Jory Weintraub, PhD

Your Broader Impacts Plan

Some tips and strategies for developing your BI plan.

Getting Started With Your Plan

A great place to start when thinking about your broader impacts plan is with the Broader Impacts Guiding Principles and Questions, published by the National Alliance for Broader Impacts (NABI).  Key points from that document include the following:

According to the current NSF Merit Review Criteria, the following may be considered as broader impacts goals:

  • 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

It should be emphasized that the above list is not exhaustive, and that it is not necessary (or advisable) to attempt to develop a broader impacts statement that accomplishes all of those goals.  Rather, focus on one or two, with an emphasis on conceiving of an achievable, assessable plan that fills a niche, will have impact and is well integrated with the scientific/technological goals of your project.


NSF Review Panel Questions

In developing your broader impacts plan, keep in mind the following five questions, which will be asked by NSF review panels:

  1. What is the potential for the proposed activity to benefit society and contribute to achievement of specific desired societal outcomes?
  2. To what extent do the proposed activities suggest and explore creative, original, or potentially transformative concepts
  3. 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?
  4. How well qualified is the individual, team, or institution to conduct the proposed activities?
  5. 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?