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NeurIPS 2021 Competition program announced!


We introduce the competitions that have been accepted at NeurIPS 2021. We selected a total of 23 competitions out of 46 very strong proposals, covering a wide range of areas and subdisciplines. We are super excited about this year’s program and the set of challenges it presents. The competitions are now officially open and ready for the community to participate.


Check our Medium blog post and the NeurIPS website for full competition details:




NeurIPS 2021 Call for Competitions

We invite proposals for the Neural Information Processing Systems 2021 (NeurIPS 2021) competition track to be held virtually. After the success of the past four years, a fifth edition of the competition track will be held at NeurIPS 2021. We solicit competition proposals on any topic of interest to the NeurIPS community. We especially encourage competition proposals from emerging new fields or new application domains related to NeurIPS, with a clear positive societal impact. Interdisciplinary topics that will attract a significant cross-section of the community are especially highly encouraged.

We especially encourage participation from people of diverse backgrounds. We’d also like to try to make sure that the whole world is represented in the challenges that we organize as much as possible, especially promoting causes that use AI to help the most disadvantaged people in the world.

Technological advances in our field have the potential to disproportionately hurt the most marginalized people in society — including people of color, people from working-class backgrounds, women, and LGBTQ people. These communities must be centered in the work we do as a research community. Hence, we strongly encourage proposals from people with these identities or who are members of other marginalized or under-represented communities.

As in previous years, there will be two types of competitions:

  1. Standard data science competitions, where participants will compete to obtain the best score on a machine learning task of interest to the NeurIPS community based on a problem and data defined and released by the organizers of the competition.

  2. Live competitions, which will be held in a “science-fair” manner at NeurIPS 2021. Participants will present live demos at NeurIPS 2021 which apply methodology to an application domain defined by the organizers of the live competition.

There will be a competition track at NeurIPS 2021, co-located with the conference workshops, where competition results will be presented and discussed. Competition organizers will be asked to propose a tentative schedule for presentation of the competition and its results during an assigned time slot. A new addition to the NeurIPS 2021 Competition track will be a joint poster session where participants of all competitions can share and discuss their results. There will be publication opportunities for competition reports co-authored by organizers and participants.



Standard data science and live competition proposals must both be submitted via CMT at:

Please carefully follow the provided Latex template when preparing proposals.



A competition program committee will be formed, consisting of experts on both machine learning and challenge organization. Each proposal will be reviewed by the members of the committee. The factors that will be considered when evaluating proposals include:

  • Task chosen: Impact, originality, relevance to the NeurIPS community will all be considered. Tasks that include humanitarian and/or positive societal impact are especially highly encouraged this year, although other topics relevant to the NeurIPS community will also be considered. If humanitarian projects are submitted, involvement of the community in question is strongly desired, and “parachute science” is strongly discouraged.

  • Protocol of competition: Feasibility of the task chosen, soundness of the evaluation criteria, and clarity and fairness of the competition rules will all be considered.

  • Logistics: Schedule, plan for attracting competition participants, and experience and diversity of the organizers will all be considered. The specific plan for attracting participants of groups under-represented at NeurIPS will be considered.


IMPORTANT DATES (anywhere on earth)

  • Competition proposal submission deadline: Mar 31, 2021 AOE

  • Acceptance notification: Apr 19, 2021 AOE

  • Competition track: December 13-14, 2021



  • Competition organizers should propose a timeline for running the competition to ensure that participants have enough time to contribute high-quality entries. It is recommended that competitions be completed by the end of October 2021 at the absolute latest.
  • Competition organizers that require help or suggestions regarding competition platforms for running the competition can contact the competition chairs for advice.


2020 accepted competitions

2019 accepted competitions

2018 accepted competitions

2017 accepted competitions



Douwe Kiela, Facebook AI Research.

Barbara Caputo, Politecnico di Torino & Italian Institute of Technology.

Marco Ciccone, Politecnico di Torino (Assistant chair).