Broader Impacts at Penn State
CSATS partners with science and engineering researchers on the broader impacts components of research grant proposals. We design, develop, and implement many outreach programs and workshops for K-16 education to promote the integration of science and engineering practices into the classroom environment.
Broader impacts of research grants serve to benefit society through improving public understanding of STEM, translating research into current education and training, and increasing the diversity of the scientific workforce. The National Science Foundation and other federal agencies are emphasizing the need to include well-developed broader impact programs as part of funded projects.
CSATS faculty and staff understand that a compelling broader impacts plan can provide a critical competitive edge to grant funding. Based upon panel comments, we have a strong record of positive reviews for our proposals. With our expertise in science education, we run successful programs that reach K-16 educators and students. CSATS has strong working relationships with many K-12 schools and informal educators across the state of Pennsylvania and the United States through our ongoing outreach activities. To learn more, see our CSATS Impacts page!
We assist researchers with the broader impact components of their research at ALL stages – grant writing, program development, program implementation, and evaluation. Click on the various stages of the process to learn more about how CSATS can assist you.
Broader Impacts Resources:
- For a clear and concise overview of the NSF’s expectations with respect to broader impacts, please see Broader Impacts Guiding Principles and Questions, published by the National Alliance for Broader Impacts (NABI).
- For a more detailed discussion of the NSF’s review criteria, please see their Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide.
As a free service, CSATS faculty and staff assist researchers in writing the broader impacts section of grant proposals. We recognize the increasing emphasis placed on the broader impacts activities. Our goal is to assist researchers in designing a cohesive plan that integrates the science and engineering research directly into education and outreach activities.
- Advancing graduate and undergraduate education
- Improving K-12 education
- Building connections between critical partners
- Impacting underrepresented groups
Ideally, we become involved in the grant proposal writing process in the early stages of development. This provides us with an opportunity to:
- Plan – CSATS works with researchers to develop a broader impacts program that directly connects to the proposed science/engineering research. Based upon the identified goals and planned activities, we prepare a plan to evaluate the program.
- Connect – CSATS faculty and staff make critical connections to schools/districts to secure letters of commitment of support.
- Budget – As part of the grant writing process, CSATS prepares a broader impacts budget and budget justification for the development, implementation, and evaluation of the program. CSATS faculty members are non-tenured and responsible for their own salaries from external grants and contracts.
Contact CSATS for assistance in preparing the Broader Impacts section of your grant proposal by requesting a meeting.
DEVELOP THE PROGRAM
For funded projects, CSATS faculty and staff work closely with researchers to develop and implement the proposed activities. By combining the expertise of science and engineering faculty with CSATS knowledge of science education, we are able to develop strong programs to meet the intended goals of the broader impacts plan.
- Develop Activities - Our efforts focus on incorporating education research-based practices of teaching that maximize learning in science and engineering. With researchers providing cutting-edge projects as a centerpiece, CSATS programs are designed to build teachers’ and students’ knowledge of relevant content as well as the practices of research.
- Recruitment - Development efforts also include the recruitment of program participants. CSATS conducts extensive outreach activities, which involves marketing our programs in a variety of ways. Through our strong connections to K-12 education, we are able to connect teachers and students across Pennsylvania and the U.S. with upcoming opportunities.
- Participant Registration - CSATS manages the registration of program participants through our website system.
IMPLEMENT THE PROGRAM
During implementation, CSATS faculty and staff work alongside researchers to carry out the developed activities. In addition, we facilitate program implementation to provide a positive, comfortable atmosphere for participants. See testimonials from past participants!
- Implement Activities - Based upon the developed program agenda and activities, the implementation of CSATS programs focus on engaging teachers and students in activities that maximize learning in science and engineering.
- Managing Participant Needs – Based upon the project budget and needs of the program participants, CSATS provides necessary preparations and arrangements such that the participants have a positive experience. If funds are provided through the project budget, CSATS arranges for participant travel, subsistence, supplies, and stipends.
EVALUATE THE PROGRAM
It is critical to assess the success of a broader impacts program. Based upon the goals of the program, CSATS will work with researchers to:
- Identify specific measurable outcomes
- Identify or develop evaluation instruments
- Collect and analyze data
- Report findings
Findings of the program evaluation are included in reports to funding agencies.
Contact CSATS for assistance with your Broader Impacts by requesting a meeting.