Submit Your 'Big Idea' in the NSF 2026 Idea Machine

The National Science Foundation has launched a prize competition called the NSF 2026 Idea Machine - a competition to help set the U.S. agenda for fundamental research in science and engineering. Participants can earn prizes and receive public recognition by suggesting the pressing research questions that need to be answered in the coming decade, the next set of “Big Ideas” for future investment by the National Science Foundation (NSF).

It's an opportunity for researchers, the public and other interested stakeholders to contribute to NSF's mission to support basic research and enable new discoveries that drive the U.S. economy, enhance national security and advance knowledge to sustain the country's global leadership in science and engineering.

Stage 1: Big Idea Submission Deadline: October 26, 2018

  • Your Big Idea may be on any topic that fits within the fundamental STEM research and education research mission of NSF.

  • Individuals or teams of up to five may enter. One member of each team must be designated as the team leader. Teachers may enter on behalf of their high-school classes.

  • NSF encourages submission of ideas that are amenable to inter-agency, international, or public-private partnerships.

  • Science, engineering, and STEM education experts will judge the entries and select up to approximately 30 Big Ideas to move on to Stage 2, Video Pitches and Public Comment.


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