About Strengthening the Professoriate @ISU

SP@ISU Mission

SP@ISU’s mission is to support faculty as they develop Broader Impact (BI) activities for NSF proposals, integrate these activities into their research program, and document their BI work for the promotion and tenure process.  Postdoctoral research associates and advanced graduate students will also participate as they prepare their professional credentials for the professoriate.  The outcome for SP@ISU will be more competitive NSF proposals, a new generation of faculty who integrate BI work into their research program, and increased participation of those traditionally underrepresented in STEM, all outcomes that will strengthen the professoriate.


  1.  Build on current NSF programs to increase efficiency and effectiveness of ISU programs to broaden participation in STEM.
  2. Create a clearinghouse of programs, resources, information, and network of people to assist and guide in the development of a Broader Impact (BI) culture at Iowa State University
  3. Facilitate and enhance the knowledge base needed by faculty to develop well-researched BI plans as part of their research enterprise.
  4. Develop protocols for assessment and evaluation of a faculty member’s BI initiatives for inclusion in the promotion and tenure process.

Background of SP@ISU Development

SP@ISU is funded by a 5-year award from the NSF Innovation through Institutional Integration (I3) program in 2010.  Additional institutional support comes from the Office of the Senior Vice President and Provost and the Office of the Vice President for Research.  NSF has currently funded 30 I3 proposals nationwide.

SP@ISU Resources for Researchers working on Broader Impact plans

  • Events – Opportunities to learn more about Broader Impacts and resources on campus that have expertise in this area
  • Programs – A comprehensive listing of programs on campus that work with Broader Impact initiatives and information on how faculty can effectively partner with them
  • Resources - Informational links and recent literature that supports aspects of Broader Impacts.
  • Consulting – Assistance in discovering what area of Broader Impacts faculty are passionate about and identify opportunities to integrate that into their research enterprise, for help in this area please contact Megan Heitmann at heitmann@iastate.edu.

Opportunities for Experienced Faculty to assist with SP@ISU initiatives

  • Workshops: Informational workshops given by experts in Broader Impacts criterion
  • Mentors: Faculty who have implemented successful Broader Impact plans for NSF proposals.

Addtional Information

SP@ISU brochure

SP@ISU statement for “Facilities, Equipment and Other Resources” section of NSF Proposal

Reports & Posters

NSF Broader Impacts Handout (2013)

Contact the SP@ISU Office

Contact the SP@ISU Office
Diane Rover, Director
Megan Heitmann, Program Assistant
If you are interested in using any of our services or participating in any of the SP@ISU initiatives, please contact our office at 294-8061 or spisu@iastate.edu.
118 Office & Laboratory Building Ames, IA 50011