BICF Overview

The BICF: An Overview of Domains, Subdomain Spaces, and the Five (5) Basic Structures of BI

The BICF allows us to: 1) characterize and understand “The Nature of Broader Impacts”; and 2) articulate, think, successfully live, and work in a broader impacts paradigm.

In the Broader Impacts Conceptual Framework (BICF) there are four (4) major domains, each having seven (7) subdomains. The four major domains are research, teaching, service/outreach, and society. The central domain being society. Please see image 1 below.

The research, teaching, and service/outreach domains are considered to be the three pillars or legs of the Academy. Hence they are core functions in academic institutions. One, all, or a combination of these cores are also found in other non-profits, other service, and impact organizations.

Image 1: A Detailed Overview of the Broader Impacts Conceptual Framework (BICF)

The seven subdomains found in each major domain are: i) developing knowledge; ii) communicating knowledge; iii) disseminating or sharing knowledge; iv) change learning; v) changing behavior; vi) changing condition; and vii) discovering knowledge. Origins of these subdomains are based upon and is an extension of Nancy Franz’s work in engaged scholarship [1], [2].

The major domains and their subdomains are guided by an individual’s or a group’s professional/broader impacts identity. This leads to the development of an individual’s or group’s impact identity [3] conceptualized by Julie Risien.

There are five basic supporting structures. These “Five (5) Basic Structures” found in the subdomains of each major domain are: a) professional/broader impacts identity, which is the guiding principle for the five basic structures; b) outcomes; c) outputs, d) activities; and e) inputs [4]. Please see image 2 below.

Image 2: The Five (5) Basic Structures of Broader Impacts characterized and situated in the BICF

These are based on the outcome feature of broader impacts and the three basic broader impacts requirements [5], [6], [7]. These three basic broader impacts requirements are process, achieving a goal, and finite time or PAF. A description of PAF can be found under the BICF main tab.

For a more detailed description of the BICF click here.

Overview is taken from the E-print Citation: Thompson, M. (2018). Moving Away From Anecdotal Responses to Questions Faculty Have Concerning Broader Impacts. Authorea Repository. DOI, 10.22541/au.152590900.00767534.


[1]. Franz, N. (2009). A Holistic model of engaged scholarship telling the story across higher education’s Missions. Journal of Higher Education Outreach and Engagement, Volume 13, number 4, p. 31- 50.

[2]. Franz, N. (2016). The Legacy and Future of a Model for Engaged Scholarship: Supporting a Broader Range of Scholarship. Journal of Higher Education Outreach and Engagement, Volume 20, Number 1, p. 217.

[3]. Risien, J. (2015). Unveiling Identities and Enhancing Impacts. STEM-Fit Conference. Evanston, IL.

[4]. College of Continuing Education, Division of Public and Community Services. (2007). Framework for the Mid-Continent Comprehensive Center (MC3), an Educational Technical Assistance Center, Planning Documentation. The University of Oklahoma,

[5] Davis M. and Laas K. (2013). ‘‘Broader Impacts’’ or ‘‘Responsible Research and Innovation’’? A Comparison of Two Criteria for Funding Research in Science and Engineering. Science and Engineering Ethics, DOI 10.1007/s11948-013-9480-1.

[6]. National Alliance for Broader Impacts (NABI). (2015). Broader Impacts Guiding Principles and Questions for National Science Foundation Proposals. [Tri-fold]. [Columbia, MO]: Adentunji, O., Coakley, C., Dawe, J., Dugan, C., Fields, J., Kobilka, S., Koroly, M., Menninger, H., Renoe, S., Ristvey, J., Scowcroft, G., Spohr, K., Sundararajan, S., Thompson, M., and Youngblood, T.

[7]. National Science Foundation (NSF). (2018). Proposal & Awards Policies and Procedures Guide (PAPPG) 18-1. OMB Control Number 3145-0058, p. 45, Chapter II-12.

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