Enter now to compete in the NSF 2026 Idea Machine contest

by Noreen Balos, Funding Peer
Friday, October 19, 2018 8:00 AM

The NSF 2026 Idea Machine is 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.


  • Grand prize: Each final winning entry will receive a cash prize of $26,000 and its authors (individuals or teams) will be invited to a recognition event in the Washington, D.C. area.
  • Each of the entries recommended by the Blue-Ribbon Panel for final consideration by NSF (approximately six) will receive an honorable mention at the winner recognition event.
  • Each author (individual or team member) of the entries selected by the Blue-Ribbon Panel for virtual interviews (approximately 12) will receive a cash prize of $1,000.


The NSF 2026 Idea Machine
NSF's 10 Big Ideas
Application Link

October 26, 2018