Internal Competition Completed

Principal Investigators Selected
  • Lewish Hsu (Department of Pediatrics) and Houshang Darabi (Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering) are authorized to submit

Program Summary

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.


Content may focus on any areas of STEM that NSF supports, including interdisciplinary learning and learning that positions STEM within meaningful personal, cultural or societal frameworks. The proposals should discuss the STEM content area(s) in sufficient depth to provide a clear understanding of concepts, topics, processes, and associated skills that are conveyed to the target audience. Topics should be relevant to the age levels of proposed target audience(s). Projects may integrate STEM and art or the humanities, as long as the primary goal is to enhance STEM learning.


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.


Funding: Limits for funding requests of AISL proposals are as follows: (1) Pilots and Feasibility projects: up to $300,000 with durations up to two years; (2) Research in Service to Practice projects: from $300,000 to $2,000,000 with durations from two to five years; (3) Innovations in Development projects: $500,000 to $3,000,000 with durations from two to five years; (4) Broad Implementation projects from $1,000,000 to $3,000,000 with durations from three to five years; (5) Literature Reviews, Syntheses, or Meta-analyses projects up to $250,000 with durations of up to two years; and (6) Conferences up to $250,000 with durations of up to two years.


Application Limits

Application Limits

UIC can serve as lead on NO more than three (3) proposals 

Additional Information


UIC Letter of Intent
July 31, 2017
UIC Internal Competition
Sponsor Letter of Intent
Sponsor Application
November 6, 2017

Letter of Intent

Letter of Intent

Letter of Intent (LOI) Form


Depending upon the number of LOIs submitted, OVCR might be required to facilitate an internal peer review process to select UIC’s submission(s) to this program.  White paper instructions will distributed to those who have submitted LOIs.


Please contact Natalia Glubisz at or 312-996-8348 with any questions.


If an authorized principal investigator is not listed above, please consider the limited competition still open. Contact for further information.