The US National Science Foundation (NSF) is unique among the world's science-funding agencies in its insistence that every proposal, large or small, must include an activity to demonstrate the research's 'broader impacts' on science or society. This might involve the researchers giving talks at a local museum, developing new curricula or perhaps forming a start-up company.
reminded me of something my thesis advisor told me about getting NSF grants. (And he should know as he obtained an NSF postdoctoral fellowship and a very large NSF career award.)
He told me:
My secret was I calculated how much money I would receieve and how many taxpayers it would take on average to put up that money. Then I set up outreach programs that I could demonstrate would reach that many taxpayers in a scientifically beneficial way.So there you go. For all you hoping to get NSF money, keep in mind how many taxpayers will have to support you to achieve your research goals. You may just literally have to repay each one of them if you want NSF money.
Any thoughts on whether this is a good demand for the NSF to make?