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Broader Impact & Intellectual Merit Statements

Proposals submitted to the National Science Foundation are evaluated on two merit review criteria: intellectual merit and broader impact. To help proposal writers describe the broader impacts of activities they propose to undertake, we present several examples below.

NOTE: These are examples only and NOT intended for extrapolation into any future proposal. To do so would equate to stealing intellectual property. We appreciate the willingness of our principal investigators who have agreed to share their proposals.

Articles and other resources for developing successful broader impact components for NSF grant proposals may be found on the Community Engagement & Broader Impacts page.

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Numerical Methods and Algorithms for Second Order Fully Nonlinear Partial Differential Equations
Principal Investigator: Xiaobing Feng

Materials Science

Advanced Neutron Scattering Network for Education and Research: With a Focus on Mechanical Behavior of Materials
Principal Investigator: Peter Liaw

Earth Science

Collaborative Research: Effects of Land-Use Change on the Production of Ecosystem Services in Páramo Grasslands
Principal Investigator: Carol Harden

Ecology and Evolutionary Science

The Community and Ecosystem Consequences of Plant Genotypic Diversity
Principal Investigator: Nathan Sanders

Chemical Engineering

SPHERE: Sustainable Photosynthetic Hydrogen Evolution Research
Principal Investigator: Paul Frymier


National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis (NIMBioS)
Principal Investigator: Louis Gross


Scholarships for Engineering Students from Underrepresented Groups in the East Tennessee Region
Principal Investigator: Brian Edwards


A Bio-Social Model of Positive Ingroup Regard
Principal Investigator: Lowell Gaertner


CLT: The Appalachian Collaborative Center for Learning, Assessment, and Instruction in Mathematics
Principal Investigator: Vena Long