Quantum Information Science and Engineering Research at NSF
NSF has a long history of investment in research that has helped lay the groundwork for the quantum-based technology that is on the horizon for rapid development over the next few years. Science and engineering stand before a new paradigm in which the exploitation of distinctly quantum phenomena offers major breakthroughs in areas such as sensing and measurement, computing and simulation, and communication and networking. At the same time industry is beginning to make its own investments as the first new products are identified and brought to market. This creates a need for a workforce trained in a spectrum of disciplines to develop the supply chain and turn new discoveries into practice.
NSF is committed to continuing to foster quantum-based research in the following three ways:
- Advancing Quantum Frontiers: Frontier knowledge generated through NSF-supported discoveries will open new vistas and opportunities in the quantum arena, such as new materials, circuits, and algorithms that enable novel quantum and post-quantum applications including artificial photosynthesis, highly sensitive radiation detectors, and many others not currently foreseen.
- Multidisciplinary Collaboration: NSF will capitalize on the full breadth of scientific and engineering areas that it funds to bring together researchers from multiple disciplines to address the fundamental science and engineering questions that will accelerate progress in all areas of quantum applications, from sensing to communication to computing to simulation.
- Workforce Development: Through its support for research and education at universities, NSF investments will build capacity by training the workforce that is essential to progress and commercialization in this rapidly expanding field of emerging technology.
NSF's investments are aligned with the National Quantum Initiative and address the policy goals expressed in the National Strategic Overview for Quantum Information Science. NSF's continued support is expressed through investments in the core NSF disciplines as well as investments in specialized activities having specific targets, many of which overlap with NSF's Quantum Leap Big Idea.
- NSF's Quantum Leap
- Current Funding Opportunities
- Ongoing Center-Scale Investments
- Other Ongoing Activities and Awards
- Recent Highlights
- Related NSF News
- Workshops and Reports
- Other Resources
- Participating NSF Directorates and Divisions
The National Science Foundation's Quantum Leap (QL) Big Idea seeks to go beyond ideas couched in classical approaches. QL will forge a paradigm shift by transitioning our thinking to truly quantum thinking. QL is poised to stimulate innovation and accelerate development of new technologies by focusing on the fundamental questions that need to be answered in order to realize the potential of this exciting opportunity. These include:
- Are there fundamental limits to how far we can push the entanglement and coherence frontiers for quantum states? Are there limits in time, distance, or scale?
- What can we learn from quantum phenomena in naturally-occurring and engineered quantum systems, including emergent behavior, complexity, quantum-classical boundaries, and their theoretical foundations?
- How do we galvanize the science and engineering community to enable quantum devices, systems, and technologies that surpass classical capabilities?
- How do we prepare an effective and diverse workforce to participate in and lead further advancements in quantum science and engineering?
Round I Awards
- Hybrid Quantum Architectures and Networks (Award)
- Quantum Systems through Entangled Science and Engineering (Award)
- Challenge Institute for Quantum Computation (Award)
- Enabling Quantum Leap: Quantum Interconnect Challenges for Transformational Advances in Quantum Systems (QuIC-TAQS): this program is designed to support interdisciplinary teams that will explore highly innovative, original, and potentially transformative ideas for developing and applying quantum science, quantum computing, and quantum engineering in the specific area of quantum interconnects. Proposals should have the potential to deliver new concepts, new platforms, and/or new approaches that will implement the transfer of quantum states efficiently across platforms and over large length scales.
- Dear Colleague Letter: Advancing Quantum Education and Workforce Development: NSF encourages submission of proposals for projects that will motivate and prepare students for quantum industries of the future. The National Science Foundation (NSF) is interested in preparation of students for quantum information science and engineering (QISE) at all levels and in all settings, both formal and informal.
- NSF Convergence Accelerator Phase I and II - Quantum Technology (Track C): Projects supported through this track should describe how they will bridge the gap between state-of-the-art fundamental research generating lab proof of concept architectures, devices, and theories and current industry efforts to build a universal quantum computer. NSF is interested in teams that establish partnerships between academia and industry to create convergent, trans-sector approaches for diverse workforce development.
- Dear Colleague Letter: Enabling Quantum Computing Platform Access for National Science Foundation Researchers with Amazon Web Services, IBM, and Microsoft Quantum: NSF and Amazon Web Services, IBM, and Microsoft Quantum are coordinating to make available cloud-based quantum-computing platforms to advance research and build capacity in the academic setting. NSF's supplemental funding for active awards will support graduate-student time to work on these platforms.
- Dear Colleague Letter: International Collaboration Supplements in Quantum Information Science and Engineering Research: NSF invites requests for supplemental funding from existing quantum information science and engineering research awardees to add a new - or strengthen an existing - international dimension to their award.
