NSF invests $9.75 million into growing the academic faculty in quantum computer science and engineering

August 4, 2020

To grow the academic research capacity in the quantum computing and information science fields, the National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded $9.75 million to support workforce development for advancing quantum computing and quantum communication research and education in Computer Science and Computer Engineering Departments.

Funded by NSF's Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE), the awards represent a major investment in developing the workforce for "The Quantum Leap: Leading the Next Quantum Revolution,” one of NSF's 10 Big Ideas for long-term discovery and innovation, and advancing the goals of the National Quantum Initiative.

“A key thrust of the ‘Quantum Leap’ Big Idea is the development of a well-trained workforce capable of pursuing advanced research and development in quantum science and technology," said Margaret Martonosi, Assistant Director of CISE.

The Quantum Computing & Information Science - Faculty Fellows (QCIS-FF) program will strengthen QCIS efforts, grow the workforce with QCIS expertise, and closely integrate QCIS faculty with quantum information science faculty in other departments, as well as faculty in other disciplines. Doing so will accelerate advances in quantum computing, communication and sensing, including the transition of knowledge and technologies to practice.

"The recent progress in quantum information science has prompted a renewed interest in the need for increased capacity in departments that support research and education of computer science, information science, and computer engineering," says Martonosi.

The QCIS-FF program will grow academic research capacity in the computing and information science fields to support advances in quantum computing and quantum communication over the long term. Specifically, QCIS-FF supports departments and schools in U.S. institutions of higher education that conduct research and teaching in computer science, information science, and computer engineering, with the specific goal of encouraging hiring of tenure-track and tenured faculty in quantum computing and quantum communication.

The following 13 universities received QCIS-FF awards (in alphabetical order of institution name):


The U.S. National Science Foundation propels the nation forward by advancing fundamental research in all fields of science and engineering. NSF supports research and people by providing facilities, instruments and funding to support their ingenuity and sustain the U.S. as a global leader in research and innovation. With a fiscal year 2020 budget of $8.3 billion, NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 40,000 competitive proposals and makes about 11,000 new awards. Those awards include support for cooperative research with industry, Arctic and Antarctic research and operations, and U.S. participation in international scientific efforts.

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