Terms and Conditions

The following are the terms and conditions of the Digital and Media Learning Competition funded by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation through a grant to the University of California, Irvine and administered by HASTAC.For additional clarification regarding Trust Challenge terms and conditions see the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section of the Trust Challenge web site.

Statement of Purpose and Parties Involved

This is the Terms and Conditions Agreement (or “Terms”, “Agreement” ) that exists between the participant(s) and the University of California, Irvine who administers Digital Media and Learning Competition V grants (“DML Competition”). This agreement outlines the terms by which an applicant agrees to participate in the Fifth Digital Media and Learning Competition: The Trust Challenge (hereinafter “Trust Challenge”).

Applicants agree to these Terms and Conditions by submitting any proposal to the Trust Challenge for funding consideration. This Agreement is not assignable or transferable by the participant without prior agreement and written permission from the University of California, Irvine.



A primary applicant (PA)/principal investigator (PI) is the person who has overall responsibility for the management and execution of a submitted or funded proposal. Primary applicants/principal investigators are designated as such on the proposal application form. A PA for a funded project cannot be changed without permission from the Trust Challenge.

An applicant is any person who is listed as being a part of a proposed project as either a collaborator or primary applicant. While an individual will be named as the primary applicant, a sponsor organization/institution will technically be the formal grantee by the terms of the award and must have legal status to operate.

An applicant may be sponsored by or affiliated with any institution, organization or entity that has legal status to operate, regardless of its size or the sector in which it operates. All applicants will be required to have institutional affiliation at the time a proposal is submitted.

Sample affiliations include:

  • educational institutions such as community colleges, four-year colleges or universities;
  • nonprofit organizations with a 501(c) status;
  • small and large businesses (for-profit organizations);
  • museums;
  • libraries;
  • out-of-school programs, if such programs have a separate legal status;
  • youth-serving summer programs, if such programs have a separate legal status;
  • schools and school districts,
  • governmental and non-governmental organizations;
  • civic organizations;
  • municipalities; and/or
  • other youth-serving institutions.

Institutional affiliates are formally responsible for meeting grant terms and conditions, managing award funds, etc. and are required to have the necessary institutional frameworks and buy-in to fully support and implement the project if approved.

Collaborators are persons who are part of a team that is seeking funding from the Trust Challenge and are managed by the primary applicant.


Jurisdiction and Choice of Law

This agreement shall be governed by the laws and subjected to the jurisdiction of the City of Irvine, County of Orange, State of California.




All applicants must be at least 18 years of age when the application is submitted; however, collaborators working on the project may include students and others under the age of 18 as long as they are working under the supervision of the primary applicant and any required consents for their participation have been obtained.

Institutional Affiliation

Primary applicants must apply through institutions or organizations, not as individuals. An institutional affiliation means a working connection to an institution or organization — place of employment, formal agreement with a non-profit, sponsoring university, etc. — that would administer the funding and official paperwork on behalf of the primary applicant. In addition to providing institutional guarantees about meeting grant terms and conditions, managing award funds, etc., the named organization/institution is required to have the necessary institutional frameworks and buy-in to fully support and implement the project if approved.


Applications from institutions/organizations and individuals with institutional affiliations from outside the U.S., provided that the primary applicant meets the eligibility requirements, are welcome.


Only English-language applications will be accepted.

Additional Eligibility Requirements

Primary applicants/principal investigators are not eligible to submit more than one application (though they may act as primary applicant on one application and as a collaborator on another application). Primary applicants/principal investigators discovered to have submitted multiple applications by using different email addresses or by simply changing collaborators for primary applicants on various applications may be disqualified.

Previous Digital Media and Learning Competition winners are not eligible to apply as primary applicants/principal investigators.

Previously funded Digital Media and Learning Competition projects are not eligible for funding again. However, institutions/organizations funded directly by the MacArthur Foundation Digital Media and Learning initiative are eligible to apply for the Trust Challenge.



