Project BPC Plans

All Medium CISE Core Programs, Secure and Trustworthy Cyberspace (SaTC), and Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS) project proposals require an approved BPC plan by the time of award.

To begin, download the Template for Project BPC Plans:

The NSF Solicitation states that the 1-3 page Project BPC Plan should include:

  1. Context: Describes the problem the plan addresses using institutional or local data, and the goals of the proposed activities;
  2. Intended population(s): Specifically identifies the demographics of the participants, including school level(s) (ex. African-American undergraduates or female high-school students);
  3. Strategy: Outlines the plan of activities with specific intended outcomes, corresponding to the elements in (1) and (2) and with a role for each PI and co-PI;
  4. Preparation: Describes any past engagement with BPC activities and/or intended preparation/training activities to implement proposed work; and
  5. Measurement: Describes plans for the measurement of outcomes for the proposed activities.

Just as research projects evolve, we anticipate that your BPC activities will evolve over time – and you should report on them in your annual report.

Concerned about your BPC Plan’s activities due to Covid-19? Get some tips to write or adapt your plan for an online setting.

Checklist for Project BPC Plans

The following checklist can help PIs create their Project BPC plan to properly address the solicitation. The more items that are addressed, the greater the likely impact on BPC.

1. Context & Goals

  • At least one specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) goal is provided for the plan.
  • For each activity, there is an explanation for why it is likely to be effective for BPC. 
  • The expected benefit addresses a problem identified by currently available local and/or national data.

Resources are available for Selecting BPC Activities and Data and Evaluation.

2. Intended Population

  • For each activity, the intended participants are identified (e.g., demographic and age/level such as high school, graduate students). PIs might be the participants if the activity focuses on learning about BPC.
  • For each activity, when relevant, the procedure for recruiting participants is provided and is feasible. For example, it may be feasible because (1) the recruiting strategy is detailed OR (2) explicit commitments are provided from relevant partners OR (3) evidence is provided of past successful recruiting efforts.

3. Strategy

  • For each activity, the role of each PI is clearly described.
  • For each activity, there is a clear description and a timeline.
  • For each activity, relevant funding sources are identified as needed. Note: PIs can request funding for their Project BPC Plan activities. The costs for the BPC activities are separate from the stated budget limits for proposals. PIs will submit for review a budget for the cost of any BPC activities with justification at award time.
  • Activity descriptions avoid the pitfall of assuming that underrepresented groups are homogeneous or deficient in some way. For example, an activity description might say that “women are more likely than men to want to contribute to society” (Lewis, et al., 2019)  and wouldn’t say that “all women want to contribute to society.” Additionally, activity descriptions should not suggest that BPC requires lowering standards.

Resources are available for Selecting BPC Activities.

4. Preparation of PIs

  • The PI responsibilities are realistic because of the preparation of the PIs. This preparation might include identifying (1) relevant prior experience and any lessons learned, (2) training plans, (3) a BPC expert who will partner with or coach the PIs, or (4) a resource that articulates and guides the necessary steps.

5. Evaluation

  • For each activity, feedback and data will be collected and used to improve the activities.
  • For each activity, the impact of activities will be measured.
  • For each activity, evaluation data will be shared in the annual report.

Resources are available for Data and Evaluation.

Example Project Plans

The following Project BPC Plan may serve as a helpful example for you:

To see more examples of Project BPC Plans, please ask your department chair to point you to some good examples.


Example Activities to Include in your Project Plan

The following Example Activities may serve as helpful examples for what to include in your Project Plan. For each activity link, read its Description at the top of the page, then scroll to the heading “How to use this Activity in your BPC Plan” for some suggested text:

Common Mistakes

The following list of pitfalls below may help you better address the solicitation.

Deciding what to include in your BPC plan:
  • Don’t attempt to create a novel or creative program without knowledge of existing programs.
    • Instead, use or adapt existing programs or develop partnerships for your local context. 
  • Don’t over-promise or describe a scope that you don’t have the resources to carry out.
    • Instead, describe a scope of activities consistent with your team’s expertise, capacity, institutional resources, and partnerships.
  • Don’t assume that all K-12 outreach will broaden participation in computing. 
    • Instead, provide the demographics of the students you will reach and the inclusive curriculum and pedagogy you will use. 
  • Don’t create a new K-12 curriculum or workshop if you don’t have relevant experience or support. 
    • Instead, seek out partners, coaching, or resources for inclusive pedagogy and appropriate content that matches students’ grade level and prior knowledge. 
Writing your BPC plan:
  • Don’t conflate your Broader Impacts with Broadening Participation of groups that are underrepresented in computing. 
    • Instead, make sure your plan addresses the underrepresentation of women, African Americans, Hispanics, American Indians, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, Native Pacific Islanders, and persons with disabilities in computing.
  • Don’t list the names and demographics of specific students you have advised.  
    • Instead, describe your past recruiting or mentoring strategies and provide the demographics of your students overall. 
  • Don’t describe that students from groups underrepresented in computing are lacking ability or other individual characteristics that would require you to lower your standards. 
    • Instead, identify gaps in opportunity that your plan addresses. 
  • Don’t provide an incomplete timeline.
    • Instead clearly outline your implementation and, if space allows, describe your timeline for data collection and meetings that will keep your project on track.  
  • Don’t submit only your Department’s BPC plan to the NSF.
    • Instead, provide a Project Plan that follows the guidelines above, and include your department plan as a hyperlink in your document.
Implementing your BPC plan:
  • Don’t forget to evaluate the impact of your BPC activities.
    • Instead, include data collection as part of your project activities from the start.
  • Don’t leave your plan on the shelf.
    • Instead, schedule regular meetings to revisit your BPC plan and your progress.