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Research on Learning in Formal and Informal Settings

Advancing Informal STEM Learning  (AISL)

Center for Advancement of Informal Science Education

CAISE will host virtual office hours which are informal sessions where you can ask NSF AISL program officers questions about the AISL solicitation and/or the NSF merit review process. They are open to everyone.

  • Tuesday, September 10 from 2:00-3:00 pm ET (register here)
  • Thursday, October 10 from 12:00-1:00 pm ET (register here) Focused on budgets and budget justifications
  • Wednesday, October 16 from 2:30-3:30 pm ET (register here)

The Center for Advancement of Informal Science Education (CAISE) is an NSF resource center that connects and supports the AISL community, as well as broader the informal STEM education field. Learn more about CAISE.

CAISE maintains, a central portal to more than 8,000 resources, including project descriptions, research literature, evaluation reports, and updates from the field.

If you are interested in submitting a proposal to the AISL program, view these resources on

Name Email Phone Room
Address Questions to the  Program (703)292-8616   


Solicitation  17-573

Important Information for Proposers

A revised version of the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) (NSF 19-1), is effective for proposals submitted, or due, on or after February 25, 2019. Please be advised that, depending on the specified due date, the guidelines contained in NSF 19-1 may apply to proposals submitted in response to this funding opportunity.


Full Proposal Deadline Date

    November 6, 2019


The Advancing Informal STEM Learning (AISL) program seeks to advance new approaches to and evidence-based understanding of the design and development of STEM learning opportunities for the public in informal environments; provide multiple pathways for broadening access to and engagement in STEM learning experiences; advance innovative research on and assessment of STEM learning in informal environments; and engage the public of all ages in learning STEM in informal environments.


The AISL program supports six types of projects: (1) Pilots and Feasibility Studies, (2) Research in Service to Practice, (3) Innovations in Development, (4) Broad Implementation, (5) Literature Reviews, Syntheses, or Meta-Analyses, and (6) Conferences.


What Has Been Funded (Recent Awards Made Through This Program, with Abstracts)

Map of Recent Awards Made Through This Program