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Broadening Participation

Background on NSF Broadening Participation

NSF’s commitment to broadening participation is embedded in its Strategic Plan through a variety of investment priorities related to the Learning and Stewardship strategic outcome goals, including:

  • Preparing a diverse, globally engaged science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) workforce;

  • Integrating research with education, and building capacity;

  • Expanding efforts to broaden participation from underrepresented groups and diverse institutions across all geographical regions in all NSF activities; and

  • Improving processes to recruit and select highly qualified reviewers and panelists.

Guided by the Strategic Plan, NSF established a performance area focused on broadening participation: to expand efforts to increase participation from underrepresented groups and diverse institutions throughout the United States in all NSF activities and programs.

Evaluation Reports for Broadening Participation Projects

In August 2008, the Broadening Participation Working Group developed the report A Framework for Action which describes an implementation strategy for the broadening participation performance area in the Strategic Plan. An executive summary and the full report are available at the "Framework for Action" Report page.

Released in January 2011, the report Framework for Evaluating Impacts of Broadening Particiaption Projects originated from a workshop sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF) Directorate for Education and Human Resources (EHR). The report considers metrics for monitoring broadening particpation projects, along with designs and indicators to support program evaluation. Additional background information and the report itself are available at the Framework for Evaluating Impacts of Broadening Participation Projects page.

For a separate evaluation framework on broadening participation in graduate education, “Measuring Diversity: An Evaluation Guide for STEM Graduate Program Leaders,” a guide issued by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in partnership with NSF, see the AAAS page at


For further information concerning NSF's Broadening Participation programs, please contact:

Dr. Wanda E. Ward
National Science Foundation
Phone: 703-292-8040

Please send questions or comments about these Web pages to O/D Webmaster.

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