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Broader Impacts

This web page is aimed at providing information and resources to help researchers plan and carry out activities related to Broader Impacts.   

Broader Impacts outcomes may include, but are not limited to:
  • Improved STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics) education and educator development at any level
  • Increased public science literacy and public engagement with science and technology
  • Full participation of underrepresented group(s) in STEM - whether it's women, persons with disabilities, a minority group, or other groups
  • Development of a diverse, globally competitive STEM workforce
  • Enhanced infrastructure for research and education
  • Improved well-being of individuals in society
  • Increased partnerships between academia, industry, and others
  • Increased economic competitiveness of the United States
  • Improved national security
A plan for Broader Impacts should have these characteristics:
  • May be accomplished through the research itself, through activities that are directly related to specific research projects, or through activities that are supported by, but are complementary to, the project.
  • Must make sense in the context of the research.
  • Should not be long lists of activities, but rather should be focused and integrated with the research activities.
  • May be a balance between existing evidence-based practices and innovative methods and approaches.
  • Must be well-justified.
  • Includes formal evaluation.

Click on the gray bars below to find additional criteria to guide your Broader Impact plans.

Is the Broader Impact clear and concrete?

  • Activities are clearly described.
  • Audience(s) are clearly described.
  • Audience(s) numbers served are clearly described.
  • Timeframe is clearly defined.
  • Benefits to the audience or society are clearly described.


Is the Broader Impact a good idea?

  • Activities integrate the resources or infrastructure of the institution.
  • Activities leverage the resources and strength of partners.
  • Activities are creative and original.
  • Activities promote STEM education and research.
  • The proposed Broader Impact ((BI) is grounded in relevant literature.

Are the Broader Impacts realistic and measurable?

  • Goals and outcomes are clearly defined.
  • There is a clear need for the activities or program
  • Outcomes are measurable and evidence-based.
  • Outcomes are SMART - Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound.
  • The evaluator who will conduct the evaluation is clearly defined.

Is the Principal Investigator (PI) qualified to do the proposed BI?

  • The team members' credentials are clearly described.
  • The PI, team, or partner(s) have appropriate experience to do the BI.
  • PI provides results of relevant prior NSF support
  • PI provides experience of relevant prior success.
  • The evaluator has the expertise and experience needed to evaluate the project.

Is the budget sufficient?

  • There is a clear and realistic budget.
  • The budget justification provides reviewers with the information necessary to assess feasibility.
  • Resources and infrastructure provided by the PI's institution or partners are clearly described.
  • Budget is clearly described and is sufficient to support the project.
  • The scale of BI activities is proportional, approximately 10% of the total project budget.

- Activities Taking Place at NDSU
Menu of Broader Impacts Options for Researchers (from University of Utah)

BROADER IMPACT WIZARD >> to help you develop a Broader Impact Statement. This five-step process will produce an outline of important points to include in your BI statement. 

QUESTIONS?  Contact: NDSU Research Development,

Student Focused. Land Grant. Research University.

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Phone: 701.231.8045
Physical/delivery address:  1735 NDSU Research Park Drive/Fargo, ND 58102
Mailing address:  P.O. Box 6050—Dept. 4000/Fargo, ND 58108-6050
Page manager: RCA

Last Updated: Monday, June 25, 2018
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