The National Science Foundation employs two criteria in the merit review of proposals:

  1. What is the intellectual merit of the proposed activity?
  2. What are the broader impacts of the proposed activity? 
    • Broader impacts may be accomplished through the research itself, through the activities that are directly related to specific research projects, or through activities that are supported by, but are complementary to the project. NSF values the advancement of scientific knowledge and activities that contribute to the achievement of societally relevant outcomes. 
ICRU is happy to discuss how UI researchers develop their broader impacts and how that might tie into their work with undergraduate students.  Please contact us!

Examples of Broader Impacts (per the NSF):

  • Advance discovery and understanding while promoting teaching, training, and learning, for example, by training graduate students, mentoring postdoctoral researchers and junior faculty,  involving undergraduates in research experiences, and participating in the recruitment, training, and professional development of K-12 mathematics and science teachers.
  • Broaden participation of under-represented groups, for example,by establishing collaborations with students and faculty from institutions and organizations serving women, minorities, and other groups under-represented in the mathematical sciences.
  • Enhance infrastructure for research and education, for example, by establishing collaborations with researchers in industry and government laboratories, developing partnerships with international academic institutions and organizations, and building networks of U.S. colleges and universities.
  • Broaden dissemination to enhance scientific and technological understanding, for example, by presenting results of research and education projects in formats useful to students, scientists and engineers, members of Congress, teachers, and the general public.
  • Benefits to society may occur, for example, when results of research and education projects are applied to other fields of science and technology to create startup companies, to improve commercial technology, to inform public policy, and to enhance national security.