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What are broader impacts?

Along with the review of the intellectual merit of each proposal, the National Science Foundation (NSF) reviews the merit of its broader impacts – the impacts and benefits to society of your proposed research. Each proposal submitted to the NSF must include a section about its intended broader impacts.

Consideration of broader impacts, however, is not limited to NSF proposals. Broader impacts (BI) may be framed in terms of outreach, community-engaged scholarship, translation, dissemination, public humanities, community-based participatory research, community-based teaching and learning, diversity/inclusion/equity, and so forth.

What qualifies as broader impacts?

Broader impacts goals may address, 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 among academia, industry, and others
  • Improved national security
  • Increased economic competitiveness of the United States
  • Enhanced infrastructure for research and education

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