Annual Hazards and Disasters Student Paper Competition

The Natural Hazards Center created the Annual Hazards and Disasters Student Paper Competition for undergraduate and graduate students in 2004 as a way to recognize and promote the next generation of hazards and disaster researchers.

Papers are judged on originality, organization, and knowledge of the topic. One undergraduate and one graduate winner each will receive $100, publication on the Natural Hazards Center website, and free registration to the Annual Natural Hazards Research and Applications Workshop.


Eligibility and Application

The application deadline is May 15, 2022.

Papers can present current research, literature reviews, theoretical arguments, or case studies. Eligible topics include floods and floodplain management, hurricanes, tsunamis, earthquakes, climate change, warning systems, hazard mitigation, emergency management, vulnerability, risk communication, and other topics related to the social and behavioral aspects of hazards and disasters.

  • Author(s) must be enrolled as an undergraduate or graduate student for at least one term in the 2020-21 academic year.
  • Papers must be authored by one or more students and cannot be co-authored by faculty or colleagues who are not students.
  • Papers cannot be under consideration or accepted for publication at the time of submission.
  • Papers presented or submitted for presentation at professional meetings are allowable.
  • Papers must be edited, double-spaced (including references), and less than 25 pages, including notes, references, and tables. Single-spaced papers or papers over 25 pages will be disqualified.
  • Papers must include a brief abstract that provides an overview of the paper.
  • Submissions should be submitted in a Word document format using 12-point Arial font. Winning submissions will be edited for Natural Hazards Center style and length before publication.

Papers will be judged primarily for originality and content. Well-organized and logical theses or arguments that are engaging and demonstrate author knowledge and ability to integrate a broad scope of resources will be favored.

Submissions must adhere to the University of Colorado Honor Code. Students are encouraged to use in-text citations, footnotes, or endnotes to reference information sources. Mailed or faxed submissions will not be accepted.

In the case of co-authors, the monetary award will be divided equally. Winners must sign an agreement allowing the Natural Hazards Center to publish and promote the work before claiming the award.

Please contact Jessica Austin jess.austin@colorado.edu or Candace Evans candace.evans@colorado.edu with any questions about the Student Paper Competition.


To see a list of all previous winners, please click here: Student Paper Competition Winners