Broader Impacts

National Science Foundation

Broader impacts encompass the potential of proposed research to benefit society and contribute to the achievement of desired societal outcomes. All proposals submitted to the National Science Foundation (NSF) must address the project’s broader impacts. Other sponsors (e.g., U.S. Department of Agriculture) are also now beginning to consider broader impacts during proposal review. Broader impacts may be accomplished through the research itself, through the activities that are directly related to specific research projects, or through activities that are supported by and complementary to the project. Such outcomes include, but are not limited to:

  • 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 U.S.; and
  • Enhanced infrastructure for research and education.

NSF 18-1: Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide

Broader Impacts: Improving Society

Perspectives on Broader Impacts

National Alliance for Broader Impacts

The goal of the National Alliance for Broader Impacts (NABI) is to create a community of practice that fosters the development of sustainable and scalable institutional capacity and engagement in broader impacts activity. This goal is being accomplished through the achievement of four objectives:

  • Identify and curate promising models, practices, and evaluation methods for the broader impacts community;
  • Expand engagement in and support the development of high-quality broader impacts activities by educating current and future faculty and researchers on effective broader impacts practices;
  • Develop the human resources necessary for sustained growth and increased diversity of the broader impacts community; and
  • Promote cross-institutional collaboration on and dissemination of broader impacts programs, practices, models, materials, and resources.

“Broader Impacts Guiding Principles and Questions for National Science Foundation Proposals

Broader Impacts Publications

(2017), “Kicking It Up a Notch: Becoming a Culturally Relevant Science Educator,” The NODE: the community site for and by developmental biologists.

Barlow, A.E.L. and M. Villarejo, (2004), “Making a Difference for Minorities: Evaluation of an Educational Enrichment Environment,” Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 41(9): 861-881.

BSCS, (2008), “Scientists in Science Education.”

Chang, M.J., Sharkness, J., Hurtado, S., Newman, C.B., (2014), “What Matters in College for Retaining Aspiring Scientists and Engineers from Underrepresented Racial Groups,” JRST, 51:555-580.

Dirks, C. and M. Cunningham, (2006), “Enhancing Diversity in Science: Is Teaching Science Process Skills the Answer?”, CBE-Life Sciences Education, 5:218-226.

Field, K.G., et al.,  (2014), “Research-based Interdisciplinary Multicultural Scholars Program at Oregon State University Has a High Graduation Rate of Minority and First-generation Students in a STEM Major,” NACTA Journal, 55:17.

Hurtado, S., et al., (2009), “Diversifying Science: Underrepresented Student Experiences in Structures Research Programs,” Research in Higher Education, 2: 189-214.

Kotadia, S., (2017), “UC Berkeley STEM Equity & Inclusion Initiative: Executive Summary,” Berkeley Division of Equity & Inclusion.

Moss, J.C., (2011), “An Undergraduate Summer Research Experience for Underrepresented Students in Agricultural Sciences,” NACTA Journal, 55: 32-37.

Schultz, J.C. and J.T. Stemmle, “Teaching Future Scientists to Talk,” The Chronicle of Higher Education, April 5, 2012.

Stage, F.K., John, G., Hubbard, S.M., (2011), “Undergraduate Institutions that Foster Black Scientists,” Diversity of Higher Education, 11:3-21.

Broader Impacts Resources

American Society for Engineering Education

CAISE Guide to Resources for Broadening Participation in STEM

Council on Undergraduate Research

INSPIRE Program (Science for the Incarcerated)

National Center for Women & Information Technology

STEM Ambassador Program (STEMAP)

UC Berkeley STEM Equity and Inclusion Initiative

University of Missouri Resources for Early Career Faculty

Women in STEM Knowledge Center

Potential Broader Impacts Partners in Nebraska

After School Alliance

Beveridge Magnet School for Global Studies and the Arts

Beyond School Bells

Boys and Girls Club of Lincoln/Lancaster County

Boys and Girls Club of the Midlands

Bright Lights

Camp Invention

Camp Summergold


Collective for Youth

Completely Kids

Creighton University Community Oriented Primary Care Research to Serve the Underrepresented

Elkhorn Public Schools

Girls Inc.

Goals Center

Goodwill Youth Build

Grand Island Public Schools

Groundwater Foundation

K+ Partnerships

Kearney Public Schools

Kids Can! Community Center

Kutak Center for the Teaching and Study of Applied Ethics

Launch Leadership

Lincoln Children’s Museum

Lincoln Children’s Zoo Camp

Lincoln Public Schools

Maker Camp

Metropolitan Community College

Nebraska 4-H

Nebraska Blast

Nebraska EPSCoR

Nebraska Extension

Nebraska Innovation Studio

Nebraska Science Festival

Nebraska State Historical Society Camp

Nebraskans for Civic Reform

North Platte Public School

Omaha Public Schools

Omaha Zoo Camp

Osher Lifelong Learning Institute

Pioneer Park Nature Center Camp

Riverside Discover Center Camp


Scottsbluff Public Schools

Spark Summer Learning

Strategic Air Command and Aerospace Museum

The Zone Afterschool Program

UNL Engineering Student Organizations

University of Nebraska at Omaha Youth Camps

University of Nebraska Public Policy Center

University of Nebraska State Museum

Wildlife Safari Park



Evaluation Resources

Methodology and Evaluation Research Core Facility

Questions or Comments?

To request consultation in the development of broader impacts plans or that additional information be included on this webpage, contact Tisha Mullen, director of proposal development, at 402-472-2894 or