Academic Affairs

Help with NSF Broader Impacts statements

New organization to help researchers make case for the broader societal impact (NSF’s ‘BI’)

Link to more information. An excerpt:


“If you have submitted a proposal for funding to the National Science Foundation (NSF), then you should be familiar with the term broader impacts (BI). Broader impacts are defined as the societal benefits of the research. BI can also be viewed as the return on taxpayer’s investment in research. A requirement to explain the “significance” or impact of the funded research is found in various degrees across all federal funding agencies, including NSF, the National Institutes of Health, and the USDA. Unfortunately, guidance in formulating BI statements and programming is lacking.

With this deficit in mind, the National Alliance for Broader Impacts (NABI) was formed in 2014 with support from the NSF to develop institutional capacity and engagement in BI activity. A national network comprised of universities, professional societies and informal science organizations, NABI is a community of practice focused on the development, implementation, and evaluation of science communication and public engagement programming—generally designed to meet NSF’s BI criterion. Currently, there are 344 individual members of NABI from more than 120 institutions.

All are welcome to join NABI, free of charge. We are currently only offering individual
memberships so members can continue their affiliation even if they change institutions. An ongoing benefit of NABI membership is the sharing of BI resources and knowledge. The increased emphasis on the BI criterion has led to the creation of campus-wide BI offices, such as the Broader Impacts Network at the University of Missouri3. BI offices are charged with aiding researchers in the design, implementation, and evaluation of their broader impacts activities.

However, not all institutions have broader impacts offices, and NABI resources are available to anyone who needs them—regardless of affiliation. Sharing resources and experience across the network allows for effective use of time and resources—both of which are in high demand.”