What’s different in the 2017 AISL solicitation?

August 28th, 2017

Proposals for the NSF Advancing Informal STEM Learning (AISL) program are due on November 6, 2017 at 5 pm in the submitter’s local time. As you begin to prepare your proposals, here is a quick overview of some of the changes in the solicitation from previous years. To read the complete solicitation, visit the NSF website. For more information and resources, including webinars, related to the solicitation, visit the NSF AISL landing page on InformalScience.org.


NSF has introduced new caps on the number of proposals that both organizations and individual PIs can submit in response to the solicitation.

Each organization is limited to being the lead on three proposals submitted to the November deadline. However, an organization may still partner as a subaward on other institutions’ proposals.

Similarly, an individual may only be listed as a principal investigator or co-principal investigator on three proposals.

Types of Proposals

The Collaborative Planning and Resource Center proposal types have been eliminated.

This year, the available project types are:

  • Pilots and Feasibility Studies (formerly Exploratory Pathways)
  • Research in Service to Practice
  • Innovations in Development
  • Broad Implementation
  • Literature Reviews, Syntheses, or Meta-analyses
  • Conferences (note: the limit for proposals being submitted at any time is now $75k, up from $50k)

If organizations are submitting a collaborative proposal as a separate submission from multiple institutions, the minimum one-year budget for each is now $75,000.

Changes to the Submission Process

There are also a couple changes related to the process of preparing and submitting proposals. The Project Description page limit is now 18 pages for all project types except conferences, which still have a limit of 15 pages. In addition, logic models and executive summaries of summative evaluations will no longer be accepted as supplementary documents with a proposal