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Science of Learning Centers (SLC)


Thursday, December 31, 2015

The Science of Learning Centers program (SLC) offers awards for large-scale, long-term Centers that create the intellectual, organizational and physical infrastructure needed for the long-term advancement of Science of Learning research. It supports research that harnesses and integrates knowledge across multiple disciplines to create a common groundwork of conceptualization, experimentation and explanation that anchor new lines of thinking and inquiry towards a deeper understanding of learning.

The goals of the Science of Learning Centers Program are to advance the frontiers of all the sciences of learning through integrated research; to connect the research to specific scientific, technological, educational, and workforce challenges; to enable research communities to capitalize on new opportunities and discoveries; and to respond to new challenges.

The SLC Program construes learning broadly, including that of animals, humans and machines. The program is open to many possible approaches and topics that can be brought to examine what learning is, how it is affected, how it works at different levels, how biologically-derived learning principles can inform artificial systems and vice versa. The Program places high value on creativity, integration of theoretical and empirical work, innovative models of research and research transfer, and inventive uses of technology.

Science of Learning Centers are built around a unifying research focus and incorporate a diverse, multidisciplinary environment involving appropriate partnerships with academia, industry, all levels of education, and other public and private entities.

Catalyst awards were made during the initial years of the program. Catalyst awards are designed to enable partnership-building and research activities that facilitate interdisciplinary approaches to questions that require multiple areas of expertise.

There are currently no SLC Centers or Catalyst competitions. However, the Science of Learning Centers Program is currently accepting proposals for Workshops, EArly-concept Grants for Exploratory Research (EAGER), Rapid Response Grants (RAPID), and Supplements to NSF awards (including those funded by other programs). As noted in the Grant Proposal Guide, PIs must contact the NSF program officer prior to submission of an EAGER or RAPID proposal. Proposals submitted without prior contact will be returned without review.

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