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Research on Learning in Formal and Informal Settings

Advancing Informal STEM Learning  (AISL)


Welcome to the NSF-AISL landing page. We are glad you are interested in this program. In this space we will post information about upcoming call-ins with program officers and well as webinars for prospective submitters, as well as information about the program and the solicitation farther below.

Office hours with NSF AISL Program Directors in preparation for AISL Jan. 12, 2021 proposal deadline

CAISE is hosting six opportunities to connect with program directors from NSF to ask questions about proposal preparation. Register here:

Dates, Times, & Topics

  • 10/28/2020: Introduction to the Solicitation, virtual, 3-4pm Eastern
  • 11/10/2020: External Feedback & Advisory Boards, virtual, 3-4pm Eastern
  • 11/16/2020: New to Proposal Preparation Office Hours, virtual, 3-4pm Eastern
  • 11/24/2020: Research Coordination Networks, virtual, 3-4pm Eastern
  • 12/9/2020: Budget Preparation, virtual, 3-4pm Eastern
  • 1/6/2020: Last Chance for Questions, virtual, 3-4pm Eastern


The AISL program supports a Resource Center (CAISE) for the AISL PI community and beyond. See the following description for more information about this center and other resources for assisting you in developing a proposal.

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  20-607

Important Information for Proposers

A revised version of the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) (NSF 20-1), is effective for proposals submitted, or due, on or after June 1, 2020. Please be advised that, depending on the specified due date, the guidelines contained in NSF 20-1 may apply to proposals submitted in response to this funding opportunity.


Full Proposal Deadline Date

    January 12, 2021


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