Breakout Sessions

Building a Centralized Broader Impacts Support Infrastructure (10:00 am — 12:00 pm)

This session is for those who are interested in creating a centralized infrastructure for broader impacts support at their institution. This session will include hands-on information on how to create a campus support network, garner resources, and build sustainability.

Facilitator: Dr. Kemi Jona, Northwestern University


Challenges for Broader Impacts Infrastructure Support(10:00 am — 12:00 pm)

Staff and organizations face many challenges in creating and sustaining an effective infrastructure to support faculty in their Broader Impacts activities and programs. This session will focus on some of the more common challenges, including:

    1. Getting launched: making the case, finding the funding, deciding on the appropriate “home,” developing structure and planning for sustainability
    2. Helping faculty create BI activities that don’t eat up their time and grant budgets
    3. Coordinating or facilitating many BI activities and programs in a de-centralized institution
    4. Helping launch large research centers (IGERTs, ERCs, STCs) versus individual faculty efforts
    5. Engaging/training faculty

Bring your own challenges, ideas and solutions to this interactive session!

Facilitator: Kaye Storm, Stanford University


Evaluation of Broader Impacts (2:00 — 4:00 pm)

This session explores the evaluation of broader impacts activities, raising theoretical concerns and exploring how institutions can develop infrastructure to support both the formative (both ex ante and ex nunc) and the summative (ex post) evaluation of broader impacts. For certain broader impacts activities, such as education and outreach, evaluation methods are well-established. In such cases, creating the infrastructure to carry out the evaluation of broader impacts faces mainly logistical barriers, e.g., how do we match the evaluators with the researchers, and what costs should be assumed as part of the project budget for the evaluation activities? However, questions of what we can call the philosophy of evaluation also come into play, even when there are established evaluation methods. For instance, should all education and outreach activities be evaluated at the level of the individual project, or should education and outreach activities be measured “in the aggregate,” as the revised Merit Review Criteria allow? And what is the relation between peer review-based and metrics-based impact evaluation? Such questions become more pressing when investigators propose broader impacts activities for which there are no well-established methods of evaluation (for instance, in the realm of science policy). Here the question of attribution looms large. We will also address the steering effect of metrics, as well as the academic reward system.

Facilitators: Dr. Robert Frodeman and Dr. J. Britt Holbrook, University of North Texas


Documenting Broader Impacts (2:00 — 4:00 pm)

Documenting the breadth of broader impacts activities at your institution becomes increasingly more important as institutions try to measure the reach of their research programs and as they try to communicate that information to the public. This session will give you ideas for how to document broader impacts activities at your institution.

Facilitators: Dr. Susan Cook, Indian River State College and Dr. Diane Rover, Iowa State University