- Dear Colleague Letter: Advancing Educational Innovations that Motivate and Prepare PreK-12 Learners for Computationally-Intensive Industries of the Future: NSF will support the development of educational approaches or pathways to support preK-12 learners' computational skills and interest in artificial intelligence and quantum information systems.
- Dear Colleague Letter: Quantum Algorithm Challenge: NSF will invite proposals for research ideas seeking to develop innovative quantum algorithms for many-body systems, develop novel algorithms that expand the applications of quantum computation, or propose new quantum-computing paradigms. Please contact QLQA@nsf.gov with any questions.
- Quantum Leap Challenge Institutes (QLCI): QLCI are large-scale interdisciplinary research projects that aim to advance the frontiers of quantum information science and engineering. Research at these Institutes will span the focus areas of quantum computation, quantum communication, quantum simulation and/or quantum sensing. Please contact QLCI@nsf.gov with any questions.
- Connections in Quantum Information Science (CQIS): The CQIS program is an activity that allows for the coordinated support of QIS research across core programs in six NSF divisions.
- NSF Quantum Leap Challenge Institute for Enhanced Sensing and Distribution Using Correlated Quantum States led by the University of Colorado
- NSF Quantum Leap Challenge Institute for Hybrid Quantum Architectures and Networks led by the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
- NSF Quantum Leap Challenge Institute for Present and Future Quantum Computing led by the University of California, Berkeley
- Quantum Leap Challenge Institutes (QLCI) - Conceptualization Grants (CGs): CGs have been awarded as an initial step in the development of QLCIs. CG awards aim to support the formation of broadly convergent research teams to develop a compelling and comprehensive vision for a Challenge Institute. (Awards)
- Center for Quantum Information and Control at University of New Mexico
- NSF Engineering Research Center for Quantum Networks (CQN) at University of Arizona
- NSF Quantum Foundry at University of California, Santa Barbara
- Joint Quantum Institute (JQI) at University of Maryland
- Institute for Quantum Information and Matter (IQIM) at California Institute of Technology
- MIT-Harvard Center for Ultracold Atoms (CUA)
- JILA at University of Colorado Boulder
- Center for Integrated Quantum Materials (CIQM) at Harvard University
- Accelerating Research through International Network-to-Network Collaborations (AccelNet) (Awards)
- NSF Research Traineeship (NRT)-QL: Accelerating Quantum-Enabled Technologies
- NSF Convergence Accelerator Phase I and II — Track C: Quantum Technology (Awards)
- National Q-12 Education Partnership
- Quantum Algorithm Challenge (Awards)
- Enabling Quantum Leap: Quantum Idea Incubator for Transformational Advances in Quantum Systems (QII - TAQS) (Awards)
- NSF Quantum Computing & Information Science Faculty Fellows (QCIS-FF) (Awards)
- EQUiP: Engineering Quantum Integrated Platforms for Quantum Communication (Awards)
- Enabling Quantum Leap in Chemistry (QLC) (Awards)
- Enabling Quantum Leap: Achieving Room-Temperature Quantum Logic through Improved Low-Dimensional Materials ( Awards)
- RAISE on Enabling Quantum Leap: Transformational Advances in Quantum Systems (Awards)
- Ideas Lab: Practical Fully-Connected Quantum Computer Challenge (PFCQC)
- Resulting Award: PFCQC: STAQ: Software-Tailored Architecture for Quantum co-design
- Collaborative Research: EPiQC: Enabling Practical-scale Quantum Computing
- A "Quantum Leap" Demonstration of Topological Quantum Computing (Awards)
- NSF/DOE/AFOSR Quantum Science Summer School (QS3 program website)
- Previous: Johns Hopkins University (2017), Cornell University (2018), Penn State University (2019)
- Scheduled: UC Santa Barbara (2020)
- Quantum Information Science and Engineering Network (QISE-NET): Building "Triplets" to Bridge Academia and Industry (Award)
- Emerging Frontiers in Research and Innovation 2016 (EFRI-2016): Advancing Communication Quantum Information Research in Engineering (ACQUIRE) (Awards)
Video: Quantum entanglement microscopes (read more)
- Physicists count sound particles with quantum microphone
- Scientists discover a magnet that exhibits novel quantum effects
- System's ability to boost laser precision at room temperature increases its usability
- Is teleportation possible? Yes, in the quantum world
- Researchers develop ultra-sensitive device for detecting magnetic fields
- New 'refrigerator' super-cools molecules to nano-Kelvin temperatures
- Tiny optical cavities could make quantum networks possible
- Towards an unhackable quantum internet
- New development in quantum computing
- Research reveals exotic quantum states in double-layer graphene
- Mysterious Majorana quasiparticle is now closer to being controlled for quantum computing
- 2018 Quantum Matters™ Science Communication Competition Finals - 2019 Telly Award Winner!
