The National Science Foundation and the University of Missouri hosted the Broader Impacts (BI) Infrastructure Summit in April 2014. Copies of the presentations and the posters are available here.
The five sections listed here are the areas of broader impact (BI) noted by NSF. The strongest proposals will address each area in some manner. This website provides examples of possible avenues for fulfilling the Broader Impacts requirement that are targeted for researchers at UT Dallas. The people highlighted throughout may be of assistance. See also our template document with more resources.
General Information to Keep in Mind:
- One of the strategic goals of the NSF is to “stimulate innovation and address societal needs through research and education” (see the Strategic Plan). So a well-reviewed BI plan would show how you are intentionally using your research to increase the public’s scientific literacy.
- Contact the Program Manager and ask for examples of funded proposals with strong BI statements.
- Include BI expenses in the budget (if needed); otherwise, you need to detail how you will fund your plans.
- Leverage with other programs on campus. There are many educational activities going on for K-12, teacher education, diversity, etc.
- Contribute intellectually on the plan with your team. You cannot entirely outsource this.
- Quantify the specific count regarding minorities/women at UT Dallas, area community colleges, etc. Do not be vague.
- Complement your research with your project. Use your research/discoveries as the base.
- Beware of designing a new university class. Reviewers see this as a part of your job, even without the grant.
- ARIS offers suggestions and advice for BI
- Visit the Broader Impact Wizard that will help craft a statement
Advance Discovery and Understanding While Promoting Teaching, Training, and Learning
- Mentor undergrad or graduate students, including their development of a poster for a professional conference.
- Work with the organizers of the several summer camps for physics, chemistry, and engineering that UT Dallas hosts. Include yourself in the teaching, tours, and activities. See here for a full listing.
- Need help with housing? Residential Life has a “one-stop shop” to provide prices and access to housing, dining, parking, and other needs. Contact Pam McElrath, Assistant Director of Residential Life, for more information.
- Meet with the Dept. of Science/Math Education for contacts in local school districts and programming to which you could contribute.
- Contact BigThought (which hosts a wide variety of programs, including after-school programs) about integrating your research into their work.
- Talk to Dr. Margaret Fair about possible participation in the Summer Institute which UT Dallas hosts for AP chemistry, biology, physics, and math teachers.
- Consider developing a video game (see link for ideas). Perhaps partner with ATEC or form this into a student project. Detail your distribution plan.
- Work with UTeach and instruct Dallas students on how to use research topics in their teaching for grades 4-12. Contact UTeach Dallas Advisor Hailey King.
- Consider partnering with the Center for Values in Medicine, Science, and Technology if you want to address the human implications and ethics of scientific investigation and technological innovation. Contact the Center’s Associate Director, Dr. Magda Grohman.
Broader Participation in Underrepresented Groups (Highly Important for Most Reviewers)
- Contact UT Dallas Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP) Dr. Juan Gonzalez in the Department of Biology.
- Involve students from Academic Bridge Program (ABP) (Program Director Soli Ghirmai).
- Provide lab tours and presentations for ABP in the summer before they begin at UT Dallas. Consider mentoring or lab assistant opportunities.
- Work with UT Dallas Office of Diversity regarding activities on campus and in the community that target underrepresented students. Contact Shaun Wilson to brainstorm ideas.
- Speak as a guest lecturer at area community colleges. With a variety of locations in both Dallas and Plano, you will broaden the impact by speaking to multiple groups.
Grant proposal writing tip:
When discussing increasing the number of underrepresented groups, it helps to have information on the current numbers minorities/women at UT Dallas. Contact the Office of Strategic Analysis (OSPA) for these numbers.
Enhance Infrastructure for Research and Education
- Brainstorm ways that the larger community/university/area could use a significant equipment or lab finish out (if applicable).
- Develop teaching media to enhance an existing class at UT Dallas.
- Work with Annie Benjamin in the Student Success Center to develop teaching material for target classes or tutoring programs.
Broad Dissemination to Enhance Science and Technological Understanding
- Write an article for a lay publication or interview on local radio program such as Think on KERA. Ask UT Dallas Office of Communications for your school’s Communications Liaison.
- Write an op-ed piece for multiple newspapers/publications related to research and its role in community.
- Consider exhibiting a display or activity at a local library or school.
- Contact the Office of Development regarding contacts within corporations or industries that could benefit from your research.
- Peruse the Kansas State University’s Office of Education Innovation and Evaluation and University of Memphis Center for Research in Educational Policy for inspiration.
Benefits to Society
- This is very specific to your research.
- Demonstrate links between discovery and societal benefit with specific examples and applications.
- Think of a larger national initiative toward which your research could lead.