Budget Requirements

Allowable expenses:

  • personnel expenses such as staff work hours, personnel salary, travel expenses, etc.
  • project materials and supplies
  • technology costs, including software and hardware. Requests for funds to purchase durable supplies or equipment costing more than $20 per item must include a statement indicating where ownership of each item will reside once the purchase is made (individual or organization), and how the item is expected to provide continued benefit to the owner throughout the project development period
  • consultant fees, including legal, policy, educational, and technological consultants
  • costs associated with deployment, implementation, and communication of your project

Required expenses:

  • Awardees whose projects involve any human subjects research or testing are required to set aside funds for review by an Institutional Review Board (IRB) to be approved by a commercial IRB. See “Policy on Human Subjects” below.
  • All budgets must also include airfare (or other transportation), transfers, lodging and meals for two to three days for a winner’s event at a major urban site in the United States (to be determined).

Indirect costs:

  • For institutional/organizational applications, indirect costs will be permitted at a maximum of fifteen (15) percent ONLY if recovery of indirect costs are required in a published indirect cost policy by the primary applicant’s home institution or organization.

Applicant’s Responsibility

Applicants should allow ample time to prepare and submit all required materials through the application system, and should register on and review the application system and requirements early in the process. While HASTAC staff members are prepared to assist applicants with questions and technical problems, it is the responsibility of the applicant to start early so as to have sufficient time to address any questions that may arise. HASTAC will make every effort to address applicant questions or technical difficulties even on the day of the deadline but cannot guarantee or assure that late or especially last day queries or technical difficulties can be resolved in time to meet the deadline.

Trust Challenge Does Not Fund

Any project that lacks a connected learning application. These include:

  • non-digital projects;
  • specialized disciplinary research directed at others in the same discipline;
  • performances or exhibits that lack a learning component;
  • digital archiving projects;
  • research proposals or writing projects without practical or pedagogical application;
  • non-educational games; and/or
  • projects that may be technologically sophisticated but are not oriented toward connected learning


Policy On Human Subjects

All Trust Challenge awards involving the use of human subjects must comply with applicable law and the policies of the University of California and the primary applicant’s home institution or organization regarding human subject research. If the primary applicant’s home institution or organization lacks a policy on Human Subject research at least equivalent to the policy of the University of California, then the organization or institution must comply with the policy of the University of California.

The University of California is committed to the principle of protecting the rights of human subjects participating in research and related activities. It is University policy that the regulations of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), set forth in 45 CFR Part 46, are applicable to all research involving human subjects, as defined by these regulations, for which the University is responsible. If a proposal includes the use of human subjects, it is the responsibility of the primary applicant to ensure that the project adheres to 45 CFR Part 46 and any guidelines set forth by the University of California, and by the primary applicant’s sponsoring or affiliated organization or institution.

Finalist projects will be required to provide the Institutional Review Board (IRB) of the University of California with approval documents from the Institutional Review Board of the primary applicant’s sponsoring or affiliated institution or organization. Applicants need not provide such documents at the time of application but should indicate in their proposals if the project involves human subjects research and their plan to obtain approval of a satisfactory Institutional Review Board.

Applications from non-educational institutions are required to set aside funds in their grant budget for the review and approval of an Institutional Review Board (IRB) application by a commercial IRB acceptable to the University of California.

The University of California reserves the right to refuse any project application, or make any award, however meritorious, that does not fulfill the requirements on the protection of human subjects as defined by the University of California. No funds will be disbursed to projects requiring IRB approval that fail to acquire approval.


Public Commenting and Voting

Relationship to judging and awards

Public votes and public comments may be taken into consideration by the judging panel during the formal judging process, but will not guarantee that a project will or will not be awarded a development grant. However, the three finalist proposals that receive the most public votes will be awarded a “People’s Choice Award.” These small grants will be up to $5,000 and must be used specifically for approved technology purchases for the applying organization/institution.

Public commenting

All comments and feedback are provided voluntarily, with the knowledge that they will be taken into consideration by applicants and may be incorporated into an application. Only institutions that have submitted a proposal through the official application process are eligible to receive an award. Commenting on an application, providing ideas and feedback, even if your comment provides an idea that results in the project being awarded, does not give you any ownership rights to the project or funding it might receive.

Public comment moderation

Posts that constitute commercial advertisements, incoherent and indecipherable text, threats against individuals, advocating violence, using vulgar language or promoting illegal activities will be removed by the Digital Media and Learning Competition staff.

