Natural Hazards Center Research Award Programs

One of the core mission areas of the Natural Hazards Center is to advance novel social science and interdisciplinary research. With the support of the National Science Foundation and other federal agencies, the Center now administers four research award programs. These initiatives provide training and support to hazards researchers who are collecting data focused on understanding mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery. Over the past four decades, the Center has supported thousands of researchers who have traveled to at-risk and disaster-affected communities. Award amounts vary depending on the program and the scope of the call. All funded researchers produce a final report summarizing key findings and their implications for practice or policy.

Click on the links below for more information on each of the Natural Hazards Center’s research award programs.

Quick Response Research Award Program

Since 1986, the Natural Hazards Center has administered the Quick Response Research Award Program. This program, which is made possible with funding from the National Science Foundation, encourages the ethical collection of perishable data in the aftermath of disaster. Funding support allows researchers to document disasters before memories fade and physical evidence is erased. Graduate students and other researchers new to the field are encouraged to apply.

All awardees are encouraged to complete disaster research training provided by the Natural Hazards Center and CONVERGE facility before they enter the field. Research teams submit a report that is edited and ultimately published on the Natural Hazards Center website. These reports offer preliminary analyses of recent events and are available to the Center’s multidisciplinary network of researchers, practitioners, policymakers, and educators.

Program Impact: The Quick Response Research Award Program has had a long-standing impact on scholarship and practice in the hazards and disasters field. The Center has published more than 350 Quick Response Reports that provide an initial look at the impacts of disaster and possible responses to lessen future suffering. Evaluations of the program have shown that funded researchers have gone on to publish books, theses and dissertations, peer-reviewed articles, and other scholarly outputs. In addition, several of the recipients leveraged the field data collected to apply for larger and longer-term grant awards through the NSF and other funding agencies. Findings have also been incorporated into courses and emergency management practice.

Special Call for Health Outcomes and Climate-Related Disaster Research

The Natural Hazards Center—with support from the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation—has issued a special call for quick response research focused on health outcomes among groups disproportionately affected by climate-related disasters. Climate-related disasters pose significant health risks, particularly for populations already experiencing health challenges and other disparities. There is much to be learned about health outcomes for groups such as children, older adults, people with existing health conditions, people of color, and people experiencing homelessness. This program is designed to address gaps in knowledge by encouraging the ethical collection of perishable data and the rapid return of results through the publication of new Special Call Quick Response Reports.

Public Health Disaster Research Award Program

The Natural Hazards Center—with funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Science Foundation—established the Public Health Disaster Research Award Program to support public health, social science, and interdisciplinary research that can improve public health interventions. Since 2020, the Center has issued four calls for proposals focused on advancing research and issuing actionable recommendations in the U.S. territories, rural communities, and tribal nations. The Center has also supported two calls for continuation awards that advance longer-term research and community engagement with promise for public health impact. Public Health Research Reports and Community Engagement Briefs are available online.

Weather Ready Research Award Program

The Natural Hazards Center—with support from the National Science Foundation and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration—established the Weather Ready Research Award Program to promote knowledge and build a diverse cadre of weather ready researchers. Since 2020, researchers have applied for and received funding to study tornadoes, wildfires, inland floods, and other extreme weather events. In addition, this program supports the publication of research instruments and social science and interdisciplinary datasets for the weather research community. This program recognizes that collecting data, moving research to operations, and taking action to prepare people and places can reduce the most devastating impacts from weather-related hazards. Weather Ready Research Award Reports and data publications are available online.

Mitigation Matters Research Award Program

The Natural Hazards Center—with support from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the National Science Foundation—established the Mitigation Matters Research Award Program to provide funding for researchers focused on natural hazard mitigation and other forms of risk reduction. This program is designed to support mitigation research that reduces loss of life and property by lessening the impact of disasters. Since 2018, the Center has issued three calls for proposals for mitigation research focused on various topics such as understanding building code adoption and enforcement, best practices for offering technical assistance, and identifying gaps in equitable and inclusive mitigation practice. Mitigation Matters Reports and Research Briefs are accessible via the Center’s website.

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The Natural Hazards Center Research Award Programs are supported by the National Science Foundation (Award #1635593 and Award #1841338), with supplemental funding from CDC, FEMA, NIH, and NOAA. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the funding agencies.