UNM faculty members heard tips on how to address the broader impacts portion of their research proposals during a workshop hosted by Advance at UNM April 26.
Stephanie Tofighi, a faculty research support officer with the Office of the Vice President of Research, and Monica Kowal, the Director of Community Engagement Initiatives with the Office of the Provost and Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs, presented at the workshop in the UNM Student Union Building.
Broader Impacts are outreach efforts that can contribute to the goals you want to achieve through your research. Examples of this can include working with K-12 students or fostering participation of women, minorities, people disabilities or other underrepresented groups in STEM fields.
“When you think about your broader impacts, it shouldn’t just be an add on to what you are doing,” Kowal said, adding that it should be and integral part of your project and goal of the research.
Kowal and Tofighi mentioned three different ways broader impacts can be included in a research proposal.
- The proposed research itself defines broader impacts.
- The research directly contributes to the broader impact.
- The proposed research is complimented by broader impact activities.
“They (the National Science Foundation) want to see something that is sustainable, in line with your research and that is using the resources available to you,” Tofighi said.
Kowal and Tofighi also stressed the importance of community engagement when addressing broader impacts.
“Ask them for what they need,” Kowal said. “Institutions are famous for saying we have all the knowledge and we will bestow our wisdom on you.”
In order to develop a productive research question, the target audience needs to be consulted. A multidirectional flow of knowledge between the researcher, the university and the target audience will help to make the research of maximum benefit to the community they said.
They listed resources for faculty to reach out to for further help in developing this portion of their research proposal. The resources include the UNM Faculty Research Development Office, the National Alliance of Broader Impacts, and the NSF perspectives on Broader Impacts.
To find out about future workshops follow Advance at UNM on social media or take a look at the Advance at UNM events calendar.