NSF 2026 Idea Machine Challenge Details

The 2026 Idea Machine Challenge for future basic science research funding has been launched. The winners will help set the U.S. agenda for fundamental research in science and engineering, earn cash prizes and receive public recognition. 

Do you have the next set of “Big Ideas” for future investment by the National Science Foundation?

How to get involved:

  1. Submit an entry yourself or on behalf of your organization
  2. Share to your network using our promotional toolkit
  3. Call or reply to this email. My direct line is in my signature

Prize Purse

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. All authors (individual and teams) of each of the entries invited to submit video pitches (approximately 30) will receive thank-you letters from NSF leadership.
  4. The authors of the top, approximately 100 entries will receive public recognition by having their Ideas posted on the Idea Machine website.

Deadline: October 26, 2018, 5pm EST.

If you have any questions, contact:

Ian Murphy
Outreach Director
m: (310) 689-6397
NSF 2026 Idea Machine