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Research on Learning in Formal and Informal Settings

Advancing Informal STEM Learning  (AISL)

AISL Solicitation and Webinars

The new AISL Program Solicitation (NSF #17-573) has been posted.

AISL Reviewers Needed  

If you are interested in reviewing AISL proposals for the 2018 submission, please submit a brief CV and a 2-4 sentence description of your experience related to learning in informal environments, including (as applicable) disciplinary, methods, theory, and age group experience, to

AISL Webinars

In an effort to communicate program updates to the field, NSF Program Officers led a series of live webinars focused on topics specific to the AISL Program, new AISL program solicitation (NSF #17-573) and writing strong proposals. Parties interested in submitting a proposal to the AISL program are strongly encouraged to review the webinar materials linked below.

AISL Solicitation and Project Types – Deep Dive

Pre-recorded - download the presentation slides at

AISL Program Solicitation Overview

Presented August 24, 2017 - View slides and archived video at

How to Use to Make Your Case

Presented September 14, 2017 - View the archived video at

How to Write a Competitive AISL Proposal

Presented September 19, 2017 - View slides and archived video at

AISL & Broadening Participation

Presented September 22, 2017 - View slides and archived video at 

The webinars were hosted by the Center for Advancement of Informal Science Education (CAISE). 

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


Solicitation  17-573

Important Information for Proposers

ATTENTION: Proposers using the Collaborators and Other Affiliations template for more than 10 senior project personnel will encounter proposal print preview issues. Please see the Collaborators and Other Affiliations Information website for updated guidance.

A revised version of the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) (NSF 18-1), is effective for proposals submitted, or due, on or after January 29, 2018. Please be advised that, depending on the specified due date, the guidelines contained in NSF 18-1 may apply to proposals submitted in response to this funding opportunity.


Full Proposal Deadline Date

    November 7, 2018


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