Broadening Ecologists' Impact on the Nation Through NSF Grants
Tuesday, August 6, 2013: 11:30 AM-1:15 PM
Board Rm 1, Hilton Minneapolis
Elizabeth H. Schultheis
Joel K. Abraham
Broader Impacts are potential outcomes of a research project, in addition to the research itself, that benefit the nation; they include the goals of increasing diversity, promoting education, technological advancement, and improving national security. The National Science Foundation recently reviewed their Merit Review Criteria for Broader Impacts after reports of confusion and inconsistent treatment in panel reviews. While both the Intellectual Merit and Broader Impacts criteria remain for grants, the NSF has clarified the Broader Impacts Criterion to stress that suggested impacts, while desirable, are neither prescriptive or comprehensive and can be achieved through the research itself or complementary activities. Additionally, NSF discussed the potential benefit of linking Broader Impacts through coordination among PIs, projects, and institutions, as well as aggregated, rather than project specific, assessment of Broader Impacts.
In light of these clarifications, we propose a workshop to encourage cooperative brainstorming of Broader Impact activities and networking between potential partners. In addition, the invited workshop guests, Dr. Elizabeth Blood, the Program Director for NEON, and Dr. Nalini Nadkarni, a Member of the Faculty at Evergreen College, will provide guidance on best practices and feedback on Broader Impact activities. The workshop will begin with an introduction by the invited guests, followed by a discussion about the current Broader Impacts guidelines. Workshop attendees will then break into small groups to brainstorm project ideas and build relationships. This workshop will be preceded by an Ignite session in which NSF grant recipients will share their successful and inspiring Broader Impact programs.