Personal identities and intrinsic motivators make up the personal preference dimension.

  • Are you a parent, musician, minority woman in science?
  • Do you enjoy working with children, youth, or adults?
  • Do you see yourself as communicator, teacher, or inventor?
  • Are you an activist, environmentalist, engaged in civic action?

Individuals have certain capacities and skill sets that are somewhat innate or have been cultivated over time, and can guide the type of public engagement that might most suitably fit with a scientist’s personally traits and interests.

  • Are you a patient listener?
  • Are you equipped to work with underserved audiences?
  • Do you engage well with children?
  • Are you an introvert or an extrovert?
  • Can you explain your research to lay audiences?

One’s approach to research and scholarship adds a dimension that is deeply connected to the everyday professional practice of scientists. Through broader impacts, scholarship often expands beyond the boundaries of a discipline or the core of a research portfolio.

  • What is the nature of your research?
  • What instrumentation do you use?
  • How applied, practical, or theoretical is your research?
  • What are the links between your research topic and potential applications?
  • How might your broader impacts work open new dimensions of scholarship?
  • To what degree might connections outside your circle of disciplinary colleagues support your career trajectory?

Institutions also have identities and scientists do their work within the context of the institutions they inhabit.

  • To what degree does your institution appreciate, support, and reward investments into broader impacts work?
  • Does your institution have a public service or outreach mission?
  • How is your institution connected to various local or regional communities?
  • What kind of infrastructure exists through your institution to support what type of broader impact efforts (e.g., office of commercialization; institutional connection to local schools or science museums; public speaker or science café/pub series; opportunities to influence policies, legislation, or regulations; etc.)?

Disciplines of science are a major contributor to scientists’ professional identities. Affinity with and connection among a disciplinary group is often a prominent dimension of identity.

  • What critical questions drive your discipline?
  • To what degree are fundamentals of your discipline already part of a K-16 curriculum?
  • What are norms within your disciplinary society around broader impact work?
  • How do your successful colleagues conduct their broader impacts?

*Credit: Unveiling Impact Identities: A Path for Connecting Science and Society by Julie Risien and Martin Storksdieck (Center for Research on Lifelong STEM Learning, Oregon State University, 2018)