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Call Now Closed!

The U.S. territories of American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands are subject to various natural hazards threats and have experienced multiple disasters in recent years. Devastating hurricanes, typhoons, flooding, earthquakes, and landslides have caused widespread destruction and ongoing disruption, and now the COVID-19 pandemic has further stretched healthcare and emergency response networks.

With this in mind, the Natural Hazards Center—with support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Science Foundation—is issuing a special call for proposals for public health and social science research in the five inhabited U.S. territories.

Proposals will be accepted until 5:00 p.m. MDT on Monday, September 28, 2020.

Available funds will support 12 to 24 awards in the amount of $25,000 to $50,000 each. All proposals will be evaluated simultaneously after the submission deadline. Award announcements will be made no later than October 30, 2020. The first draft of a report is due no later than April 16, 2021. All other research activities and project deliverables should be completed by no later than October 30, 2021.

While there has been increased attention to the challenges facing the U.S. territories, there is still much to be learned about the social and public health impacts of disasters throughout these regions. We are especially interested in proposals that focus on emerging issues relevant to the U.S. territories, including, but not limited to the following topics: (1) Mass Care and Sheltering; Public Health Services; (3) Public Health, Education, and Schools; and (4) Compound Hazards and Cascading Disasters.

It is vital that the research help identify the actions that are needed to more effectively prepare for and respond to their consequences. This special call will therefore fund studies that have clear implications for understanding and improving public health in the U.S. territories and beyond. To that end, proposals must include a plan to return results to locally-affected communities and to advance public health research that is culturally relevant, ethically informed, and scientifically rigorous.

Before submitting your proposal, please read the full special call and program guidelines. Applicants from the five inhabited U.S. territories of American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands are encouraged to apply for funding. All applicants are encouraged to collaborate with the large community of scholars, public health practitioners, and community leaders in the U.S. territories to leverage existing resources and advance ongoing activities. Graduate students, researchers new to the field as well as more senior scholars, and interdisciplinary teams engaged in convergence research are all eligible to apply.


Please contact Jennifer Tobin, Deputy Administrator of the Natural Hazards Center,, with any questions.


The Quick Response Research award program is a National Science Foundation supported initiative that provides fellowship awards to help eligible researchers collect perishable data after a disaster (NSF Award #1635593). This Special Call for Quick Response proposals is made possible through supplemental funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the NSF, CDC, or Natural Hazards Center.