Ensuring your research reaches a broad audience is an important aspect of any successful external grant proposal. The term “broader impacts” is used primarily by NSF but the concept exists at all funding agencies – the potential of the research to benefit society.
All NSF proposals must contain a Broader Impacts section and it is evaluated and scored during the merit review process. Broader impacts may be accomplished through the research itself, through activities directly related to specific research projects, or through activities supported by, but are complementary to the project. NSF values the advancement of scientific knowledge and activities that contribute to the achievement of societally relevant outcomes:
- 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 between academia, industry, and others
- Improved national security
- Increased economic competitiveness of the US
- Enhanced infrastructure for research and education
Other funding agencies require the incorporation of activities that promote research translation, societal impact, public understanding of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics), education and training, or diversity of the scientific workforce.
Other university resources will be added over time. If you have suggestions for other resources that should be listed here, please contact Jerilyn Hansen.
USU Center for Community Engagement (CCE)
Target Audience: All Ages
Broader Impact activity idea: work with the CCE to match your interests with community partners and community-identified research needs
The mission of the Center for Community Engagement (CCE) is to develop active citizens through community engagement and scholarship. Furthering USU’s land-grant mission, the CCE empowers students to explore civic identity, develop leadership skills, and address community-identified needs, locally and around the world.
AggieSync is USU’s online platform used to learn about opportunities to engage with the greater community.
Contact: Kate Stephens
Cooperative Extension System
Target Audience: All Ages
Broader Impact activity idea: create online courses, webinars, curricula, fact sheets, or a mobile app
The Cooperative Extension System is a partnership of federal, state, and local governments to serve the 3,000 counties across the country. It is an integration of teaching, research, and public service that enables the system to respond to critical and emerging issues with research-based, unbiased information. With its network of county offices and state universities, Extension can deliver educational programs at the grassroots to the national level. Nearly every USU college houses Extension specialists.
Target Audience: Grades 1-8
Broader Impact activity ideas: develop a 4-H day camp guide; write a Discover 4-H Guide; create curriculum for the 4-H TRY Program
The Utah 4-H Aggie Adventures and Summer Camps for Kids are educational day camps for children and youths in grades 1-8 in Utah. All camps emphasize hands-on learning and explore such subjects as archaeology, robotics, art, history, astronomy, and more.
The 4-H Teens Reaching Youth (TRY) Program provides teams of three to four teens and their adult coach with in-depth training in effective teaching skills and a specific 4-H curriculum. Once trained, teams teach the curriculum to younger youth.
Utah Agriculture in the Classroom
Target Audience: Grades K-12
Broader Impact activity idea: develop a lesson plan
Agriculture in the Classroom is a nationwide program designed to help students develop an awareness and understanding of our food and fiber system, and how agriculture impacts our daily lives. Utah Agriculture in the Classroom (AITC) provides training and resources for teachers and pre-service teachers to contextualize their curriculum in the areas of science, social studies, nutrition, and career and technical education. Resources have been developed to meet State Standards. All of Utah AITC resources are classroom-ready and can be accessed online.
Target Audience: Extension Professionals
Broader Impact activity ideas: write a resource article; present a webinar; write and deliver an online course
eXtension is an interactive learning environment where university content providers can gather and produce new educational and information resources on emerging issues and technology.
USU STARS! GEAR UP
Target Audience: Grade 7
Broader Impact activity ideas: develop a lesson plan and/or workshop
USU STARS! is a federally funded program that was designed to help students prepare for and succeed in college. Students from 17 selected middle and high schools will be followed in this program until they complete their first year of college in 2019. Schools and community partners have teamed up to provide services to students to help them succeed in school now and succeed in college in the future.
Science Unwrapped at USU
Target Audience: All Ages
Broader Impact activity idea: create a public presentation and/or interactive display
NOTE: acceptance of presentation idea required first
Utah State University College of Science offers Science Unwrapped, a free, public presentation series for inquiring minds of all ages. The monthly, family friendly events, offered during the academic year, feature varied scientific topics in a relaxed, entertaining format. Science Unwrapped guests receive hands-on instruction at displays after the presentations.
Native American Summer STEM Mentorship Program
Target Audience: Native American students enrolled at the USU Blanding campus
Broader Impact activity ideas: provide access to research lab with 1 week of specific activities
Native American undergraduates at the USU Eastern Blanding campus spend approximately 6 weeks at the Logan campus rotating through STEM research labs (~1 week per lab), participating in specific research activities. The goal of the program is to enable students to see careers in STEM fields and fire up their imaginations.
National Alliance for Broader Impacts
National Science Foundation