Understanding the NSF Broader Impacts Criterion and Developing the Societal Impact of Your Science

Understanding the NSF Broader Impacts Criterion and Developing the Societal Impact of Your Science. Day/Time: Friday, March 29, 2:30PM-4:30PM; Description: This two-hour session will discuss the NSF Broader Impact criterion and, more generally, the potential for your science to have societal impact, with shared insights from NSF, grantees, and the biological anthropology community. Organizers: Rebecca Ferrell (rferrell@nsf.gov); Holly Dunsworth (holly_dunsworth@uri.edu).  

Description: The NSF Broader Impacts merit review criterion requires applicants to propose/present ways in which their research will benefit society, beyond the advancement of knowledge and theory in particular research areas. These broader impacts may be accomplished through the research itself, through activities directly related to specific research projects, or through activities that are supported by, but complementary to, a project.

Student and faculty applicants to NSF programs, including Biological Anthropology, routinely have questions about what activities “count” as broader impacts, what NSF panels and program officers currently expect in terms of broader impacts plans for various types of proposals, and how to develop and present effective plans. These applicants may or may not be thinking more broadly about identifying/integrating societal impacts into their research design, outside of the requirements of a particular funding agency.

The two-hour session will include:

  1. specific information about NSF Broader Impacts in the context of the NSF merit review system (20-30 minute presentation: Ferrell),
  2. shared experiences of 4-6 NSF student and faculty grantees (and 1+ non-grantees) with a variety of broader impacts activities (panelists will represent a number of sub-fields, and cover a variety of activities, potentially including science communication, museum outreach, K-12 activities and science education, community outreach/involvement and citizen science, undergraduate and graduate training, public health impacts, conservation impacts, etc.), and time for questions from the audience, and,
  3. potentially (depending on room set-up) break-out groups for attendees to discuss further with individual panelists and NSF staff.  Opportunity for attendees to provide feedback and input on questions, challenges, and needs related to implementation of broader impacts in their research.

There will be a number of printed resources for attendees to take with them, such as lists of online resources related to broader impacts.

Audience: student and faculty researchers