Broader Impacts at KU
What are Broader Impacts?
In addition to reviewing the intellectual merit of each proposal, the National Science Foundation evaluates the merit of its Broader Impacts — the potential societal benefits and outcomes of the proposed research. All proposals submitted to the NSF must include a statement about their intended Broader Impacts.
What qualifies as Broader Impacts?
Broader Impacts goals include, but are not limited to:
- Full participation of women, persons with disabilities, and underrepresented minorities in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).
- Improved STEM education and educator development at any level.
- Increased public scientific literacy and public engagement with science and technology.
- Improved well-being of individuals in society.
- Development of a diverse, globally competitive STEM workforce.
- Increased partnerships between academia, industry, and others.
- Improved national security.
- Increased economic competitiveness of the United States.
- Enhanced infrastructure for research and education.
How are Broader Impacts reviewed?
In addition to evaluating the science for intellectual merit, reviewers assess the Broader Impacts against the following questions:
- What is the potential for the proposed activity to benefit society or advance desired societal outcomes?
- To what extent do the proposed activities suggest and explore creative, original, or potentially transformative concepts?
- Is the plan for carrying out the proposed activities well-reasoned, well- organized, and based on a sound rationale? Does the plan incorporate a mechanism to assess success?
- How well qualified is the individual, team, or institution to conduct the proposed activities?
- Are there adequate resources available to the PI (either at the home institution or through collaborations) to carry out the proposed activities? Is the budget allocated for broader impact activities sufficient to successfully implement them?
Create a Broader Impacts plan
Broader Impacts typically account for a minimum of 10 percent of a project’s total budget, according to the National Alliance for Broader Impacts (NABI). Ultimately, the scale of the broader impacts activities should be appropriate for the scale of the overall project and budgeted realistically.
The NABI Broader Impacts Working Group has developed a guiding document for the National Science Foundation’s Broader Impacts criterion. The purpose of this document is to assist NSF program managers, proposal reviewers, and review panels in evaluating the Broader Impacts component of NSF proposals and to assist proposers with developing their broader impact plans.
Connect with KU + community partners
Existing KU Networks
- KU Natural History Museum
Outreach programs such as Science on Tap and Discovery Days
Contacts: Anne Tangeman, email@example.com, for Science on Tap | Eleanor Gardner, firstname.lastname@example.org, for Discovery Days
- The Commons
Red Hot Research
Contact: Emily Ryan, email@example.com
- School of Education TRIO SES & STEM
Offerings include APEX Gear UP (grades 3-9, summer programs), Math & Science Center (high school, semester/summer programs), and McNair Scholars (mentors for undergraduate paid research)
- KUMC Health Careers Pathways Programs (HCPP)
Offerings include Saturday Science, Math & Technology Academy (grades 7-12), Summer Science Academy (grades 10-12), and Health Science Enrichment Institutes (KU undergraduates)
Contact: Varies by program
- Carnival of Chemistry
KU Chemistry Club annual event
- Ecology & Evolutionary Biology Graduate Student Organization
Offerings include community science nights, Girl Scout programming, museum events and more
Contact: KU EEB GSO, KUEEBOutreach@gmail.com
- CEBC Research Experiences for Teachers
Summer program for teachers
Contact: Claudia Bode, firstname.lastname@example.org
K-12 lesson plans, student activities, teacher development and more
Contact: Jennifer Laverentz, email@example.com
- Kansas Biological Survey
Various outreach programs in the community, K-12 schools, Haskell Indian Nations University and more
Contact: Debbie Baker, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Kansas Geological Survey
Various educational resources for students and the general public
Contact: Blair Schneider, email@example.com
- Monarch Watch
Student research questions, student-scientist partnership opportunities and other educational resources
- KU Mini College
An educational event for KU alumni and spouses during the first week of June
Contact: Ann Smith, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Osher Lifelong Learning Institute
Enrichment courses and events with a special focus for folks 50 and “better"
- KU School of Engineering
Offerings include Engineering Expo (schools, community), various engineering camps (K-12 schools), and KU EST K-12 (underrepresented student populations)
Contact: See website for individual expo + camp program contacts | email@example.com, for KU EST K-12
Community Events + Organizations
The following events and organizations seek volunteers to provide education and outreach programs and activities.
KU Broader Impacts success stories
KU Broader Impacts Working Group
Vice Provost for Faculty Development
Professor | Department of Geography & Atmospheric Science | Environmental Studies
Director & Associate Research Professor | Center for STEM Learning
Associate Dean for Arts & Humanities Research | College of Liberal Arts & Sciences
Professor | Department of Film & Media Studies
Director | Center for Teaching Excellence
Professor | Department of Psychology
Director | Center for Undergraduate Research
Professor | Department of Geology
Associate Vice Chancellor for Research
Professor | Civil, Environmental & Architectural Engineering
Associate Dean for Science Research | College of Liberal Arts & Sciences
Professor | Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology