About Research Impacts
What are Research Impacts?
RI are the educational and societal impacts of your research. Many funders require applicants to provide a plan for research impacts in their proposals for funding. While sponsor requirements vary, most are are generally based on NSF guidelines for Broader Impacts (see video above, Overview of Review Criteria for Broader Impacts, and Perspectives on Broader Impacts).
Why are Broader Impacts Important?
Broader Impacts Help Researchers Secure Funding
The NSF receives far more applications than it has the resources to support. When evaluating multiple proposals, reviewers take into account the potential for each project to advance the foundation’s goals across society, not just in the scientific community. An exceptional Broader Impacts plan can help Baylor faculty members’ proposals stand out. As a Christian University that strongly supports education as well as research, Baylor’s faculty is particularly well poised for excellence in broader impacts, especially with the help of community partners.
Broader Impacts Benefit Communities
Research does not occur in a vacuum. Scientists and engineers who make advances in their fields work for universities that are closely connected to the communities that they call home. Baylor, like many universities, believes it is important for the benefit of its research and scholarly activity to have a positive impact beyond the boundaries of the campus. Furthermore, Baylor researchers' Broader Impacts education plans can be key to encouraging students to pursue STEM educational pathways that will enable them to be trained for the technical jobs that grow our Central Texas industry and the Texas economy.
Broader Impacts Benefit the Nation
By requiring researchers to create “Broader Impacts” plans, NSF ensures that our tax dollars support projects that help ordinary people. The NSF prioritizes projects that demonstrate the potential for impacts that are not just local, but nationwide. Baylor researchers meet that goal by doing nationally important research and creating video educational activities that can be posted online for use by teachers, informal learning groups, and parents nationwide.
Examples of Baylor Broader Impact Activities
- Baylor Faculty and their labs receive training in presenting their science to a public audience through the “Portal to the Public” training at the Mayborn Museum. They then create an activity that they can share at special Mayborn events, at local schools, at other community programs, and online through creating a video and lesson plans.
- Baylor’s Advanced Instrument Workshop hosts faculty and students from smaller colleges for a 2-day event where they have an opportunity to learn about Baylor’s state-of-the-art instrumentation equipment. Along with educating participants, the workshop encourages students to consider a STEM graduate degree.
- Partnering with ESC Region 12 LEx Labs (located in Baylor’s BRIC), Baylor researchers have presented STEM summer camps and done teacher professional development workshops.
- Working with Baylor’s unique Lab 2 Market technology and commercial engagement collaborative, Baylor researchers are working with industry to create new technologies that can be commercialized, providing benefit through the products themselves as well as promoting economic growth in the Central Texas region.
- Through Baylor Connections and other publications, Baylor researchers educate the community and policymakers about their area of science to aid in decision-making.
How Can Central Texas Community Partners Get Involved?
Community Partners can partner with Baylor researchers by bringing issues, audiences, platforms, and ideas for our faculty members to better engage with the Central Texas community and beyond. Baylor is excited to partner with community members in Central Texas and beyond to create dynamic, impactful programming. We’d love to talk with you about ways we can work with you and your organization. Contact us to begin the conversation.