Challenge awards consist of cash & EMG equipment needed to conduct the proposed project.. 

Each award will consist of:

Funds and equipment will be disbursed to the recipient’s institution or place of work. taxes, duties, and applicable fees to be paid by the winner.


Individuals eighteen (18) years of age and older affiliated with an academic, research, clinical, rehabilitation, or sport institute may participate.  Educational/professional requirements include a minimum of a bachelor’s degree or licensure in a relevant field (Engineering, Athletic Training, PT/OT, Health & Physical Education, Sports Science, Rehabilitation Sciences, Physical Education, Medicine, etc.). 

To be eligible, your proposal must integrate EMG equipment with measurement devices that are used in your research or clinical practice.

Note: Excluded from participation are employees, consultants, and members of:

  • Delsys Incorporated and Delsys Europe Ltd and their immediate families.
  • ADInstruments and their immediate families.
  • De Luca Foundation and their immediate families.
  • Members of the Rethink EMG Review Board and their immediate families.

The competition is open to applicants worldwide.

Application Process

The application process is channeled through two (2) Phases as summarized below. 

Phase I:  You are first required to submit a Phase I Project Pitch.  The Project Pitch will be reviewed in November 2021.

Phase II:  Promising applicants/proposals will be invited to submit a 6-page Phase II proposal.  

Winner and Funding Release: An award decision will be made as outlined in the Application Timetable below and funding will be released within 3 weeks of choosing the winners. 

  Application Cycle Opens Closes
Phase I

Phase I Submission period

August 13th, 2021

October 31st, 2021

Phase I Review

November 1st, 2021

December 3rd, 2021

Invitations to Phase II Announced December 6th, 2021
Phase II

Phase II Submission Period

December 6th, 2021

February 28th, 2022

Phase II Interim Discussion

February 1st, 2022

February 28th, 2022

Phase II Review

March 1st, 2022

March 31st, 2022

Winner Announced
  April 1st, 2022
Funding Release
  April 22nd, 2022

Review and Selection

The winning proposals will be selected by the Rethink EMG Challenge Advisory and Review Board Members nominated by DLF, consisting of experts in Electromyography, Human Movement Science, and Rehabilitation.

The Board will review the Phase I project pitch to invite applicants to submit a full Phase II proposal.  The Board will then review the Phase II proposal, provide feedback and recommendation along the way, and  select 4 awardees.

Members of the board are subject to the Rethink EMG Challenge Rules of Confidentiality and Conflict of Interest.

Allowed Use of the Awards

The equipment awarded must be an integral part of the project. 

The monetary portion of the award must be devoted to the execution of the project. The monetary award can be used to fund any of the elements necessary to develop the proposed work, or carry out the proposed work, including:

  • Personnel effort on the project, including the applicant (team leader) or other team personnel such as collaborators, laboratory staff or graduate/post-graduate students. 
  • Other project expenses, including equipment and supplies (only if essential to the proposed work), human subject re-imbursement, IRB cost, or travel (only if essential to the proposed work or directed at presenting research findings that emanate from the proposed work). Amount devoted to other research expenses must be limited to 30% of the award. In addition, travel related expenses must be limited to a maximum amount of 5,000 USD.

The following costs cannot be included in the request:

  1. Indirect costs and fringe benefits.
  2. Room and board costs, or travel costs for conducting the research abroad.
  3. Entertainment and social activities.

Post-Award Requirements 

DLF requires Rethink EMG Challenge awardees to submit project reports at specific times during the project cycle.  Refer to the post-award cycle for deadlines. Please note that all reports must be accurate, complete, and submitted on time.

Post-Award Cycle  
Project Execution

Earliest Project Start Date

April 22nd, 2022

Latest Project End Date

March 31st, 2024

Reporting Requirements

Interim Progress Report Due

Half-way through the project

Final Progress Report Due

One month after project end date

Progress reports must include the following:
  • Summary of work
  • Expenditure sheet 
  • Certification of the report by the institution’s grant officer/manager 

Additional Terms

  • Confidentiality. Applications will not be shared with parties outside of DLF and the Rethink EMG Advisory and Review Board, except with nominated External Reviewers if applicable. DLF reserves the right to advertise the winner.
  • Abstracts and Scientific Publications. Publications resulting from the awardee’s work must specify the following two statements: “Research reported in this [publication/press release] was supported by a grant from the De Luca Foundation”; “The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the De Luca Foundation.”
  • IRB Approval. IRB Approval is required if the project involves human subject data or testing. Funds will be disbursed only upon receiving proof of IRB approval.
  • Additional details may be requested by DLF during review of the application.


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