Article in Science: NSF director unveils big ideas

Science magazine reports that NSF director France Cordova has unveiled a list of nine big ideas where increased NSF funds provided by Congress could make a big difference. This is part of NSF's argument for increased funding as NSF is drafting its 2018 FY budget request. It will take a while to find out if this strategy has any impact on Congress, but it provides a useful window into what NSF sees as the big challenges that they want to impact. If, as a researcher, you're doing research relevant to any of these topics, be sure to keep an eye on this. 

Here's the list 


  • Harnessing data for 21st century science and engineering
  • Shaping the human-technology frontier
  • Understanding the rules of life (i.e., predicting phenotypes from genotypes)
  • The next quantum revolution (physics)
  • Navigating the new Arctic (including a fixed and mobile observing network)
  • Windows on the universe: multimessenger astrophysics


  • More convergent research
  • Support for midscale infrastructure (costing tens of millions of dollars)
  • NSF 2050 (i.e., a common fund to seed large, ambitious projects)

See the Science website for more details (and click here to see a more detailed description of each item)..