Office of the Vice Provost for Research

Broader Impacts


In recent years, the National Science Foundation has increased its emphasis on requiring proposals to describe and discuss the broader impacts of a proposed project.

As the NSF states in its Grant Proposal Guide, the NSF values the advancement of scientific knowledge and activities that contribute to the achievement of societally relevant outcomes. Such outcomes include, but are not limited to:

  • full participation of women, persons with disabilities, and underrepresented minorities in 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 United States
  • enhanced infrastructure for research and education

To enhance the ability of IU Bloomington researchers to create strong broader impacts plans for NSF grant proposals, OVPR offers this resource guide to designing and implementing successful broader impacts activities. For examples of broader impacts plans currently being carried out by IU Bloomington faculty, click the link the box at left. 

Assistance from OVPR Proposal Development Services

Research development specialists in OVPR's Proposal Development Services unit can help faculty develop their broader impacts statements and plans by suggesting ways to make use of campus resources. Make an appointment with a PDS team through

Articles Regarding Broader Impacts

Broader Impacts Allies and Resources on the IU Bloomington Campus

College of Arts and Sciences Office of Science Outreach: The Office of Science Outreach connects with area schools and the community by offering science activities and opportunities on the IU Bloomington campus. Activities include pre-college summer camps/workshops, departmental open houses, facility tours, and hands-on activities in elementary classrooms. The OSO also hosts state and national science competitions.

Department of Astronomy K-12 Education: The Department of Astronomy is engaged in science education at all levels from kindergarten through undergraduate and graduate programs in astronomy. The department offers the astronomy resources of Indiana University to further the teaching and learning goals of all educators.

Department of Biology Community Outreach:  Members of the Department of Biology share knowledge with the wider community through seminars and exhibits, informational websites, working with the City of Bloomington on ecological issues, participating in special programs for organizations such as Science Olympiad, the Boys and Girls Club, the Girl Scouts, and WonderLab, and ongoing programs in local school classrooms. Biology Outreach also can help IU Biology faculty design and implement the “Synergistic Activities” and "Broader Impact" components of their federal grant proposals. 

Department of Chemistry Community Outreach and Broader Impact Activities: The Department of Chemistry develops free learning tools for students, offers chemical demonstrations and tours to local students, assists teachers in acquiring chemical supplies and equipment, and arranges special guest lectures to share knowledge and experience with others.

Department of Mathematics Outreach Activities

Department of Physics Outreach Activities

Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences Science Outreach

Center for Excellence in Women and Technology (CeWIT): This center is committed to increasing participation of women in technology-related fields through research collaborations, education, mentoring, and community building. CeWIT faculty and staff help to advance interdisciplinary research collaborations and identify pathways to professional development.

Center for Innovative Teaching and LearningCITL's service-learning program promotes service-learning as an integral aspect of a student's education and fosters university engagement with the larger community by creating opportunities for Indiana University students, faculty, and staff to learn in partnership with the community. Consultations with faculty and resources available.

Office of the Provost Women in STIM Initiative: Increasing opportunities and support for women within the science, math, informatics, and technology (STIM) areas is a top priority for IU Bloomington. The campus is committed to ensuring that women have access to effective resources and opportunities for education, training, networking, and professional development.

The IU Office of Sustainability defines sustainability as thriving within our means to achieve balance between environmental health, economic prosperity, and social equity. The office advances sustainability by creating collaborations between university operations, academics, and the Hoosier community. For sustainability oriented research, the office can help faculty design and implement "broader impact" components of grant proposals through connections with sustainability-minded student groups and community organizations, and through established internship and undergraduate research programs run by the Office of Sustainability. For more information, contact Andrew Predmore.

Office of the Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Multicultural AffairsDEMA strives to foster an inclusive environment that promotes and nurtures diversity, broadly defined, on all campuses of Indiana University.

IU MSI STEM Intitiative: This Initiative is an academic and research partnership between Indiana University and multiple Minority Serving Institutions (MSI) that promotes and develops the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) disciplines.

Pervasive Technology Institute Education, Outreach, and Training: PTI works to provide education, outreach, and training related to advanced technology and high performance computing, including working with the IU community, K-12 students and teachers, Indiana residents, and the general public. PTI offers a regular series of outreach events that can be used as a vehicle for outreach for other technology-oriented grant funded activities. PTI outreach and education activities touch more than 10,000 people in an average year, and thousands more read and access online information. Furthermore, PTI routinely supports IU faculty by hosting training workshops and meetings at the Cyberinfrastructure Building in Bloomington and the Informatics and Communications Technology Complex in Indianapolis. PTI is available to work with any IU faculty member to aid development of technology-related outreach plans for grant proposals, write letters of commitment, and then execute outreach plans once grants are funded. For more information, send email to

School of Education Collaboration and Outreach (Saturday Science Quest for Kids)

School of Informatics and Computing at IU Bloomington: Assistant Dean for Diversity and Education Maureen Biggers works with college students, faculty, and professionals in the areas of student retention, leadership, teams, diversity, and broadening participation in computing.

Broader Impacts Partners in the Bloomington Community

WonderLab Museum of Science, Health and Technology partners with IU faculty and local schoolteachers to offer a variety of science education workshops and programs. Contact Karen Jepson-Innes, associate executive director, for more information.

Monroe County Public Library