A big focus of CAFNR is to share the story of how its faculty, staff, students and alumni inspirationally impact the world around them.
It’s a main focus of Mizzou, too – and the funding agencies we all work with.
The University of Missouri is home to the Broader Impacts Network (BIN), which aims to help researchers engage the public in their research and share the impacts of that research. The BIN provides training on broader impacts, consultations for writing and evaluating broader impacts plans, and builds partnerships with potential broader impacts collaborators.
“Given the increasingly competitive climate for federal research dollars, funding decisions are being made based on other considerations,” said Director Susan Renoe. “For NSF-funded faculty, that means the broader impacts. The BIN exists to assist researchers in creating unique and innovative broader impacts activities that will increase their chances of receiving funding.”
The National Science Foundation requires researchers to include broader impacts in grant proposals to show how their research advances knowledge or benefits society. They must also then propose how to evaluate the effectiveness of their broader impacts activities.
CAFNR’s own Anna Ball, professor of agricultural education and leadership, is the Faculty Fellow for Evaluation for the BIN this academic year. Ball also is the Director for the Center for Collaborating and Designing Educational Innovations in CAFNR.
When building a broader impacts plan, Renoe and her staff network with other offices at Mizzou to help researchers find the best collaborators for their broader impacts activities – including programs for school-age children, press releases, video storytelling, and more. The BIN also has a special partnership with MU Extension.
“Extension is a natural partner in broader impacts as taking the excellent research done at MU out to our communities is foundational to their mission, and they have been excelling at outreach for a long time,” she said. “Our goal is to get more researchers thinking about partnering with MU Extension in their research and their broader impacts plans.”
Beginning to prepare a grant proposal? Get in touch with Renoe and her staff as soon as possible so they can help design the best possible plan for your project’s broader impacts. Could you be a potential collaborator for a broader impacts activity? Renoe needs your help! See more information on their website at broaderimpacts.missouri.edu, contact Renoe at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 573-882-2270.
Watch the Broader Impacts video: