Visionary Interdisciplinary Teams Advancing Learning (VITAL) Prize Challenge

Funding Agency:
National Science Foundation

The U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF), in partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Schmidt Futures, and the Walton Family Foundation, is excited to announce the new Visionary Interdisciplinary Teams Advancing Learning (VITAL) Prize Challenge, with the goal of catalyzing a new generation of emerging technologies and innovations for K-12 learning. The $6 million prize challenge, managed by Digital Promise, will provide funding, resources, and capacity-building support for small teams to bring new discoveries to educational and learning contexts to improve the experiences of those who have been historically and systematically excluded from learning and education systems.

Deadline: March 19, 2023

Agency Website

Areas of Interest

Application Tracks:

Applicants will submit a brief overview of their learning technology concept via a web portal to one of three technology translation tracks:

Rapid and Continuous Learning Assessment: Advancing measures and tools that dramatically increase the speed and utility of student learning information for educators, students, and families.

Mathematical Literacy to Promote a Future STEM Workforce: Advancing a student’s capacity to employ fundamental critical thinking skills and quantitative reasoning in a variety of contexts.

Other Innovations in Translational Learning Technologies: Advancing novel concepts and technologies for diverse communities of K-12 student learners and teachers, outside of assessment and mathematical literacy.

Eligibility Requirements

Who should apply:

Anyone interested in taking, from the research lab to practice, an emerging technology concept that could serve learners or otherwise contribute to more equitable learning systems. 

Applicants can come from any field (e.g., engineering, computer science, neuroscience, psychology, anthropology, economics, etc.), and need not have existing experience in education or technology. Applicants can also be at any stage of their careers across academia, industry, or elsewhere (e.g., entrepreneurs, professors, students, researchers, teachers, computer scientists, product developers, etc.).

Teams will need at least one person to represent a concept and develop a prototype throughout the training and mentorship opportunities provided by the challenge. Teams must be made up of at least two individuals or represent a small group. Each team who passes through the initial Discovery Round will be partnered with an educator to help develop their concept for educational settings.

Base Eligibility:

  • Must be based in the United States. In the case of a private entity, it must be incorporated in and maintain a primary place of business in the United States. In the case of an individual, whether participating as a pair or in a group, must be 18 or older at time of entry into Challenge and a U.S. citizen or permanent resident of the United States.
  • May not be a Federal entity or Federal employee acting within the scope of their employment.
  • May not be an employee of NSF or the three partnering philanthropies, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Schmidt Futures, and the Walton Family Foundation.

Funding Type





Engineering and Physical Sciences
Medical - Clinical Science
Medical - Translational
Social Sciences

External Deadline

March 19, 2023