Broader Impacts

“Broader impacts” refers to the potential to benefit society and contribute to the achievement of specific, desired societal outcomes. Proposals funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) require explicit justification of broader impacts activities, but other agencies are increasingly emphasizing the need to incorporate them. These activities are critical to not only acquiring funding from these agencies but also:

    • Maximizing the impact of your scientific research
    • Attracting and developing a diverse scientific workforce
    • Developing your individual research identity and footprint in the research landscape
    • Translating applications of your research by communicating its implications

Effective broader impacts plans identify partners to communicate research and engage the community. They seamlessly integrate research projects with educational and outreach initiatives. They state objectives and goals and outline the evaluation of success with metrics. See below for resources to support the development and execution of broader impacts plans.

Agency Guidelines on Broader Impacts

National Science Foundation (NSF)

Broader Impacts

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Plan for Enhancing Diverse Perspectives (PEDP)

Broader Impacts Resources

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Guidance and Tools

ARIS BI Toolkit The resources and tools on this site are designed to help Researchers and BI Professionals develop projects and partnerships that will satisfy the Broader Impact requirement of National Science Foundation (NSF) proposals, and help you fulfill your interest in communicating your science. This site is brought to you by the Center for Advancing Research Impact in Society (ARIS) and Rutgers University.
Additional ARIS Resources Resources are a compilation of newly developed tools, scholarly works, and informational links that support the various aspects of broader impacts support. This list is continuously evolving so please check back frequently.
Additional NSF Resources Five tips for BI statement

MCB Blog

Education and Training Application (ETAP)


Center for Advancement of Informal Science Education (CAISE) NSF-supported center with a wealth of resources for designing and evaluating informal STEM learning experiences, including design evaluation.

Engagement and Broadening Participation

Broadening Participation in STEM While broadening participation in STEM is included in NSF’s merit review criteria, some programs go beyond the standard review criteria. These investments — which make up NSF’s Broadening Participation in STEM Portfolio — use different approaches to build STEM education and research capacity, catalyze new areas of STEM research, and develop strategic partnerships and alliances.
INCLUDES National Network NSF INCLUDES (Inclusion Across the Nation of Communities of Learners of Underrepresented Discoveries in Engineering and Science) is a comprehensive national initiative designed to enhance U.S. leadership in discoveries and innovations by focusing on diversity, inclusion and broadening participation in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) at scale.
Midwest LSAMP Alliance Partners The Louis Stokes Midwest Regional Center of Excellence at Chicago State University has partnered with six Midwest Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation (LSAMP). These partnerships harness the expertise and knowledge of LSAMP program administrators to identify and develop needed resources in the community. By pooling our resources, each project leverages more impacts per NSF-funded dollar spent. In addition, by bridging our networks we reach a broader audience of faculty mentors and URM STEM students.
Racial Equity Tools Searchable glossary with sources and related resources to increase understanding of racial justice and equity.
UChicago STEM Education Center within UChicago’s Physical Sciences Division that continues the University’s long-standing commitment to improving precollege education and aims to support high quality mathematics and science instruction and learning for all students.

Partnering for Impacts

Office of Civic Engagement (OCE)

The Office of Civic Engagement (OCE) connects the UChicago campus to our neighbors on the South Side and throughout the city. The office works to foster UChicago’s university-wide approach to civic engagement and instill a shared set of values and practices while empowering each internal unit to build on its own unique strengths in forging community partnerships.

Through OCE’s Community Engagement Hours initiative, UChicago faculty and staff are invited to reserve a time to meet with OCE senior staff who can serve as thought partners on new and existing initiatives and help make community connections on the South Side and in the city. Learn more here.

Existing UChicago Partners RDS and OCE have partnered on the creation of a Broader Impacts Platform for research activities and institutional programs. Updates will be provided here as the platform creation progresses.
UChicago Research Dissemination and Communication Plan

The University of Chicago Research Dissemination and Communications Program (UChicago RDCP) supports principal investigators (PIs) in developing Broader Impacts dissemination and communication strategies for their research. Offered in partnership with the Office of Research, University Communications, and UChicago Creative, program staff with deep experience in academic communications will partner with you during both the proposal development and award phases of research projects of all sizes to increase the impact of your research.

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