Foundation research

Announcements | NSF – National Science Foundation


National Science Foundation announces $8.6 million partnership with leading foundations to improve STEM education in the United States

A historic collaboration with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Schmidt Futures and the Walton Family Foundation will support educational research to help historically marginalized groups.

Credit: National Science Foundation

July 06, 2022

Today, the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF), in collaboration with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Schmidt Futures, and the Walton Family Foundation, announced a new partnership to help fund initiatives that will improve the quality of STEM education in the United States for all students, especially those whose talents, intelligence, and entrepreneurial spirit have been underutilized in the nation’s STEM enterprise. NSF will match foundation money for each funded activity.

This landmark collaboration brings together some of the largest public and private funders committed to equitable student outcomes and STEM education and is one of the first of its kind to involve these organizations. The partnership will provide unique opportunities to establish new research infrastructures, provide training and research experiences, as well as accelerate the field in ways that transform the frontiers of knowledge, technology and educational practices.

The issue of STEM education is particularly pressing, given the rapid growth of STEM careers. For example, it is expected that occupations in the mathematical sciences growing up to 28% over the next ten years. But in many ways, student achievement has not kept pace. According to the federal statisticsonly a third of 8th graders master mathematics.

“We are thrilled to partner with the Gates Foundation, Schmidt Futures and the Walton Family Foundation in this important work,” said NSF Director Sethuraman Panchanathan, “We know there are millions of talented people missing in our STEM business, and we are excited to catalyze new thinking that will reach them and provide unique opportunities to shape STEM education and the STEM workforce of tomorrow.

NSF recently published a Letter to Colleagues that invites proposals from researchers, nonprofits, and other educational organizations to develop research infrastructure concepts — which could include any combination of equipment, cyberinfrastructure, large-scale datasets and personnel that will help the field answer important questions. questions about how to achieve greater equity in education, particularly at the preK-12 level. Improving the speed and scale at which research in STEM education progresses requires national research infrastructures. Through the DCL Mid-Scale Research Infrastructure Incubator, partners aim to identify and curate viable infrastructure ideas to support STEM education research

Through this partnership, researchers will be better able to address some of the most pressing issues in STEM education in the United States. These activities will have implications for all levels of education, with a particular focus on K-12 students and teachers.

Information about other funding opportunities will be available on the NSF Education and Human Resources (EHR) and Technology Innovation and Partnerships (TIP) directorate websites as they become available.

About the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Guided by the belief that every life has equal value, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation strives to help everyone lead healthy, productive lives. In developing countries, it focuses on improving people’s health and empowering them to lift themselves out of hunger and extreme poverty. In the United States, it aims to ensure that all people, especially those with the fewest resources, have access to the opportunities they need to succeed in school and in life. Based in Seattle, Washington, the foundation is led by CEO Mark Suzman, under the leadership of co-chairs Bill Gates and Melinda French Gates and the board of trustees.

About Schmidt Futures Contracts

Schmidt Futures bets early on on exceptional people who make the world a better place. Founded by Eric and Wendy Schmidt, Schmidt Futures is a philanthropic initiative that brings together talented people in networks to prove their ideas and solve difficult problems in science and society. To learn more about our method and the various types of capital and tools we deploy, visit

About The Walton Family Foundation

The Walton Family Foundation is, at its core, a family foundation. Three generations of descendants of our founders, Sam and Helen Walton, and their spouses, work together to lead the foundation and create access to opportunity for people and communities. We work in three areas: improving K-12 education, protecting rivers and oceans and the communities they support, and investing in our home region of Northwest Arkansas and the Arkansas-Mississippi Delta. . To learn more, visit and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

About the National Science Foundation

The National Science Foundation of the United States propels the nation forward by advancing basic research in all fields of science and engineering. The NSF supports research and people by providing facilities, instruments, and funding to support their ingenuity and support the United States as a world leader in research and innovation. With an $8.5 billion budget for fiscal year 2021, NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and institutions. Each year, the NSF receives more than 40,000 competitive submissions and awards approximately 11,000 new awards. These awards include support for cooperative research with industry, Arctic and Antarctic research and operations, and U.S. participation in international science efforts.

Media Contacts
Media Affairs, NSF, (703) 292-7090, [email protected]