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NSF 17-041

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for the Science of Learning (SL) Program

  1. Where can I find more information about the Science of Learning Program?

    All the information you need to apply to the Science of Learning Program (SL) is available via the SL Program Description (

    The SL Program Description describes scientific and other guidelines for research in Science of Learning. As an NSF core program, standard instructions for proposal preparation apply and are described in the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG). Also, opportunities for Science of Learning will be available in regular, repeating cycles for the foreseeable future.

    In contrast, past funding opportunities for Science of Learning such as Science of Learning Centers (SLC) and Science of Learning: Collaborative Networks (SL-CN) were announced through program solicitations. These solicitations are no longer active.

  2. Will my research fit well into the program?

    In making this assessment, please refer to the Synopsis for the Science of Learning Program which includes the following statement of goals: "The goals of the SL Program are to develop basic theoretical insights and fundamental knowledge about learning principles, processes and constraints."

    The remainder of the Synopsis suggests possible research fields, approaches, and topics that could address those goals. This is by no means an exhaustive list and we welcome your ideas. Each applicant should craft their best scientific proposal with clear articulation of how the intellectual merit addresses the central program goals to advance fundamental knowledge about learning.

  3. Will my proposal be suitable as an Early-concept Grants for Exploratory Research (EAGER) type of proposal?

    EAGER proposals have different requirements than standard full proposals. Please refer to the PAPPG for guidance on the preparation and submission of an EAGER proposal.

    Potential EAGER proposers should send the program directors a one-page primer of their project. This primer should address all criteria listed in the EAGER guidelines. A key criterion is that the EAGER proposal type should not be used for projects that are appropriate for submission as regular (i.e., non-EAGER) NSF proposals.

  4. Does the Science of Learning program accept CAREER proposals?

    Yes, the program accepts CAREER proposals. CAREER is an NSF-wide activity to support early faculty development as scholars and as teachers. The current solicitation, due dates, and guidelines for prospective CAREER applicants can be found on the Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) program website.