Broader Impacts can be achieved in many ways. Some examples include:

  • Design a board game and play it at the Science Festival
  • Create and host a summer camp 
  • Record videos for middle and high school students to watch
  • Host a 45 minute STEM activity for Hokies Like Us
  • Create an interactive exhibit for the Science Museum of Western Virginia
  • Host an exhibit at ICAT Creativity + Innovation Day
  • Host an interactive activity or demo at a STEM Night at a local school
  • Teach 6th graders about topics related to stormwater at Stormwater Day
  • Create a picture book for elementary school students
  • And more!

Using a sliding scale, CENI provides services in:

  • Broader impacts design: Review researchers’ draft broader impact/outreach plans or help them create activities grounded in best practices
  • Liaison services: Assist in the creation of partnerships with target audiences, create opportunities for co-planning, collaborate on implementation
  • Evaluation: Create a plan to collect, analyze, and present evaluation data that align with the research goals  

Fill out our Partnership Form or contact us at to have a CENI team member contact you to schedule a short (<30 minutes) meeting to discuss the details of your proposal and how a CENI partnership might fit.

Broader Impacts Design: Outreach and Engagement

Faculty from our center will meet with you to talk through your outreach ideas and identify viable options from our wide array of outreach outlets, including: 

  • on-campus field trips
  • in-classroom activities
  • science museum exhibits
  • science museum outreach programs
  • expo style events
  • and others!

After we have met with you to identify appropriate outreach options, we will make introductions to school and museum leaders, as well as assist you in obtaining letters of support from our partners.

Virginia Tech is committed to keeping youth safe in any interaction. CENI works closely with the Office of Youth Protection to ensure that program providers have the appropriate training and background checks for working with children. 

Liaison Services

When your program is moving forward, we will serve as liaisons for you. We will check in with you, keep projects moving forward, assist with navigating relationships and make additional introductions.

We have formal, established relationships with 

These relationships allow you to have confidence that their contributions are helpful, equitably distributed, and responsibly delivered.

Evaluation Services

The Center for Educational Networks and Impacts provides evaluation services for outreach projects. We will collaborate with you to design and implement an evaluation program that meets the needs of your grant and the university. CENI provides a wide range of education-related evaluation, assessment, and research services to public and private agencies, including educational institutions, government agencies, and museums, among other organizations. 

The Center will collaborate with faculty to plan, develop, and carry out program evaluation, assessment, and research project methodology. 

We also offer external evaluation services on a variety of federal, state, and foundation grant-funded projects for an evaluation fee. The Center can coordinate this plan as part of a proposal or come on after funding is awarded. Data is collected through a variety of methods to monitor program implementation and assess outcomes of interest. Our team specializes in the design and analysis of surveys and rubrics, as well as interview, focus group, and observation methods. For federal grant-funded projects, we offer assistance with proposal development and annual reporting to funding agencies.


  1. Complete and submit CENI partnership form on our website. You may set up a meeting with a CENI team member to discuss ideas and co-complete the form if preferred. 
  2. After the form is submitted, a CENI team member will contact you to schedule a short meeting to discuss details of your proposal and how a CENI partnership might fit. If you co-created the form with a CENI team member, this meeting is optional.
  3. The CENI team member will then bring your proposal to the next CENI committee meeting (held weekly). The committee will discuss your proposal and decide whether to move forward with a partnership.
  4. Once this decision is made, a CENI team member will contact you. If the committee decides that a CENI partnership is a good fit, you will be asked to schedule a meeting to plan a timeline of goals and a contract that includes expectations (with deadlines) of all parties involved. 
  5. A series of “stop work” deadlines will be included in the timeline. If one of the parties involved fails to complete expectations by a “stop work” date, CENI may decide to end all work on the project.

Budgeting for Broader Impacts

Broader Impacts must be included in your grant budget. In sync with national guidelines, we recommend that 10% of your budget be allocated to societal impacts.

Here are some examples of costs for some broader impacts activities.

  • $500 supports field trips for teachers and students to attend events
  • $1000 supports outreach events, such as the Virginia Tech Science Festival and special events at the Science Museum of Western Virginia
  • $2500 funds a charter bus from an underserved region for regional and state field trips
  • $5000 supports collaboration with a local teacher to create an innovative learning experience for kids
  • $10,000 pays a student for administrative support of the development of outreach activities
  • $25,000 pays a teacher liaison who works in a local school system and at Virginia Tech
  • $35,000 develops and maintains a museum exhibit