All NSF proposals must include a section within the Project Description that discusses the broader impacts of the proposed activities. Many other agencies also require principal investigators to address how the proposed research will benefit the nation. The following are examples of societally relevant outcomes that are valued by NSF and some other agencies.
- Full participation of women, individuals 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 between academia, industry, and others
- Improved national security
- Increased economic competitiveness of the United States
- Enhanced infrastructure for research and education
For more suggestions on how to write the Broader Impact section, please read the documents:
- NSF’s Merit Review Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) clarify recent policy changes for merit review of broader impacts.
- The Broader Impacts 2.0® by the Consortium for Ocean Science Exploration and Engagement (COSEE) Florida provides useful suggestions for preparing broader impacts in your proposal.
- NCSU Resources for Broader Impacts in K-12 Education