Creating a Broader Impacts Program


STEP 1: Start a year in advance or as early as possible, the earlier the better. Contact the BIR director and/or CRPDE for a consultation/s to help with taking you through the details of each step and obtaining other BI resources.

STEP 2: Review the Broader Impacts Conceptual Framework and NSF Specific BI power point slides.

STEP 3: Determine the origin of your broader impacts and BI identity (i.e., your identity through your research, teaching, service/outreach, etc, or combination).

STEP 3a: For the National Science Foundation (NSF) choose your program goals and objectives. To help you get started, pick one or more of the following from the NSF Guidelines (Note, any Agency, Foundation, etc, BI guidelines can be inserted here, i.e., NIH):

  1. Full participation of women, persons with disabilities, and underrepresented minorities in (STEM)
  2. Improved STEM education and educator development at any level
  3. Increased public scientific literacy and public engagement with science and technology
  4. Improved well-being of individuals in society
  5. Development of a diverse, globally competitive STEM workforce
  6. Increased partnerships between academia, industry, and others
  7. Improved national security
  8. Increased economic competitiveness of the United States
  9. Enhanced infrastructure for research and education

STEP 4: Determine if your broader impacts program focus will be in the state (ranging from your university to statewide), or regional (statewide to multi-states), or national (multi-states to all states), or international (beyond your country). Remember that your BI program will evolve/change as you develop and embrace your BI identity. Concurrently your BI activities may and will reflect that change.

STEP 5: Create activities based on your BI identity, program goals, and objectives. Be sure to include collaborators and / or stakeholders during this process.

Include as many activities as you need—there is no set number of activities you MUST include but the activities MUST be of high quality.

STEP 6: Choose an evaluation method that fits your goals, objectives, and activities. If necessary, you might want to consider hiring a professional evaluator to design and/or evaluate your broader impacts activities. Choose an evaluation method for each part of your broader impacts program. Some evaluation methods to consider are surveys, interviews, observations, tests, and case studies. Remember to do both formative and summative evaluations. 


STEP 1: Start your broader impacts program (contact BIR and/or CRPDE for a consultation/s for more clarification on these steps).

STEP 2: Collect broader impacts program pilot data.

STEP 3: Begin to determine the success of the program.


STEP 1: Make sure that you are writing the parts of your BI program and identity that are relevant for the agency, foundation, etc., solicitation. Remember that how you write your BI activities, program and identity is dependent on the agency, foundation, etc. These steps are contingent on who you are writing to, (look at the NSF BI Plan Review Sheet for NSF and contact BIR and/or CRPDE for a consulation/s for more clarification on these steps).

STEP 2: State your BI goals and objectives and describe how they fit into the bigger picture.

STEP 3: Describe your BI program activities in detail—include information about your collaborators and existing resources that will or have helped you to implement your plans.

STEP 4: Describe how you will or have evaluated your program's activities—include information on internal and external evaluators and methods and tools used or to be used.

STEP 5: Remember to ask yourself these questions when writing (especially for NSF):

  1.  Have I clearly stated what I want to do?
  2.  Have I clearly stated why I want to do it?
  3.  Have I clearly stated how I plan to do it?
  4.  Have I clearly stated how I will measure success?
  5.  Have I clearly stated what the benefits will be if the project is successful?

STEP 6: Meet with BIR, CRPDE, CARD, ORS, etc. as needed!!!

STEP 7: Apply for and obtain funding.

Note: Please contact BIR and/or CRPDE for clarification and details on steps if needed.