Funding Opportunities pursuant to the Big Ideas

February 8, 2019

In 2016, the National Science Foundation (NSF) unveiled a set of “Big Ideas,” 10 bold, long-term research and process ideas that identify areas for future investment at the frontiers of science and engineering (see The Big Ideas represent unique opportunities to position our Nation at the cutting edge of global science and engineering leadership by bringing together diverse disciplinary perspectives to support convergence research.

Since 2017, NSF has been building a foundation for the Big Ideas through pioneering research and pilot activities.  In 2019, NSF will invest $30 million in each Big Idea and continue to identify and support emerging opportunities for U.S. leadership in the Big Ideas that serve the Nation’s future.

The list below reflects the current Funding Opportunities pursuant to the Big Ideas.


Future of Work at the Human-Technology Frontier



Growing Convergence Research



Harnessing the Data Revolution



Mid-Scale Research Infrastructure



Navigating the New Artic



NSF 2026






Quantum Leap



Understanding the Rules of Life



Windows on the Universe


The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. In fiscal year (FY) 2020, its budget is $8.3 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and other institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 50,000 competitive proposals for funding and makes about 12,000 new funding awards.

mail icon Get News Updates by Email 

Useful NSF Web Sites:
NSF Home Page:
NSF News:
For the News Media:
Science and Engineering Statistics:
Awards Searches: