Broader Impacts Network Data, Evaluation and Research System

Supporting practitioners of impact with research-based planning and continuous-improvement resources to evaluate and inform engagement activities and promote aggregated accountability

The Broader Impacts Network Data, Evaluation, and Research System (BINDERS) provides researchers with instruments that promote evidence-based, best practices in the development, implementation, and evaluation of Broader Impacts activities.

  • Evaluate your ability to broaden participation using our Self-Assessment Rubric.
  • Evaluate your engagement activities using our research-based, online or paper surveys.
  • Use our BINDERS Proposal Narrative to help get the funding you need.

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Why should I use BINDERS?

Public institutions of higher education are increasingly responsible for providing evidence of their contributions to the broader community and society at large. In addition, campus leadership is being called to provide inclusive opportunities that recognize the perspectives and contributions of historically underrepresented populations. Similarly, federal funding agencies, such as the National Science Foundation, require proposals to demonstrate both the intellectual merit of a project and the “Broader Impacts” on society, with particular emphasis placed on broadening the participation of underrepresented populations in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM).

Government agencies who fund this work and institutions who deliver the results are in need of a way to efficiently document and aggregate the reach and quality of the Broader Impacts that result from their work. The Connector and the Assessment Resource Center (ARC) collaborated to create an evaluation and collection system to support institution-wide reporting and promote quality practices in the development, implementation, and evaluation of Broader Impacts activities.

The result of this collaboration is BINDERS, a comprehensive and user-friendly evaluation system that assists researchers throughout the lifecycle of their work and helps administrators tell an institutional story about the important impact their campus or college is having on society.

In the project planning stage, BINDERS guides researchers in competitive project development aligned with best practices.

  • Researchers can use the Self-Assessment Rubric to assess their own expertise, identify areas for improvement, design and monitor projects.
  • Researchers can use the BINDERS Proposal Narrative in their evaluation plan.

Once a project is funded (or not), BINDERS can assist with implementation.

  • Researchers can use the scannable paper or online surveys designed for different audiences to engage in ongoing data collection.
  • Researchers can use the reporting tools to aggregate data for progress monitoring and decision-making.
  • Researchers can use the annual reporting forms to assist with the required reporting to funding agencies.

Who we are:

The Connector, formerly the Broader Impacts Network, was established in 2012 as a response to the National Science Foundation’s emphasis on the integration of education and outreach into research projects. The Connector’s mission is to build active, reciprocal, and sustained relationships between research and communities to assist researchers in the development, implementation, and evaluation of high-quality, broader impacts activities.

The Assessment Resource Center (ARC) is an assessment, research, and evaluation service unit within the College of Education at the University of Missouri. ARC’s mission is to equip educators and leaders with information to make meaningful, data-driven decisions through program evaluation and technology solutions. In service to higher education, non-profit, and government clients, ARC designs and implements surveys, conducts focus groups, conducts qualitative and quantitative research, and evaluates programs in diverse fields that includes education, health care, natural resources, and law. In the past five years, ARC has served as the evaluator for multi-year grants from the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Institute of Health (NIH), the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), the US Department of Education, the Missouri Humanities Council, and the Missouri Foundation for Health. ARC’s unique combination of research and information technology experts developed and launched BINDERS in 2018.


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