NSF Advancing Informal STEM Learning (AISL) Solicitation

Please see the full solicitation for complete information about the funding opportunity. Below is a summary assembled by the Research & Innovation Office (RIO).

Program Summary

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's priorities are: (1) Maximizing Strategic Impact, (2) Enhancing Knowledge-Building, (3) Promoting Innovation, (4) Advancing Collaboration, (5) Strengthening Infrastructure and Building Capacity, and (6) Broadening Participation. Through these priorities, described in more detail throughout the solicitation, the program contributes to STEM engagement and literacy, workforce development, and educational success. It may also narrow the gap between the advancements in scientific discovery and the public's understanding of science.

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.


CU Internal Deadline: 11:59pm MST August 13, 2019

Sponsor Application Deadline: 5:00pm MST November 6, 2019

Internal Application Requirements (all in PDF format)

  • Project Summary (2-3 pages maximum): Please include the following: AISL project type, project rationale, description of the proposed activity, objectives, methods, project design, communication plan, evaluation, project management, intellectual merit, broader impacts.
  • PI CV / Biosketch
  • Budget Overview (1 page maximum): A basic budget outlining project costs is sufficient; detailed OCG budgets are not required.

To access the online application, visit: https://colorado.secure-platform.com/a/solicitations/home/6360


An individual may be included as a Principal Investigator (PI) /Co-PI on no more than three (3) proposals submitted to the November deadline.

Limited Submission Guidelines

An institution or organization may serve as lead on no more than three (3) proposals submitted to the November deadline. However, an institution or organization may partner as a subaward on other proposals submitted.

Award Information

Award Amounts and Durations:

  • Pilots and Feasibility projects: up to $300,000 with durations up to two years
  • Research in Service to Practice projects: from $300,000 to $2,000,000 with durations from two to five years
  • Innovations in Development projects: $500,000 to $3,000,000 with durations from two to five years
  • Broad Implementation projects from $1,000,000 to $3,000,000 with durations from three to five years
  • Literature Reviews, Syntheses, or Meta-analyses projects up to $250,000 with durations of up to two years
  • Conferences up to $250,000 with durations of up to two years.

Estimated Number of Awards: 60 to 85

  • 15-20 Pilots and Feasibility Studies awards
  • 8-10 Research in Service To Practice awards
  • 10-15 Innovations in Development awards
  • 4-6 Broad Implementation awards
  • 8-10 Literature Reviews, Syntheses, and/or Meta-analyses awards
  • 12-18 Conference awards
  • 8-10 awards made through the EAGER, RAPID, Research Coordination Networks (RCN) mechanisms
  • 2-4 each CAREER awards and REU supplements.