National Science Foundation (NSF)
11/06/19 5:00 PM Submitter's Local Time
Grants to USA nonprofits, for-profits, IHEs, government agencies, and individuals to strengthen the quality of informal STEM education for the general public and professional audiences. Funding is available for a broad range of project types that allow public audiences to engage with STEM learning. Projects may also involve research and assessment of informal STEM learning environments.
The AISL program supports six types of projects:
1) Pilots and Feasibility Studies
Projects can be funded for up to $300,000 total and up to two years in duration. The AISL program anticipates funding 15-20 per year.
These projects offer opportunities for practitioners and researchers to investigate issues in and approaches to informal STEM learning and to establish the basis for future research, design, and development of innovations or approaches. Such initial exploratory development work and pilot or feasibility studies should produce evidence, findings, and/or prototype deliverables that help the team make critical decisions about future work. These proposals may include high risk strategies or methods that need exploration (piloting) before further research and development is justifiable.
2) Research in Service to Practice
Projects can be funded for $300,000 to $2 million and from two to five years in duration. The AISL program anticipates funding 8-10 per year.
The Research in Service to Practice (RSP) project type focuses on research that advances knowledge and the evidence base for practices, assumptions, broadening participation, or emerging educational arrangements in STEM learning in informal environments, including the science of science communication (NAS, 2017). For these proposals it is important for practice to inform the research as well as having research inform practice. Genuine partnerships between researchers and practitioners are required, such that the project is important and relevant to both research and practice.
Research takes many forms and occurs at different scales. While the range for funding is quite broad, applicants should consider small and medium scale investigations depending on the nature of research questions and focus.
3) Innovations in Development
Projects can be funded for $500,000 to $3 million and from two to five years in duration. The AISL program anticipates funding 10-15 per year.
The Innovations in Development project type is expected to result in deliverables such as exhibits, media products, after school programs, etc., and in innovative models, programs, technologies, assessments, resources, or systems for an area of STEM learning in informal environments. As R&D projects, proposals should describe activities for the design and development of new or improved innovations or approaches to achieve specific goals related to STEM learning, engagement, and capacity building. These proposals build on evidence from the team's or the field's prior research, design, practice, and development work. It is understood that innovations take many forms and occur at different scales. While the range for funding is quite broad, applicants should consider small and medium scale innovations depending on the nature of what is being innovated.
An explicit theoretical framework as well as either a logic model or theory of action should guide projects. In addition, proposals must articulate a plan and process for the design, development, implementation, and evidence-building components (based on research, evaluation, or both) of the proposed work. Iterative, design-based research approaches are encouraged, if appropriate.
4) Broad Implementation
Projects can be funded for $1 million to $3 million and from three to five years in duration. The AISL program anticipates funding 4-6 per year.
The Broad Implementation project type supports the expansion or reach of models, programs, technologies, assessments, resources, research, or systems that have a documented record of success, innovation, or evidence-based knowledge building. The focus is on making innovations or approaches succeed when they are implemented at a larger scale. Sources of evidence may include summative evaluation or research data that indicate readiness for distribution to a broader population or new setting(s) and should be summarized in the proposal narrative.
When thinking about the focus for expansion, consider: geography, age, socio-economic status, cultural or linguistic group, race and ethnicity, gender, disability, learning setting, or another dimension. Where appropriate, investigators are encouraged to emphasize individuals from underrepresented or underserved groups as a target audience for a component or for the entire focus of the project.
5) Literature Reviews, Syntheses, or Meta-analyses
Projects can be funded for up to $250,000 and are usually two years in duration. Investigators are strongly encouraged to contact a PO prior to submission to discuss your idea(s). The AISL program anticipates funding up to 10 projects within this category per year.
AISL supports capacity building through literature reviews, syntheses, and meta-analyses directly related to the goals of the AISL program. Applicants should be clear about which type of proposal they are submitting. A proposal should focus on a question, issue, or topic of critical importance to the AISL program.
Projects can be funded for up to $250,000 and are usually two years in duration.
Investigators are strongly encouraged to contact a PO prior to submission to discuss your idea(s). For general guidance about conferences, follow the PAPPG guidance under for preparing Conference Proposals (PAPPG II.E.7), in addition to the AISL-specific guidance below. The Project Description section of these proposals is limited to 15 pages. The AISL program anticipates funding up to 18 projects within this category per year.
Conference proposals should demonstrate a command of the literature and/or practice of the question, issue, or topic. Participant expertise and selection should be discussed. Conference proposals should include a conceptual framework for the conference, draft agenda, possible participant list, and the outcomes or products that will result.
Note: For Conferences with budgets over $75K, proposals should be submitted for review by the deadline dates listed at the beginning of this solicitation. Conferences with budgets under $75K are evaluated on an ad hoc basis and may be submitted at any time (not only to the competition deadline), generally at least one year in advance of when the event would be held. Investigators are strongly encouraged to contact a Program Officer prior to submission.
Anticipated Total Funding Amount for all programs is: $33,000,000 to $44,000,000.
Pending availability of funds, it is anticipated that about 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, and 12-18 Conference awards will be made. AISL will also fund 8-10 awards made through the EAGER, RAPID, Research Coordination Networks (RCN) mechanisms and 2-4 each CAREER awards and REU supplements.
GrantWatch ID#: 154919
- Pilots and Feasibility: Up to $300,000
- Research in Service to Practice: $300,000 - $2,000,000
- Innovations in Development: $500,000 - $3,000,000
- Broad Implementation: $1,000,000 - $3,000,000
- Literature Reviews, Syntheses, or Meta-analyses: Up to $250,000
- Conferences: Up to $250,000
- Pilots and Feasibility projects are up to 2 years in duration
- Research in Service to Practice projects are 2 - 5 years in duration.
- Innovations in Development projects are 2 - 5 years in duration.
- Broad Implementation projects are 3 - 5 years in duration.
- Literature Reviews, Syntheses, or Meta-analyses projects are up to 2 years in duration.
- Conferences are up to 2 years in duration.
Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.
Applications must be submitted via either FastLane or Grants.gov.
For Grants.gov user support, contact the Grants.gov Contact Center at 1-800-518-4726 or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
For administrative questions contact the Program by e-mail at DRLAISL@nsf.gov or phone at (703)292-8616.
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