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Broader Impact Statements

The broader impact of your work is becoming increasingly important to federal granting agencies. The NSF specifically requires that a portion of your grant narrative address broader impacts, and other agencies, including the NEH and the Department of Education, are also expecting more public impact from your research. There are many opportunities to share your research throughout the life of your grant in addition to publication and other post-funding deliverables.

Your broader impact statement should inform reviewers of the staying power and applicability of your research. When writing your broader impact statement, be as specific and straightforward as possible. Describe any programs, departments, institutions or organizations that align with or may benefit from your research, and include specific ways that your research could be applied. Consider both academic and non-academic means of sharing your research as well as how your research could be generalized or reimagined for future projects by you or others.

Questions to Consider

  • How well does the activity advance discovery and understanding while promoting teaching, training and learning?
  • How well does the proposed activity broaden the participation of underrepresented groups (e.g., gender, ethnicity, disability, geographic, etc.)?
  • To what extent will it enhance the infrastructure for research and education, such as facilities, instrumentation, networks and partnerships?
  • Will the results be disseminated broadly to enhance scientific and technological understanding?
  • What may be the benefits of the proposed activity to society?

Examples and Resources

Opportunities for Broader Impact

As your write your broader impact statement, think about how you might implement your research findings by:

  • Presenting public talks for non-academic audiences
  • Hosting workshops, seminars, or panels
  • Creating K-16 curricular units, pamphlets, or brochures
  • Sharing information via YouTube videos, blogs, or social media 
  • Developing apps or computer programs
  • Meeting with media or audiences involved with and interested in your project

Additional Resources