Public voting moderation

Voting will be restricted to one vote per internet protocol address. Internet accessible devices use an Internet Protocol (IP) address when accessing the internet. Each IP address representing a device may vote for each application once. A single IP may give support in the form of votes to multiple projects, but can not vote multiple times for a single project. The IP address is recorded for each vote to validate uniqueness. This method is used to ensure the maximum number of people can participate in voting with the minimal amount of barrier rather than forcing voters to register accounts as a means of tracking vote authenticity.

Public forums such as schools or libraries are unfortunately sometimes limited to using a single shared public IP address for all their computers and will only count as a single vote. Please be aware that the Trust Challenge web site is designed to be responsive to tablet and mobile devices and each such device typically also has a different unique IP address when used with 3G/4G/LTE internet access allowing a single person access to several IP addresses for voting through home, phone and work internet access. We leave it to the honor system that a voter votes only once.

Abuse of public voting

Should we discover abuse of the public voting system that favors a proposal, that proposal will likely be precluded from winning a People’s Choice Award. Purchasing votes, for example, would be considered abuse, as would publicly demeaning a competing proposal so as to advance one you support.


Intellectual Property and Privacy Policies

Copyright and Use of Applications

Copyright in material submitted with any application shall be subject to the policies of the institutional applicant. Applicants must ensure that any intellectual property owned by others and used in their submissions is approved for use by the owner of the copyright and appropriately attributed. Evidence of consent may be required at the discretion of the the University of California, Irvine. Successful applicants must agree to provide a statement that will be made publicly available describing generally the nature of their proposed project and how it will further the purposes of the Trust Challenge. The University of California, Irvine may make other portions of a successful application publicly available consistent with the terms of the Trust Challenge. The applicant agrees to grant the University of California, Irvine non-revocable, non-transferable, unlimited rights to display, use, modify, publish, transmit, and print submitted materials. The application and materials submitted with the application shall be considered the property of the University of California, Irvine upon submission, with no obligation to return any materials to applicants.

Treatment of Copyright In Products Funded By Trust Challenge

Copyright in the work product produced as a result of the award shall remain with the successful applicant subject to the terms of the Trust Challenge. Except as noted below, applicants must agree, however, that if they receive an award, they will license the use of the product in accordance with a Creative Commons License (Creative Commons Attribution, Non-Commercial, ShareAlike). Solutions should propose open standards and protocols for learning where possible.

The product produced as a result of an award is expected to be made publicly available promptly upon the completion of the product for little or no cost to the public. Distribution to the public at little or no cost is most consistent with the charitable principles underlying the purposes of the Trust Challenge. In keeping with the spirit of the Trust Challenge, however, it is recognized that there could be circumstances where a different distribution model could serve effectively the underlying charitable and educational purpose of the Trust Challenge. It is incumbent upon Applicants to make the case that a proposed distribution model is consistent with the charitable and educational purposes of the Trust Challenge.

Use of Revenues Generated By Distribution of Product

If an applicant believes that the success of its project is dependent upon or significantly furthered through a distribution process that will result in a revenue stream, the applicant must also submit a statement explaining why revenue creation is necessary and its plan describing how any revenue will be used or shared in furtherance of the charitable objectives of the Trust Challenge.

Applicable law and the policies of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation preclude the use of grant funds to further or benefit private interests in a manner that is more than incidental to a broader charitable purpose. Consequently, an applicant will need to demonstrate that the revenue derived from the project will primarily benefit public/charitable purposes rather than private interests. This could include sharing of revenues with the University of California or another charitable organization through the use of royalty or similar arrangements. The amount and duration of any royalty interest shall depend upon the facts and circumstances underlying the proposed project and the nature of the applicant such as whether it is a not for profit organization, commercial for profit enterprise or individual.

In cases where the applicant believes it is not feasible to separate a revenue stream from an enhancement or modification to an existing project, the Applicant should provide an explanation and rationale for why the project itself will serve charitable purposes and be consistent with the objectives of the Trust Challenge.

Applicants are in the best position to provide an explanation and rationale for why the distribution of the product requires a particular cost structure, and how any revenues should be equitably shared and for how long. Applications will be reviewed in part in terms of how these issues are addressed consistent with the principles and requirements above.

