Project BPC Plans

All Medium and Large CISE Core Programs, Secure and Trustworthy Cyberspace (SaTC), and Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS) project proposals require a Project BPC Plan. The BPC requirements for each of these proposals may differ; please review your solicitation carefully. 

For specific information about the BPC requirements for Expeditions in Computing (Expeditions) project proposals, refer to that solicitation here.

In September 2021, NSF updated its requirements for BPC Plans for Medium and Large CISE Core Programs. These changes now provide PIs with two options for Project BPC Plans. BPCnet.org has compiled a video that explains an overview of these changes, as well as a video that explains how to create or update your Project BPC Plan.

Click the above thumbnail to view a video summarizing the changes to the overall CISE Core Programs BPC Plan requirements. Click the above thumbnail to view a video summarizing how to create or update your Project BPC Plan in line with CISE Core Programs BPC Plan requirements.

 

Creating your Project BPC Plan

Project BPC Plans are submitted to the NSF and must follow the NSF’s current guidelines on formatting in the Proposal & Award Policies and Procedures Guide (PAPPG)

In a Project BPC Plan, each PI must select and describe a BPC activity they are participating in. These can be described either in a Connected Project BPC Plan or a Standalone Project BPC Plan

  • A 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 a 3-page document per institution, where each institution includes 1 page describing how the PIs from that institution are participating in a Verified Departmental BPC Plan from their institution, along with a copy of that Verified Departmental BPC Plan (2 pages), as outlined in the Checklist for Connected Project BPC Plans.
  • A Standalone Project BPC Plan does not include Departmental BPC Plans; instead, the BPC activities of all PIs are listed in a single 3-page document for the whole project, as outlined in the Checklist for Standalone Project BPC Plans.

See the decision flowchart below for a review of when each of these two types of Project BPC Plans can be used.

Flowchart displaying two pathways. The first pathway is as follows. Do all PIs on the project have a Verified Departmental BPC Plan at their institution? If yes, then go to the following question: Do all PIs intend to participate in an activity in a Verified Departmental BPC Plan at their institution? If yes, then go to the solution: Submit a Connected Project BPC Plan with 3 pages per institution. If no, then go to the alternative solution: Submit a Standalone Project BPC Plan with 3 pages total for all PIs. The second pathway is as follows. Do all PIs on the project have a Verified Departmental BPC Plan at their institution? If no, then go to the only solution: Submit a Standalone Project BPC Plan with 3 pages total for all PIs.

 

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 populations 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 populations that are 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. 
Implementing your BPC Plan:
  • Don’t forget to measure the impact of your BPC activities.
    • Instead, include data collection as part of your activities from the start.
  • Don’t leave your plan on the shelf.
    • Instead, schedule regular meetings with the team to revisit your Project BPC Plan and measure your progress. Revise as needed.