News

Field-test partnership tools for universities and ISE organizations

The Institute for Learning Innovation is now accepting applications for new partners to join their Partnerships for Broader Impacts Design (BID) project. The project is led by Program Director Eve Klein, and is a collaboration between Cornell University; Sciencenter in Ithaca, NY; University of Wisconsin, Madison; Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery; Pacific Science Center; University of Washington, Bothell; and Oregon State University. The team is building a set of flexible tools that will help universities and informal science education (ISE) organizations partner to support researchers in developing their broader impacts work. The project is an extension of Portal to the Public and is funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF).

Pictured: Families and visitors interact with University of Washington researchers at a science and engineering-themed event at the Pacific Science Center

What are broader impacts?

Any scientific research study will have an impact on society, whether or not a researcher is intentional about considering or communicating those impacts. As outlined by the National Alliance for Broader Impacts (NABI) there are multiple types of broader impacts—including broadening participation in STEM, improving STEM education, and increase the scientific literacy of individuals—and a diverse range of activities that can be pursued to address those goals. Currently, scientists conducting research funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) are required to have a plan to address broader impacts. And it’s not just NSF that is pushing scientists to consider broader impacts of their research—the Broader Impacts Resource Center (BIRC) at Duke University says “increasingly, it is an expectation of the organizations that fund [scientists’] work...particularly when the source of those funds is the public, who rightfully wants to understand how its money is being used, and what it can expect as a return on its investment.”

Applying for the BID Project

Up to six new university-ISE partnerships will be selected to help test and refine the toolkit. Accepted partners will participate in a kick-off workshop November 7-8, 2018 in Seattle, WA. Travel costs are covered.

Download the application, and apply by Monday, August 20.