Posted: 5/9/2023

Dear Colleague Letter: Rapidly Accelerating Research on Artificial Intelligence in K-12 Education in Formal and Informal Settings

May 8, 2023

Dear Colleagues:

The unprecedented speed of advancements in machine learning (ML), generative artificial intelligence (AI), and large language models (LLM) is rapidly transforming formal and informal educational settings and systems. Educators and learners are grappling with unanticipated and rapidly changing AI that impacts both day-to-day K-12 classroom practices and the use of AI in informal (out of school) settings.

In response to these technological changes, the nature of learning, teaching, and assessment is rapidly evolving. Schools are faced with insufficient research-based findings on the use of AI tools and environments for teaching; other educational organizations are equally challenged. There is also a great need to clarify which AI concepts and principles K-12 students should be learning. Finally, it is critical to investigate the ways AI will both promote and impact equitable education and inclusive learning.

As a result, there is a severe urgent need for research on the use of AI, and the teaching of AI, in K-12 classroom and informal settings. This Dear Colleague Letter (DCL) invites researchers to submit Rapid Response Research (RAPID) proposals for time-sensitive research including, but not limited to:

  • Developing AI tools and environments to advance age-appropriate equitable learning and inclusive teaching;
  • Supporting learning about and interest in AI;
  • Using AI to teach AI; and,
  • Integrating generative AI in education in an ethical, responsible, and effective way.

Proposed projects must include strong data-driven research methods in need of a quick response due to rapidly changing AI. NSF strongly encourages proposals that will sustain and advance diversity, equity, and inclusion in STEM education research. Likewise, NSF is seeking proposals that will have an impact on underserved and underrepresented schools and communities.

Requests for RAPID proposals may be for up to $200K and up to one year in duration.

Proposers must submit a 1-page Concept Outline that details the proposed research by email to

Required Concept Outlines may be submitted at any time.