Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

  • News Feature
  • Published:

Science funding: Science for the masses

The US National Science Foundation's insistence that every research project addresses 'broader impacts' leaves many researchers baffled. Corie Lok takes a looks at the system.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Relevant articles

Open Access articles citing this article.

Access options

Buy this article

Prices may be subject to local taxes which are calculated during checkout


  1. Buck, G. A. et al. J. Elem. Sci. Educ. 14, 1-10 (2002).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Burggren, W. W. Soc. Epistemol. 23, 221 (2009).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Bozeman, B. & Boardman, C. Soc. Epistemol. 23, 183 (2009).

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references


Related links

Related links

Related external links

US National Science Foundation merit review criteria

US National Science Foundation broader impacts criterion

The broader impacts toolbox

Molecules to the Max

MicroExplorers: Science for children

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Lok, C. Science funding: Science for the masses. Nature 465, 416–418 (2010).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:

This article is cited by


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing