Advancing Informal STEM Learning (AISL)

Award Info:

Limits for funding requests and duration of AISL proposals under this solicitation are as follows: (1) Synthesis projects: $100,000 to $500,000 with a duration up to two years; (2) Conference projects: $75,000 to $250,000 with a duration up to two years; (3) Partnership Development and Planning projects: $50,000 to $150,000 with a duration of one to one and one-half years; (4) Integrating Research and Practice projects: $250,000 to $2,000,000 with a duration of two to five years; and (5) Research in Support of Wide-reaching Public Engagement with STEM projects: $1,000,000 to $3,500,000 with a duration of two to five years.


The Advancing Informal STEM Learning (AISL) Program is committed to funding research and practice, with continued focus on investigating a range of informal STEM learning (ISL) experiences and environments that make lifelong learning a reality. This Program seeks proposals that center equity and belonging, and further the well-being of individuals and communities who have historically been and continue to be excluded, under-served, or underrepresented, due to gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability status, neurodiversity, geographic location, and economic status, among others, as well as their intersections. The current solicitation encourages proposals from institutions and organizations that serve public audiences, and specifically focus on public engagement with and understanding of STEM, including community STEM; public participation in scientific research (PPSR); science communication; intergenerational STEM engagement; and STEM media.

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.