DEB Numbers: Analysis of Broader Impacts


A recent paper in Bioscience by a AAAS Fellow (Sean Watts), an Einstein Fellow (Melissa George), and an NSF Program Director (Doug Levey) explores how the Broader Impacts Criterion was applied and reported in DEB proposals between 2000 and 2010. A major conclusion is that activities aimed at recruiting and mentoring students from underrepresented groups are proposed more than twice as often as they are eventually reported by PIs; of all the types of broader impact activities, broadening participation is by far the toughest to achieve. This result and others are discussed in the context of a recent review of the Merit Review Criteria by the National Science Board and resulting revisions to the Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG).

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