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Peering into Distant Galaxies: Behind the Scenes at the Very Large Array

UNM Physics and Astronomy Professor and Interim Associate Vice President for Research, Dr. Trish Henning, led a behind-the-scenes tour of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory Very Large Array in Socorro, New Mexico in collaboration with the STEM Collaborative Center. Dr. Henning helped undergrads understand how she uses the VLA to map galaxies that are hidden by our own Milky Way galaxy.


The National Science Foundation (NSF) describes Broader Impacts as being the potential of a research project to benefit society and contribute to the achievement of specific, desired societal outcomes. Per the NSF, broader impacts may be accomplished through the research itself, through activities directly related to specific research projects, or through activities supported by, yet complementary to the project. Even though the NSF is the only sponsor that specifically names Broader Impacts as an evaluation measure, this desire to improve the world around us through research and other externally funded endeavors is common to most funding opportunities. As a result, the OVPR and FRDO would like to offer their assistance to faculty looking to develop broader impacts strategies to include in their proposals. Use the button below to request support. 

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Request for Proposal Support

NSF Perspectives on Broader Impacts


NSF Broader Impacts Each year, the National Science Foundation (NSF) receives about 50,000 proposals for funding. Because there are many more worthy proposals than NSF is able to fund, the foundation distinguishes among them through a merit review process that incorporates two criteria: intellectual merit and broader impacts. Read more about broader impacts examples from the NSF here.

Outreach and Broader Impact Resources Available to UNM


STEM Collaborative Center

Funded with a 5 year development grant from the Department of Education, the STCC promotes collaboration between UNM faculty, and develops STEM engagement opportunities for first and second year UNM students.

NM STEM Connection

Managed by the UNM STEM-H Center for Outreach, Research and Education with support from the NM Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (NM EPSCoR), the NM STEM Connection provides information about STEM resources for K-12 students, teachers, parents, counselors, and administrators as well as higher education faculty/staff and community members in New Mexico.

Research Data Support

Data sharing can be incorporated into broader impacts. The Research Data Services provides a variety of services in support of effective research data planning, management, preservation, discovery and use. In addition, the RDS team also provides support for several key research data infrastructure capabilities that are maintained by the Library for use by UNM's research community.

UNM College Based Outreach

A number of schools and colleges at UNM offer outreach opportunities. These are excellent places to begin your own outreach effort, either as an example to follow or as a collaborative partner. Check out the links to their outreach pages below.

College of Arts & Sciences
College of Education
College of Fine Arts
School of Architecture & Planning
School of Engineering

Mission: Graduate

Mission: Graduate is a partnership that brings together educators, employers, educational support providers, government leaders, and citizens to work on collaborative projects and align organizational practice and policy toward achieving common goals. They seek partners with the interest, experience, and expertise necessary to identify strategies relevant to their seven core outcomes.

New Mexico EPSCoR

One of NM EPSCoR’s mission is to cultivate a well-qualified and diverse Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) workforce and develop a strong culture of innovation and entrepreneurship. Through collaborations with organizations ranging from afterschool programs to colleges and universities, from museums to business startup accelerators, NM EPSCoR Education and Outreach programs serve a wide range of audiences across the state. 

NM Girls in C-STEM

This group brings together organizations throughout NM that are committed to informing and motivating girls to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Activities are designed to facilitate connections between organizations to maximize access to shared resources. Check out current programs and partners or connect with this group.

ABQ Math Teachers' Circle

The Albuquerque Math Teachers' Circle supports local teachers who desire to explore mathematical ideas in a fun, encouraging environment. Their meetings provide an opportunity for math educator participants to work on interesting problems, developing their mathematical knowledge, skills, and intuition with the support of leading mathematicians and scientists from the local community.

AFRL La Luz Academy

An AFRL education outreach program at Kirtland Air Force Base conducted through a coop with NM Tech whose goal is to increase student interest in pursuing STEM related studies and career paths. Interactive hands-on activities target students in 5th-12th grades and focus on applications of the basic STEM concepts behind the technologies developed by the AFRL Directed Energy and Space Vehicles Directorates.