NABI: Broader Impacts

Friday, 13 February 2015: 3:00 PM-4:30 PM
Room LL20C (San Jose Convention Center)
Kevin J. Niemi,University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI
Broader Impacts (BI) of NSF-funded projects reflect the potential to benefit society and contribute to the achievement of specific, desired societal outcomes. In addition to BI, all proposals are evaluated based on the potential to advance knowledge, referred to as Intellectual Merit (IM). In 2011, the National Science Board, which oversees NSF, reconfirmed NSF’s commitment to BI in its task force report on the merit review system. In 2013, NSF stated that IM and BI must be evaluated using the same five elements. Many investigators continue to grapple with how to articulate and achieve excellent BI. This session will describe the combined efforts of a group of AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellows assigned to NSF and the nascent National Alliance for Broader Impacts (NABI) to address BI challenges. The Fellows are in a unique position inside NSF to identify novel ways to measure BI in NSF portfolios and crystallize a common language for the different BI cultures and values among scientific disciplines. NABI is creating a professional network of individuals and offices committed to planning and carrying out effective BI programming. The establishment of the NABI group is supported in part by the NSF under grants MCB-1408736, MCB- 313197, and IIA-1437105 (Research Coordination Network grant, Broader Impacts & Outreach Network for Institutional Collaborations, BIONIC). In this session we will share the findings from the Fellows group and the goals and progress to date of NABI.