- Delivering societal impact through quantum and AI-driven data and model sharing research
- International networks tackle grand scientific challenges, with NSF support
- Bringing you the quantum future—faster
- NSF expands quantum education to students nationwide in collaboration with industry and academic leaders
- New NSF engineering research centers focus on health, transportation, quantum tech and agriculture
- NSF invests $9.75 million into growing the academic faculty in quantum computer science and engineering
- NSF establishes 3 new institutes to address critical challenges in quantum information science
- NSF and White House Office of Science and Technology Policy initiate collaborative effort to develop critical resources for quantum education
- NSF offers international collaboration supplements for quantum research awardees
- National Science Foundation presents FY 2021 budget request
- NSF announces new awards for quantum research, technologies
- NSF launches effort to create first practical quantum computer
- NSF invests $30 million to pursue transformative advances at frontiers of computing and information science
NSF Workshop Series on Education & Workforce Development for QIS, coordinated with OSTP (2020)
- Key Concepts for Future Quantum Information Science Learners — Opening Doors for the Workforce of Tomorrow (Report)
- Cross-Discipline Approach to Quantum Computing in High Schools: Building towards a Quantum Computing Workforce
- Preparing Secondary Teachers to Teach Quantum Information Science
NSF Convergence Accelerator Workshop Series (Fall 2019)
- Architectures and Opportunities in Programmable Quantum Simulators (Awards, Report)
- Scalable Quantum Computing Laboratory (Awards, Report)
- Project Scoping Workshop (PSW) on Quantum Interconnects (QuIC) (Awards, Report)
QLCI Conceptualization Workshops (2019-2020)
- Distributed Quantum Systems Enhanced by Materials Design
- Northwest Quantum Nexus (NQN) Workshop on Quantum Transduction
- Identification and Control of Fundamental Properties of Quantum Systems
- Applications of Quantum Computing in Chemistry and Biology
Other Recent NSF-Supported Workshops & Reports
- Quantum Leap Grantees Meeting 2020
- Midscale Infrastructure for Quantum Photonic Science, Engineering and Technology
- Assessing Performance of Quantum Computers
- Quantum Algorithms for Quantum Chemistry and Materials
- Quantum Computing: Progress and Prospects
- Next Steps in Quantum Computing: Computer Science's Role (Report)
- Catalyzing Industry-University Collaboration in Quantum Technologies (Report)
- Quantum Biology and Quantum Processes in Biology (Video)
- Convergent Approach to the Challenges of Moore's Law
- Defects by Design: Quantum Nanophotonics in Emerging Materials (Report)
- National Quantum Initiative
- NSF's Quantum Leap
- NSF Fact Sheet: American Leadership in Quantum
- NSF Fact Sheet: Leading the Quantum Revolution
- National Quantum Initiative Act
- National Strategic Overview for Quantum Information Science
- A Strategic Vision for America's Quantum Networks
- Video: NSF's 10 Big Ideas
- Video: Ten Big Ideas for Future NSF Investment
Directorate for Mathematical and Physical Sciences (MPS)
- Office of Multidisciplinary Activities (OMA)
- Division of Astronomical Sciences (AST)
- Division of Chemistry (CHE)
- Division of Materials Research (DMR)
- Division of Mathematical Sciences (DMS)
- Division of Physics (PHY)
Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE)
- Division of Computing and Communication Foundations (CCF)
- Office of Advanced Cyberinfrastructure (OAC)
- Division of Computer and Network Systems (CNS)
Directorate for Engineering (ENG)
- Division of Electrical, Communications and Cyber Systems (ECCS)
- Division of Emerging Frontiers and Multidisciplinary Activities (EFMA)
- Division of Industrial Innovation and Partnerships (IIP)
- Division of Chemical, Bioengineering, Environmental and Transport Systems (CBET)
- Division of Electrical, Communications and Cyber Systems (ECCS)
- Division of Civil, Mechanical and Manufacturing Innovation (CMMI)
- Division of Engineering Education and Centers (EEC)
Directorate for Biological Sciences (BIO)
- Division of Molecular and Cellular Biosciences (MCB)
Directorate for Education and Human Resources (EHR)
- Division of Graduate Education (DGE)
- Division of Undergraduate Education (DUE)
- Division of Research on Learning in Formal and Informal Settings (DRL)
- Division of Human Resource Development (HRD)
Directorate for Geosciences (GEO)
- Division of Earth Sciences (EAR)
Directorate for Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences (SBE)
- Division of Social and Economic Sciences (SES)
Office of International Science and Engineering (OISE)