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Planning Your Project

Project Development Timeline and Services Menu

Good planning for broader impacts (BI) is an essential piece of your grant application. It is important to begin working on this part of your overall project early in the process. Waiting too long into your application writing before thinking about BI can make your plan seem badly connected to the project or worse yet, not give you the time to do what you want. Start early as you begin planning to apply to NSF. The Museum is ready to work with you in each step along the way. See below for timeline information and our services menu.

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Project Development Timeline

At least 3-6 months before application submission date

  • Contact the Museum’s BI coordinator.
  • Schedule a preliminary meeting with the Museum.
  • Review project ideas and options with your team: Look online for inspiration. Consider what resources are available in your college and department, in addition to what you will apply for in the grant. What is your capacity for the work? What partners/collaborators need to be involved? What have you done in the past that connects to this work or provides something to build on (pilot studies, etc.)?

3 months before submission date

  • Choose the option for your project: What type of project is best for your group and your interests?
  • Finalize your option with the Museum.
  • Begin working on a preliminary project budget with the Museum. Budget categories can include personnel and student labor costs, materials, equipment, fees, and other costs (as allowed by your grant).

1-2 months before submission date

  • Complete BI project plan with the Museum. You will work as a team to create information for your narrative.
  • Finalize BI project budget. You will work with the Museum to make sure everything is included in the budget.

2 weeks before submission

  • Send your support letter information to the Museum. Include the title of your project and the exact wording required by the grant. You will receive a PDF with this text signed by the Museum director to include with your application.
  • Sign your “Memorandum of Understanding” (if required) and return to the Museum.
  • Be mindful of MSU internal deadlines and personnel vacations when getting signatures and letters.
  • Contact the Museum with any last-minute questions or concerns.


  • Make sure the Museum has a final copy of the submission information and the Broader Impacts section of your application.
  • If you are awarded, notify the Museum as soon as possible with your award information.

Broader Impacts Services


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