About Broader Impacts

All NSF grant proposals are evaluated using two merit review criteria:
1)      Intellectual Merit: The Intellectual Merit criterion encompasses the potential to advance knowledge and understanding within its own field or across different fields;
2)      Broader Impacts: The Broader Impacts criterion encompasses the potential to benefit society and contribute to the achievement of specific, desired societal outcomes.

Broader impacts for NSF proposals may be accomplished through:

  • the research itself,
  • activities directly related to specific research projects,
  • activities supported by, but complementary to the project.

NSF’s list of societally relevant outcomes (broader impacts) includes:
1.      Full participation of women, persons with disabilities, and underrepresented minorities in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM);
2.      Improved STEM education and educator development at any level;
3.      Increased public scientific literacy and public engagement with science and technology;
4.      Improved well-being of individuals in society;
5.      Development of a diverse, globally competitive STEM workforce;
6.      Increased partnerships between academia, industry, and others;
7.      Improved national security;
8.      Increased economic competitiveness of the United States;
9.      Enhanced infrastructure for research and education.

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