Below are links to proposal excerpts, mostly from successful CAREER awardees. These have a higher bar and require more space devoted to BI than regular submissions. Still, they provide good examples of what the agency is hoping for with respect to integration of the research with other missions of the university (and the NSF). These documents are not intended as "boilerplate," but instead to provide a sample of the scope and organization used by other researchers when developing their broader impacts section. The individuals whose names are listed have also indicated that they are willing to answer questions about their proposals.
All links below require login with a UMass NetID.
- Excerpts of 2015 CAREER proposal by an Assistant Professor in Computer Science
- Sample from 2012 Career proposal by an Assistant Professor in Sociology- including review sheet for April 25, 2014 event with Carol Inman, National Grantwriter
- BI section of regular NSF grant 2015 by a full professor in Biochemistry
- BI section of 2nd regular NSF grant (2014) by the same full professor (and former program officer)
- Excerpt of 2010 BRIGE (Broadening Participation in Engineering) by Jenna Marquard, Assistant Professor, Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, firstname.lastname@example.org
Guidelines for Department Chair's letter for NSF CAREER proposals
Here, too, the materials are for CAREER grants, but they illustrate general principles for recommendation letters. There are 3 documents in this section. The first, the "unsuccessful" letter follows a template for such letters to the point that only the names and topics are changed. It comes off as generic and *not compelling*. Letters 2 and 3 are for candidates who got the award. There are pseudonyms, but you will be able to compare the unsuccessful letter to the one the subsequent year when she got the award.
- NSF Guidelines for Departmental Support Letter See: Additional Supplementary Documentation for CAREER Proposals)
- Unsuccessful departmental support letter
- Same candidate's successful letter the next year
- Letter for successful candidate 2.
NSF-wide policy change in 2015
Letters of collaboration or commitment, unlike in the past, are now limited to stating the intent to collaborate and may not contain endorsements or evaluation of the proposed project. Letters of collaboration should follow the single-sentence format:
“If the proposal submitted by Dr. [insert the full name of the Principal Investigator] entitled [insert the proposal title] is selected for funding by the NSF, it is my intent to collaborate and/or commit resources as detailed in the Project Description.”
Note that the applicant must now put a little more detail in the narrative about what the person will contribute (in terms of material aid or expertise) and why that person is uniquely qualified to give that help.
Warning: "Departure from this format may result in the proposal being returned without review. The Project Description should document the need for and nature of collaborations, such as intellectual contributions to the project, permission to access a site, an instrument, etc."