Advancing Informal STEM Learning
Address Questions to the
For administrative questions contact the Program by e-mail at DRLAISL@nsf.gov or phone at (703)292-8616
Important Notice to Proposers
A revised version of the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG), NSF 13-1, was issued on October 4, 2012 and is effective for proposals submitted, or due, on or after January 14, 2013. Please be advised that, depending on the specified due date, the guidelines contained in NSF 13-1 may apply to proposals submitted in response to this funding opportunity.
Please be aware that significant changes have been made to the PAPPG to implement revised merit review criteria based on the National Science Board (NSB) report, National Science Foundation's Merit Review Criteria: Review and Revisions. While the two merit review criteria remain unchanged (Intellectual Merit and Broader Impacts), guidance has been provided to clarify and improve the function of the criteria. Changes will affect the project summary and project description sections of proposals. Annual and final reports also will be affected.
A by-chapter summary of this and other significant changes is provided at the beginning of both the Grant Proposal Guide and the Award & Administration Guide.
The Advancing Informal STEM Learning program invests in research and development of innovative and field-advancing out-of-school STEM learning and emerging STEM learning environments.
The name of the program has changed from Informal Science Education (ISE) to Advancing Informal STEM Learning (AISL). AISL better emphasizes the priorities of the solicitation and the changes at NSF:
a. Advancing - This emphasizes that AISL seeks innovative projects that advance the field and that requests need to go beyond just proposing a new exhibit, program or film.
b. Informal - This continues to emphasize that the program is interested in out-of-school learning that makes learning Lifelong, Life Wide (occurring across multiple venues) and Life Deep (occurring at different levels of complexity).
c. STEM - This recognizes that the program is not just focused on science, but all of STEM.
d. Learning - This term is more appropriate than "education" based on what we know on how people learn. Also, "learning" is more connected with what people do for themselves, compared to "education" which is perceived as something that is done to them.
The Connecting Researchers and Public Audiences (CRPA) is no longer a program type, but individuals that wish to explore how to better engage the public or professional audiences with the results and societal implications of current STEM research are encouraged to consider applying under other project types.
Center for the Advancement Of Informal Science Education
What Has Been Funded (Recent Awards Made Through This Program, with Abstracts)
Map of Recent Awards Made Through This Program