Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication

First Advisor

Michael Dahlstrom


This study examines broader impact activities that are used to fulfill National Science Foundation's (NSF) broader impact criterion (BIC). While there have been many studies that discuss the merits and pitfalls of asking scientists to address BIC, there have been few studies that examine exactly what types of outreach and science communication activities Principal Investigators (PIs) are proposing to do. In an effort to fill this gap, this thesis draws from science communication theory and program logic modeling to inform a qualitative analysis of proposed broader impacts activities (BIAs) in NSF grant proposals. Through an analysis of 87 proposals, this thesis explore the types of activities proposed, audiences reached, and their relation to the PUS and PEST models of science communication. The results suggest that PIs mainly propose academic-related activities that are intrinsic to their duties as university faculty members. Although rare, when PIs do engage with the public they choose activities that fall into the PUS-style of science communication.


Copyright Owner

Sarah L. Wiley



File Format


File Size

57 pages

Included in

Communication Commons