A combination of abnormally dry conditions and winds of more than 100 miles per hour helped push several fast-moving fires across sections of Boulder County on December 30, 2021. The largest fire in the county that day—the Marshall Fire—led to the rapid evacuation of tens of thousands of people. More than 1,000 homes were destroyed and 6,000 acres burned.

Given the significant need to learn from this suburban fire event, the Natural Hazards Center is issuing a special call for quick response research to collect perishable data related to the 2021 Boulder County Fires.

Proposals will be accepted through Friday, February 25, 2022 at 5:00 p.m. MST. Please read the program guidelines to learn more about how to submit.

All proposals will be evaluated simultaneously at the close of this application window. Innovative proposals of up to $5,000 each will be funded. Funding notifications will be sent no later than March 11, 2022.

We encourage interested applicants to watch the recent CONVERGE Virtual Forum, which focused on community research needs and proposed projects in response to the 2021 Boulder County Fires. The forum also provided insight into the capacity of people and personnel in the area to support research endeavors. If you would like to review the shared document that was created as part of that forum—and that includes a summary of research projects, ideas, resources, and funding opportunities—email for access.

In addition, we recommend that those planning to pursue this special call complete the CONVERGE Training Modules focused on research ethics, perishable data collection, cultural competence, and other important topics to help inform proposals.

Finally, please know that our thoughts continue to be with the many people in our community affected by the Marshall Fire and the ongoing response and initial recovery efforts. Our hope is that the novel research that will result from this special call can be applied to lessen risk in other threatened areas.

The Quick Response Research Award Program provides small fellowships to help eligible researchers to collect perishable data. The program promotes social science and interdisciplinary innovation in disaster research. Graduate students, researchers new to the field, and interdisciplinary teams are encouraged to apply.

Please contact Jennifer Tobin at with any questions about the program or this special call.

This special call of the Quick Response Research Award Program is supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF Award #1635593). Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the NSF or the Natural Hazards Center.