Broader Impacts

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.

Promoting Inclusive and Equitable Research (PIER) Plans

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)’s Office of Science is “committed to supporting diverse, equitable, inclusive, and accessible work, research, and funding environments that value mutual respect and personal integrity.” This includes promoting people of all backgrounds as a part of its service the public. Diversity in views, expertise, and experience is essential to scientific and technological innovation.

Beginning in DOE Fiscal Year 2023, Office of Science Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOAs) and DOE National Lab Announcements will require the submission of a PIER plan as an appendix to the proposal narrative.

Resources for Broader Impacts & PIER Plans

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Center for Diversity and Inclusion

The Center for Diversity and Inclusion enhances and strengthens Washington University’s commitment to fostering a diverse and inclusive community.
The center’s staff supports and advocates for students from traditionally underrepresented or marginalized populations and creates collaborative partnerships with campus and community members to promote dialogue and social change.

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DEI at WU Libraries

Learn more about on-going efforts to make WU Libraries more accessible and equitable.

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Diversity & Inclusion Training Opportunities

Diversity & Inclusion Training listings for students and faculty & staff.

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Equity, Diversity & Inclusion

Learn more about WU initiatives and resources in the sphere of equity, diversity and inclusion.

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Institute for School Partnership

The Institute for School Partnership Designs and models strategic partnerships between K-12 institutions and Washington University that are focused on improving students’ development and success. Engineering faculty may contact Chris Mohr to discuss ideas for and incorporating broader impact and outreach into their proposals.

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Institutional Data – Provost’s Office

Find current institutional data about students, staff, faculty, academic programs and faculty research.

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National Alliance for Broader Impacts

An international network of individuals and organizations working together to build institutional capacity, advance broader impacts, and demonstrate the societal benefits of research. Click here to download a pdf with some Guiding Principles.

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Office of Military & Veteran Services

View WU resources for active-duty military and veterans.

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Student Diversity and Inclusion Support

Learn more about diversity and inclusion resources available to the WU student body.

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WU Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Commitments

Review University statements on and commitments to equal opportunity employment and affirmative action.

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WU Student Groups

Discover service, social justice, and political groups that will help you to engage and partner meaningfully with the community.