Consultation and support resource for engaged planning, designing, and implementation of Broader Impacts programs.

View a recommended step by step process of how to prepare for your Broader Impacts journey

Broader Impacts Planning

The BID team has support materials and workshops to help you find your Broader Impacts (BI) identity, find your community partners, and develop the concept of your project.

Your BI identity is your ‘Impact Identity’; a concept that integrates scholarship in a scientific discipline with societal needs (personal preferences, capacities and skills, and one’s institutional context (Risien and Storksdieck, 2018). BI projects should embed ideas of co-creation, have an evaluation plan, and have elements of sustainable outcomes beyond funding period. Learn more about BI guiding principles at the National Alliance for Broader Impacts.

No matter where you are in your Broader Impacts design process, the first step is always a short conversation with a member of our team. We will check-in on where you are in the process, discuss your BI goals, and plan appropriate next steps together.

Beginning with understanding Broader Impacts and ending with implementation of your BI plan, there are several steps along the way to achieving the best possible Broader Impacts. Our team is ready to work with you at every step, and we know that investigators often join the process a few steps along the way.

Print this flowchart to help direct your Broader Impacts preparation.

1. Understanding Broader Impacts

Resources to understand Broader Impacts:

Advancing Research Impact in Society

2. Broader Impacts Identity (individual or institution)

The Broader Impacts team offers a workshop to develop your Broader Impact Identity. This workshop helps Primary Investigators (PIs) to develop an internally driven focus to their broader impacts activities leading to a unique Broader Impacts Identity to integrate into proposals and BI implementation.

Julie Risien, Martin Storksdieck; Unveiling Impact Identities: A Path for Connecting Science and Society, Integrative and Comparative Biology, Volume 58, Issue 1, 1 July 2018, Pages 58–66,

3. Community partner connections for co-creation awareness building for inclusive proposal design

As part of your Broader Impacts Identity you may develop specific community connections that are key to your proposals and implementation plans. It is important to recognize these partners and work together as early as possible to build common ground collectively to co-create the proposal to lead to the best pathway and impact for implementation of the BI plan.

4. Pre-team meeting prep: (online or one-to-one in-person) – Outcomes, impact, evaluation (pre-meeting info available from all proposal partners – visual or logic model)

All partners on the BI plan should utilize the Broader Impacts team resources to identify their unique attributes and goals for participation in the project.  These documents should be shared with all partners along with the agenda/outline for the initial meeting.

Examples of partners: community center leaders, K-12 teachers, game designers, science communication specialists, professional evaluators, museum professionals, etc

5. Team meeting between all partners (share developed budget ideas)

With the meeting agenda and a basic shared understanding of all the partners a meeting can be facilitated that moves the proposal to be an outline for the PI’s Broader Impacts plan in the grant proposal.

6. Co-created outline – narrative structure built off Broader Impact identity, social impact of research integration, and partner goals, and Broader Impact outcomes/impacts

The outcomes of the team meeting is a concise outline that helps to drive the Broader Impacts components for the grant proposal.

7. Budget draft – work with grant admins for logistics, letters of collaboration

As part of the team meeting all partners had an opportunity to share a realistic viewpoint of resources and logistics needed to implement the Broader Impacts plan from their perspective.  These budget requests and the budget realities should be shared openly with partners to avoid future complications with a plan that does not match resources needed for proper implementation.

Letters of collaboration request with NSF’s template letter and instructions for collaboration partners should be shared at this time.

8. Increased economic competitiveness of the United States

Some projects may result in an improved process or product of some sort, and these can be so much more successful than what already exists that companies quickly adopt it. This category may also tie in very closely with Category 6 if the improvement is widely adopted by more than just the targeted stakeholder.

9. Writing – team approach, PI and BID team define focus sections

The PI should designate what information and text is helpful to support the proposals from all partners.

10. Internal writing process – PI writing lead

The PI takes the lead to move the outline into narrative form and keeps partners updated regularly on progress.

11. Program Officer phone and/or email check-in

This is a good stage to call and/or email the Program Officer connected to the solicitation to get feedback on the outlines and abstract/summary of the project. Develop a list of questions to share in the email and ask for a time to schedule a phone call.

12. Writing review with ‘Review team’ (those that have not been directly involved with the proposal)

After revisions from the Program Officer share the in-progress document with colleagues that may be able to give you helpful feedback on the project. If possible arrange a meeting with these reviewers together to simulate a panel review session.

13. Final internal review

14. Submit

15. Continue pilot studies (if applicable)

16. Proposal award follow-up with partners

17. Broader Impacts Implementation