The National Science Foundation (NSF) states that “NSF projects, in the aggregate, should contribute more broadly to achieving societal goals. These broader impacts may be accomplished through the research itself, through activities that are directly related to specific research projects, or through activities that are supported by, but are complementary to, the project”.

As such, broader impacts, along with intellectual merit, is one of the primary criteria used to evaluate all NSF funding applications. Proposals with strongly conceived broader impacts distinguish themselves in the large applicant pool.

General broader impacts themes include:

  • Building STEM talent
  • Innovating for the future
  • Improving our society
  • Reaching beyond borders
  • Engaging a wider audience

Read NSF’s Perspectives on Broader Impacts.

Resources for Broader Impacts