Creating a Meaningful Connected Project BPC Plan

A meaningful Connected Project BPC Plan may be used when each PI will engage in an activity listed in a verified Departmental BPC Plan from their institution. The document is organized as outlined in the Checklist for a Meaningful Connected Project BPC Plan.

 

Checklist for a Meaningful Connected Project BPC Plan

For a Connected Project BPC Plan, each PI needs to have a verified Departmental BPC Plan. The PIs select and describe their involvement in an activity from their institution’s verified Departmental BPC Plan.

A meaningful Connected Project BPC Plan must answer positively to the following elements:

  1. Context: Covered by the verified Departmental BPC Plan.
  2. Intended Population(s): Covered by the verified Departmental BPC Plan.
  3. Strategy: Does the Plan describe activities that address the goal(s) and intended population(s)? Is there a clear role for each PI and co-PI?
  4. Preparation: Does the Plan describe how the PI is prepared (or will prepare or collaborate) to do the proposed work?
  5. Measurement: Is there a Plan to measure the outcome(s) of the activities?

This page provides a Connected Project BPC Plan template (and details on the document’s structure), further details on each of the five elements above, and an example of a Meaningful Connected Project BPC Plan.

Template:

BPCnet has provided a template for you to create your own Connected Project BPC Plan. Download the Connected Project BPC Plan template here.

Document structure:

Different solicitations have different page requirements for Connected Project BPC Plans. In common, all solicitations that support Connected Project BPC Plans require:

  • One or more pages (number varies by solicitation. See below for details) identifying which activity from their institutions’ Verified Departmental BPC Plan each PI is engaged in and the PI’s role in that activity.
    • Each activity has its own section with a brief descriptive title.
      • PIs from a single institution may share activities.
  • 2 pages per institution: A copy of the full Verified Departmental BPC Plan
    • See the Departmental BPC Plan page for details on Departmental BPC Plans.
    • PIs from multiple departments at a single institution must all use activities from a single Verified Departmental BPC Plan.
    • The Verified Departmental BPC Plan should be exactly the same as the document verified by BPCnet, in the same format with no edits or markup.
    • The Verified Departmental BPC Plan does not need to come from the PI’s home department but must come from the PI’s home institution.
  • Follows the NSF’s current guidelines on formatting in the Proposal & Award Policies and Procedures Guide (PAPPG)

The organization and page count varies by solicitation:

  • Core (as of the solicitation NSF 22-631 dated September 16, 2022)
    • 2 pages shared by all PIs
    • Followed by all Verified Departmental BPC Plans (in any order)
    • Total pages: 2 + (2 × number of institutions)
  • SaTC (as of the solicitation NSF 22-517 dated October 22, 2021)
    • For each institution:
      • 1 page shared by PIs from that institution
      • Followed by that institution’s  Verified Departmental BPC Plan
    • Total pages: (3 × number of institutions)
  • CPS (as of the solicitation NSF 21-551 dated January 11, 2021)
    • Does not allow Connected Project BPC Plans; use a Standalone Project BPC Plan instead.

1. Context and 2. Intended population(s) will be provided in your Verified Departmental BPC Plan, so content for these sections does not need to be repeated here.

  • The Connected Project BPC Plan template includes a placeholder for these sections, signaling to reviewers that the information is covered in the Verified Departmental BPC Plan.

3. Strategy:
NSF CISE defines a meaningful Project BPC Plan as one that can answer positively to the following questions for this section: Does the Plan describe activities that address the goal(s) and intended population(s)? Is there a clear role for each PI and co-PI?

You can address these questions by ensuring that the content in this section does the following:

  • Identifies each activity that the PI(s) will engage in using an identifier from the Verified Departmental BPC Plan that the Project BPC Plan is connected to.
  • Describes the specific actions each PI will take, including frequency/duration/etc of the activity as appropriate.

4. Preparation:
NSF CISE defines a meaningful Project BPC Plan as one that can answer positively to the following question for this section: Does the Plan describe how the PI is prepared (or will prepare or collaborate) to do the proposed work?

You can address this question by ensuring that the content in this section does the following:

  • Designates realistic PI responsibilities based on the preparation of the PIs, which can be demonstrated in several ways.
    • The following are some options for information to include in this section:
      • relevant prior BPC experience
      • a plan for how PIs will receive training if needed
      • a plan for connecting with a BPC expert who will partner with or coach the PIs
      • a resource that articulates and guides the necessary steps

5. Measurement:
NSF CISE defines a meaningful Project BPC Plan as one that can answer positively to the following question for this section: Is there a plan to measure the outcome(s) of the activities?

You can address this question by ensuring that the content in this section does the following:

  • Identifies what data about the activity will be shared in the annual report.
    • This data may be of the activity as a whole or of the PI’s part of it 
    • This data should include some measure of the outcome of the activity. Some intended outcomes may be difficult to measure; in such cases, it is sufficient to measure an intermediate outcome. For example, measuring the demographics of students who receive funding to attend a diversity conference instead of the long-term impact of their attendance.
  • Provides data in the annual report that is sufficient to demonstrate that the PI fulfilled their role in the activity.

Still unsure if a Connected Project BPC Plan is for you? Please see this decision flowchart for details on which type of Project BPC Plan you can use.”

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Example of a Meaningful Connected Project BPC Plan

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Connected Project BPC Plan