Access To Usage Data

Award winners are required to provide access to usage data to Competition-related researchers studying award funded projects and their impact. Where relevant and necessary to understanding the projects being researched, this would include access to the back end system or code of the awarded projects. Awardees should be aware that researchers may publish their findings publicly, including reference to such usage data (though not the project’s code).


Personal information will be collected when you register on the Trust Challenge site. Registration requires that you supply your name, email address, and home/work address. The information you submit will be used to confirm your eligibility, evaluate your application, and administer the awards. This information will be disclosed to the Trust Challenge judges and administrators for purposes of evaluation and selection.

Once registered, applicants may receive periodic communications relating to important Trust Challenge deadlines and information.

Additionally, HASTAC, which is administering the Trust Challenge, the University of California, Irvine which is the grantor, and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, which is supporting the Trust Challenge, may send certain communications to applicants relating to the field of digital media and learning. Applicants will have the opportunity to opt-out of receiving this additional information.

Information collected will not be sold, rented or provided to any third parties for commercial or marketing purposes. Any use of the Trust Challenge website for commercial purposes is strictly prohibited. Like all websites and web servers, the Digital Media and Learning Competition web server automatically receives and records information from web browsers, including IP addresses, browser types, referring URLs, session and cookie information, and pages visited on the website. This information will not be used to identify individuals. It will be used to enhance the site and inform decisions about possible future Digital Media and Learning Competitions.

By submitting an application, all applicants recognize that they will be required to provide an abstract of their application that will be made public.

Personal information received in connection with the Trust Challenge may be released as required by subpoena, law or a court of competent jurisdiction. Personal information may also be disclosed as noted on this website or in the event that an individual’s safety or security is at risk or in order to protect the integrity, safety and security of this website.

Changes to the Privacy Policy

University of California, Irvine reserves the right to modify this policy at any time without prior notification to users and registrants of the site. A notice will be posted on the website should significant policy changes take effect.


Award Acceptance and Post-Award

Subaward Contract

Funding for each winning application will be distributed as a subaward to the DML Competition Grant from the University of California Irvine Office of Research Sponsored Projects (SPA). Funding is contingent on the winning sponsoring or affiliated applicant organization agreeing to all terms and conditions specified by SPA and signing a subaward contract with SPA.


For all awards, the term is one year from the date of the signed award contract.

Funding for grantees is contingent on their acceptance of the subaward contract and the terms specified.



The University of California, Irvine, HASTAC, and the funders supporting the DML Competition and its website(s) are not liable for any claim, loss or injury based on errors, omissions, interruptions or other inaccuracies either in this site, or for any claim, loss or injury that results from your use of this site.

No liability for damages. To the maximum extent permitted by applicable law, in no event shall the University of California, Irvine, HASTAC, and its partners, associates and/or funders be liable for any damages whatsoever (including, without limitation, special, incidental, consequential, or indirect damages for personal injury, loss of profits, interruption, loss of information, or any other pecuniary loss) arising out of participating in the Trust Challenge, even if the University of California, Irvine, HASTAC, and its partners, associates and/or funders have been advised of the possibility of such damages, or due to errors, omissions, interrupts, or other inaccuracies either on this site, or from participant’s use of this site.



By participating in the Trust Challenge and submitting a proposal, a participant and/or its affiliated organization agrees to indemnify and hold harmless the Indemnified Parties (as defined herein) from any claims, expenses, judgments, damages, attorneys’ fees, costs of defense, or suits (collectively, “Claims”) brought by any third-party against any of the Indemnified Parties arising from or related in any way to the participant’s or any affiliated organization’s or person’s participation in the Competition, including but not limited to any submission or application in connection therewith. This indemnification would include but not be limited to any Claims by a third party based upon allegations that the Participant or affiliated organization or person violated any intellectual property or patent rights, misappropriated information or ideas, breached agreements with such third-parties.

Indemnified Parties include any of the following and their respective officers, employees, agents, directors, consultants, and affiliations thereof: John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation; Regents of the University of California; University of California at Irvine; Duke University; and HASTAC (Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Alliance and Collaboratory).



Questions about intellectual property and privacy policies should be submitted via email. Click here to contact HASTAC.