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Ideas for NSF Broader Impacts Statement

(Please note that this list is not intended to be exhaustive and some may not be relevant to all projects. Call Carolyn Pate or Evy Gonzales if you have questions.)
Below are the five areas of broader impact noted by NSF. The strongest proposals will address each area in some manner. Following each area are some examples of possible avenues for fulfilling the Broader Impacts requirement that is targeted.
Regardless of programming or impact, there are several things to keep in mind:
  • Ask OSP pre-award staff if you can include BI expenses in the budget (if needed)? Otherwise, you need to detail how you will fund your plans.
  • Can you leverage with other programs on campus? (for example: Texas State hosts educational activities in the summer for K-12 students)
  • Your plan must have intellectual contribution from you and your team; you cannot entirely outsource this.
  • Quantify what you are going to do. For example, don’t make vague comments about women or minorities; get the real numbers regarding minorities/women at Texas State and at other universities with whom you may be working.
  • The project has to fit with your research, it must use your research/discoveries as the base, and it needs to make sense.
  • Be careful of designing a new university class; many reviewers may see this as a part of your job even without the grant.
Advance Discovery and Understanding While Promoting Teaching, Training, and Learning
  • Mentor undergrad or graduate students. (Help them develop a poster for a professional conference, for example.)
  • Texas State hosts several summer camps. Work with organizers to be included for teaching, tours, and activities.
  • Consider developing a video game. www.nobelprize.org/educational.games can give you ideas). Could it be a student project? Be sure to explain your distribution plan.
  • Consult the College of Education for ideas about using research topics in their teaching for grades 4-12. (Call Carolyn Pate or Evy Gonzales for contacts.)
Broader Participation in Underrepresented Groups (this is highly important to many reviewers)
  • Involve students from grant programs as well as other programs directed by Texas State faculty. These students could be mentoring or lab assistants.
  • Learn about activities on campus that target underrepresented students.
  • To broaden the impact of your program, be a guest lecturer for area community colleges (San Antonio College and Austin Community College) or to other local groups. 
Enhance Infrastructure for Research and Education
  • If you are including significant equipment or lab finish-out, how can it be used by the larger community/university or other area universities?
  • Develop teaching media that will enhance an existing course at Texas State.
  • Work with another professor to develop teaching materials for targeted classes or tutoring programs.
Broad Dissemination to Enhance Science and Technological Understanding
  • Write an article for a lay publication to be submitted for publication.
  • Write an op-ed piece for multiple newspapers/publications related to research and its role in the community.
  • Develop a display or an activity at the San Marcos Public library (or another area library or libraries).
  • Do an interview on the university’s radio station.
Benefits to Society
  • Demonstrate links between discovery and societal benefit with specific examples and applications.
  • Is your research a part of a larger national initiative?