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NSF – “Big Ideas”


The Office of Research will be awarding a $500 prize for best “Big Idea” submitted by an individual or team from WSU to the NSF 2026 Idea Machine (details below). To be eligible you must submit your idea to NSF by October 5th and send proof of submission to The WSU “Big Idea” Prize winner will be announced on Monday, October 15th during the launch of Research Week.


The National Science Foundation (NSF) announces the launch of the NSF 2026 Idea Machine, a prize competition to help set the U.S. agenda for fundamental research in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and STEM education. Participants can earn cash prizes and receive public recognition by suggesting the pressing research questions that need to be answered in the coming decade, the next set of “Big Ideas” for future investment by NSF. It’s an opportunity for researchers, the public and other interested stakeholders to contribute to NSF’s mission to support basic research and enable new discoveries that drive the U.S. economy, enhance national security and advance knowledge to sustain the country’s global leadership in science and engineering.


Entries will be accepted through October 26, 2018. For more information, including entry instructions, eligibility, rules, and judging criteria, please visit the NSF 2026 Idea Machine website.

National Science Foundation Research Traineeship Program Limited Submission

The Office of Research Advancement and Partnerships is now accepting limited submission pre-proposals for the National Science Foundation Research Traineeship (NRT) program.


The NRT is designed to encourage the development and implementation of bold, new, and potentially transformative models for STEM graduate education training. Proposals should ensure that graduate students in research-based master’s and doctoral degree programs develop the skills, knowledge, and competencies needed to pursue a range of STEM careers. Priority research areas for the 2019 competition are Harnessing the Data Revolution (HDR) and Innovations at the Nexus of Food, Energy, and Water Systems (INFEWS). (Note that the NRT program no longer has two tracks; the Innovations in Graduate Education (IGE) track has been separated as its own program.)


The full NRT program solicitation can be viewed at NRT Program Solicitation.


For the internal competition submission, you will need to complete the NRT Application.


Please submit all documents to by Wednesday, October 17th. Full proposals will be due at NSF on February 6, 2019.

Defense TechConnect Fall Summit & Expo


October 23-25 – Tampa, Florida


Entering its sixth year, the annual Defense TechConnect (DTC) Summit, co-located with the Fall SBIR/STTR Innovation Summit, brings together defense, private industry, federal agency, and academic leadership to accelerate state-of-the-art technology solutions for the warfighter and national security.


The DTC supports innovation imperatives in the new National Defense Strategy (NDS) and is a unique platform to reach thousands of public and private leaders focused on innovation and technology to support the warfighter. At last year’s Defense Innovation Summit, close to 1,000+ one-on-one meetings took place between small businesses and SBIR Federal Program Managers, 200+ booths and tabletop displays in the Exhibit Hall representing private sector companies and non-traditional innovators, and more than 30 breakout sessions focused on defense innovation areas of interest including but not limited to energy, cyber, biomedical, and command, control, communications, computers/intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (C4ISR).


The DTC Summit is proud to once again host the Defense Innovation Technology Acceleration Challenges (DITAC), connecting emerging technologies with DOD component commands, officers, and acquisition experts. The annual DTC is one of the most well-attended defense innovation conferences of the year. As the home to both SOCOM and CENTCOM, Tampa serves as an ideal location to link the DoD’s innovation needs with global private sector solution providers.


Interested in attending? Contact us ( for travel funds!

WSU awards 14 junior faculty with seed funding

This year, Washington State University awarded fourteen new faculty seed grants to help them develop their research, scholarly, or creative programs.

The New Faculty Seed Grant program is funded by the Office of Research and the Office of the Provost. For over forty years these offices have provided seed funding to junior faculty as they build the foundation for their academic programs, allowing them to effectively seek out extramural funding and providing them opportunities for professional growth.

This year, 54 proposals were received. The 14 selected proposals represent the range of scholarly activity taking place at WSU. The total amount of grant funding is $249,986.

Winning proposals include:

  • Brianna Ewing, School of Food Science, yeast nutrition in cider fermentation.
  • Sarah Hart, School of the Environment, environmental recovery and resilience after fire.
  • Sophia Tegart, School of Music, a collection of pieces by women composers to exemplify musical ekphrasis, the representation of art, nature, and poetry in music.
  • Chanmi Hwang, Department of Apparel, Merchandising, Design and Textiles, the development of economically feasible and functional maternity hospital gowns.
  • Molly Kelton, Department of Teaching and Learning, investigating innovative arts-based strategies to engage students of predominantly-Latino populations in STEM fields.
  • Xiongzhi Chen, Mathematics and Statistics, development of testing procedures that adapt to the overall level signals in data, classifying the type of dependence under which a statistical procedure is accurate and stable.
  • Idil Akin, Civil and Environmental Engineering, developing a new framework to quantify mechanical behavior of soils in the entire range of soil water saturation.
  • Ofer Amram, Nutrition and Exercise Physiology, examining the relationship between access to publicly-funded clinics and adherence to treatment and likelihood of OD in opioid users.
  • Lais Malavasi, Veterinary Clinical Sciences, evaluating the effect of buprenorphine added to the local anesthetic for brachial plexus block in dogs that will undergo elbow arthroscopy.
  • Ryan Driskell, School of Molecular Biosciences, investigating fibroblasts during pig skin development, potentially leading to therapeutic strategies for human skin regeneration.
  • Julia Day, School of Design and Construction, determining best practices for design considerations for common household interfaces.
  • Qiang Zhang, Department of Chemistry, design and synthesize porous smart materials for applications in sensing of toxic chemicals in air and water.
  • Jessica Willoughby, College of Communication, examining the role of psychosocial variables related to media use and emotional states in preventing skin damaging behaviors.
  • Richard Iles, School of Economic Sciences: exploring the effects of cognitive information processing costs through a simulation which asks users to either sell or vaccinate livestock.

To read full descriptions of these programs, visit