Sponsor Deadline
Posted: 9/28/2023

Ideas Lab: Personalized Engineering Learning (PEL)

An Ideas Lab is an intensive meeting that brings together multiple diverse perspectives to focus on finding innovative cross-disciplinary solutions to a grand challenge problem (see below and PAPPG Chapter II.F.6. for more information about this type of proposal). The goal of the Personalized Engineering Learning Ideas Lab is to extend engineering education research to enable advanced personalization in pedagogy and assessment in a K-12 or higher education context. The following broad areas have been identified as possible avenues to advance knowledge: personalized engineering education, multimodal sensing for personalized learning systems and team-based personalized learning. This Ideas Lab aims to bring together experts from diverse scientific, engineering and education backgrounds to develop innovative technologies and solutions to achieve personalized learning for engineering education.

This Ideas Lab is organized by the Office of Emerging Frontiers and Multidisciplinary Activities (EFMA), the Division of Engineering Education and Centers (EEC), and the Division of Civil, Mechanical and Manufacturing Innovation in the Directorate for Engineering (ENG); the Division of Information and Intelligent Systems (IIS) in the Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE); the Division of Behavioral and Cognitive Sciences in the Directorate for Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences (SBE); the Division of Graduate Education, the Division of Research on Learning in Formal and Informal Settings, and the Division of Undergraduate Education in the Directorate for STEM Education (EDU); and the Division of Translational Impacts in the Directorate for Technology, Innovation and Partnerships (TIP).


  • Preliminary Proposal (required): Nov. 29, 2023
  • Full Proposal: May 8, 2024
Eligibility Requirements

Proposals may only be submitted by the following:

  • Institutions of Higher Education (IHEs) - Two- and four-year IHEs (including community colleges) accredited in, and having a campus located in the US, acting on behalf of their faculty members. Special Instructions for International Branch Campuses of US IHEs: If the proposal includes funding to be provided to an international branch campus of a US institution of higher education (including through use of subawards and consultant arrangements), the proposer must explain the benefit(s) to the project of performance at the international branch campus, and justify why the project activities cannot be performed at the US campus.
  • Non-profit, non-academic organizations: Independent museums, observatories, research laboratories, professional societies and similar organizations located in the U.S. that are directly associated with educational or research activities.
  • For-profit organizations: U.S.-based commercial organizations, including small businesses, with strong capabilities in scientific or engineering research or education and a passion for innovation.
  • Tribal Governments: The governing body of any Indian or Alaska Native tribe, band, nation, pueblo, village, or community that the Secretary of the Interior acknowledges to exist as an Indian tribe under the Federally Recognized Indian Tribe List Act of 1994 (25 U.S.C. 479a, et seq.)

An individual may participate as PI or co-PI on only one proposal submitted to this solicitation. There is no limit on the number of proposals for which an individual may participate as Other Senior Personnel.

If an individual is listed as PI or co-PI on more than one proposal to this solicitation, all proposals in excess of the limit for any person will be returned without review in the reverse order received.

Amount Description

Estimated Number of Awards: 3

Up to three awards are anticipated depending upon availability of funds and the type, scale, and variety of project ideas developed at the Ideas Lab. The budget for proposals is up to $1,000,000 for a duration of up to 2 years.

Anticipated Funding Amount: $3,000,000

The total funding available for this Ideas Lab is $3,000,000 over 2 years. Up to three awards are anticipated. Estimated program budget, number of awards and average award size/duration are subject to the availability of funds and compelling proposals.

Funding Type