Moving Beyond Basic Notions of Broader Impacts

Well, it is currently 12:45am in the morning and I feel like writing a little bit about broader impacts.  I am going to do some free-thought writing on the fly and see what comes out (no edits, no corrections), so beware!

So lets get to it shall we!

I see a lot of people in the Academy, especially as it relates to broader impacts- thinking that broader impacts is only about doing outreach or some educational opportunities, or something that is only germane to National Science Foundation (NSF) proposals.

For the record, I am going to say it is not and in actuality this is such a limited and relatively uneducated illogical perspective. Don’t get me wrong I understand why it appears that way.

Politics will be politics, action has a tendency to drive culture, and people will tie so much emotion or be so emotionally attached to a particular outcome like funding that they won’t want to hear or act on behalf of any other alternative. Even if that alternative is more logical and factually accurate.

But before I get on my soap box and start rambling about this issue, let me get back to my original thought at hand with regards to broader impacts.

Many don’t see that broader impacts can be a key to revenue generation, financial growth, and research support beyond applying for a grant.

This would not be only for faculty but also for an entire institution and those involved in the process.

One example that moves beyond rudimentary understanding of broader impacts would be to take your research and build a business and selling products (goods and services) that benefit others.

Yep, that’s right, this is also broader impacts folks.

Another example would be to build relationships with others in society to benefit others, like consortiums with investors while also using it as a way to support your research.

Click on the link or see the picture below for an example of what I am talking about,

Many just don’t or can’t move past the same rudimentary broader impacts activities and NSF proposals when broader impacts is so much more. The above picture represents faculty and institutional -level broader impacts.

If you notice in the picture on the bottom right corner it says Research Impact Enterprises. This company, my company is designed to do just that, well at least one of its functions, to take the broader impacts of research to that next level.

FYI – you can also have broader impacts of teaching, service, etc., and any occupation but I am mostly focused on the broader impacts of research for the above post.

That’s all I got to say tonight, so good night, enough of my rambling, it is now 1:07 AM and I need to get some sleep!