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What are broader impacts?

The broader impacts of a research project are those components that, beyond the advancement of knowledge, have the potential to benefit society and contribute to achievement of specific desired societal outcomes. The National Science Foundation (NSF) requires proposals to address the broader impacts in addition to the intellectual merit of the project. NSF provides the following examples of desirable societal outcomes (broader impacts):

  • 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 US
  • enhanced infrastructure for research and education

For more information, please view the full document, which includes examples of broader impact sections of funded awards of RU-N faculty.