NSF Broader Impacts Workshop

September 23, 2016 | Nebraska Champions Club - 707 Stadium Drive, Lincoln, NE 68508

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About the Workshop

Grant proposals submitted to the National Science Foundation (NSF) are evaluated using two merit review criteria mandated by the National Science Board. A project's intellectual merit and broader impact must be addressed explicitly in all NSF proposals, both in the project summary and in the project description.

Most applicants have no difficulty articulating the intellectual merit associated with their work. However, many NSF investigators struggle with the requirement to develop meaningful plans for realizing the broader impacts associated with the projects they propose.

Strong broader impact plans detail how a proposed project will benefit society and help fulfill specific outcomes. Among other approaches, a project's broader impacts may include advancing teaching, training, and learning; broadening participation; or enhancing research and education infrastructure. Broader impact activities help demonstrate the relevance of a proposed project and are sometimes used to help determine which of the many high quality proposals submitted to NSF get funded.

Other federal sponsors like the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) are increasingly focused on how investigators will complement their funded research projects with education and outreach (extension) efforts. For this reason, individuals who submit grant applications to USDA's National Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA) also should become familiar with broader impacts strategies, especially those seeking NIFA support for integrated and coordinated agricultural projects.

This workshop, organized by the Office of Research and Economic Development and delivered in partnership with the NSF-funded National Alliance for Broader Impacts (NABI), is structured to help participants: 1) understand the broader impacts review criterion, 2) learn how to develop and incorporate strong broader impacts plans into their grant proposals, and 3) connect with local resources to support the design, implementation, or assessment of broader impact activities.


10:00 to 10:15 a.m.            
Welcome, introductions, and workshop overview

10:15 to 11:45 a.m.             
Broader Impacts 101
Presented by NABI steering committee members Megan Heitmann and Diane Rover.

11:45 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.    
Top Broader Impacts Resources at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln

12:00 to 1:00 p.m.               
Networking lunch

1:00 to 2:00 p.m.                 
Faculty Panel on Broader Impacts
Faculty panelists include Ece Erdogmus (Durham School of Architectural Engineering & Construction), Stephen Morin (Chemistry), and Richard Wilson (Plant Pathology).

2:00 to 3:00 p.m.                 
Broader Impacts Networking and Consultation

3:00 p.m.                               

The NSF Broader Impacts workshop is being held in conjunction with SciComm 2016, a two-day conference on effective science communication being held at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln on September 23 and 24. As an ideal complement to the broader impacts workshop, SciComm 2016 features:
  • Science Night Live!, an outreach and public engagement event at Lincoln's Railyard during the evening of Friday, September 23; and
  • a day-long science communication symposium featuring keynote speaker Melissa Marshall and other science communication experts organized on Saturday, September 24.
To learn more about SciComm 2016, click here.


Please register for the NSF Broader Impacts Workshop by Friday, September 16. Click on the link below to access the registration form.

Location and Parking

The workshop will be held at the Nebraska Champions Club, which is located at 707 Stadium Drive (directly west of Memorial Stadium). Limited guest parking is available in the Stadium Drive Parking Garage located south of the Champions Club. Information about faculty and staff parking options is available here.

Additional Information

For additional information about the workshop, contact Nathan Meier, assistant vice chancellor for research, at 402-472-3902 or nlm@unl.edu.

The National Alliance for Broader Impacts is supported by the National Science Foundation under grants MCB-1408736 and MCB-1313197.

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