Science Learning+ Q&A Session Networking Opportunities Available

May 8th, 2014

Recently, CAISE shared a new opportunity from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and Wellcome Trust (among other partners) called Science Learning+. The NSF will have several opportunities over the coming weeks for proposers to learn more about Science Learning+, and to begin developing partners and networks to include in the Science Learning+ Planning Proposals due July 10, 2014.

Key Dates and Deadlines

More details about each of these dates are available below.


  • May 15: NSF Conference Call for proposers to answer questions about Science Learning+
  • May 15: Deadline to indicate interest in the Open Space Discussion event at NSF
  • May 23: Open Space Discussion event at NSF for interested researcher and practitioner proposers
  • July 10: Science Learning+ Planning Proposals due


Resources for Proposers

A PowerPoint and accompanying audio commentary about Science Learning+ are posted on the NSF website:

The Wellcome Trust has developed a website where individuals can post information relevant to Science Learning+, including:

  • Individuals or organizations interested in participating in a Science Learning+ partnership, along with the expertise they bring to a partnership.
  • A partnership or organization looking for others to partner with around a specific area of research.
  • Key documents or summary of conversations that may be of interest to practitioners and researchers in the field who may apply for a grant.


    Conference Call for Proposers

    On Thursday, May 15, from 1:00 PM to 2:30 PM ET, NSF will host a Q&A Conference Call to answer any questions you have. NSF asks that you review the PowerPoint and listen to the audio before participating in the conference call on May 15. The entire phone call will be dedicated to answering questions. The call-in number and pin for the conference call is on the website within the PowerPoint on the NSF website.

    Open Space Discussion at the National Science Foundation

    On Friday, May 23 from 12:30 PM to 5:30 PM, NSF will host an Open Space discussion event. This event will allow interested practitioners and researchers to gather and discuss topics of interest and relevance to the Science Learning+ initiative. The event will also allow for networking to occur for those people looking for appropriate partners. The event will take place at the National Science Foundation, 4201 Wilson Blvd., Arlington, VA 22230, Room 375. A similar event organized by the Wellcome Trust will take place in London.

    This event will use an Open Space technology approach, which will assemble 50-75 people to examine a common problem space—in this case, the goals and objectives of the Science Learning+ program. There is no predetermined agenda at an Open Space event—that is set by participants. Through a series of several facilitated sessions individuals self-organize into “interest groups” and then capture the conversation and talking points. Through sharing mechanisms some ideas survive and others are born. With each subsequent session, prompts are provided to help elaborate and flesh out details of the ideas. Along the way the hope is that a rich capture of thinking will occur and that participants will find others for potential partnerships and collaborations. The trick we have come to learn is getting the right mix of individuals so as to have a healthy diversity of perspectives and talents.

    The organizers are hoping to recruit individuals from the following communities: informal science learning, informal & formal science institutions, social scientists, cognitive & learning scientists, methodologists, designers, educational researchers, among others. The attendees should be sincerely interested in the problem space and ready to engage.

    If you would like to participate in the Open Space event, please send an email to Richard Duschl and Kately Shreyer on or by May 15 expressing why you are interested in participating and providing a 25-word bio sketch of expertise. In the interest of getting a diverse group, NSF must limit to 3 the number of individuals from any one institution.

    Questions about Science Learning+ should be directed to Dennis Schatz and/or Richard Duschl at the National Science Foundation.