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News Release 18-045

NSF awards more than $150 million to early career researchers in engineering and computer science

More than 300 awardees to solve research challenges and mentor future scientists and engineers

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The 2018 awardees in engineering and computer science hail from 120 institutions across 43 states.

July 2, 2018

This material is available primarily for archival purposes. Telephone numbers or other contact information may be out of date; please see current contact information at media contacts.

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has invested $150 million in 307 early career engineering and computer science faculty to advance fields from intelligent infrastructure and collaborative robots to secure communications and brain-related technologies.

Over the next five years, each researcher will receive up to $500,000 from NSF to build a firm scientific footing for solving challenges and scaling new heights for the nation, as well as serve as academic role models in research and education.

"NSF is committed to helping academic scientists and engineers launch careers of discovery and leadership," said Dawn Tilbury, head of NSF's Engineering (ENG) directorate. "With NSF CAREER awards, junior STEM faculty have the opportunity to tackle important and unique research challenges and to make our country's future healthier, safer and more prosperous."

The NSF Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) program, which extends across all the agency's science and engineering directorates, allows promising junior faculty to pursue cutting-edge research while simultaneously advancing excellence in education.

This year's awardees in engineering and computer science hail from 120 institutions across 43 states. In addition, more than 18 percent of awards are to grantees in jurisdictions eligible for Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR), which helps traditionally underserved areas enhance their research competitiveness and strengthen science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education and capacity.

"We're delighted to support this cadre of early career researchers as they embark on long-term research and education activities that will advance the frontiers of our field," said Erwin Gianchandani, acting assistant director for NSF's Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE) directorate. "These early career faculty will catalyze new breakthroughs in computer and information science and engineering that will transform our nation in the years to come."

More than 20 percent of engineering and computer science CAREER awardees are women and about 8 percent are from underrepresented groups, according to self-reported proposal data. These percentages are higher than those of U.S. engineering and computer science faculty overall.

NSF awarded more than 47 percent of these CAREER awards to first-time principal investigators. The awardees bring a diverse range of scientific and engineering thinking and expertise, essential for creating new knowledge and innovations to address complex problems.

NSF funding for these CAREER awards comes from NSF's ENG and CISE directorates, with additional support from the NSF EPSCoR program. Visit the NSF award database for the list of Fiscal Year 2018 NSF CAREER grantees in ENG and CISE.

Visit the NSF award database for the list of FY 2018 NSF ENG CAREER grantees and the list of FY 2018 NSF CISE CAREER grantees.


Media Contacts
Sarah Bates, NSF, (703) 292-7738, email:
Linda A. McBrearty, NSF, (703) 292-2251, email:

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 2023 budget of $9.5 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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