Call for Mitigation Matters Research Proposals

Call for Proposals is Now Closed

Proposal Q&A Session

Learn more about this funding opportunity by watching the recorded Q&A session here.

Aging infrastructure, land use planning practices, climate change, and social and economic inequalities all contribute to the devastating toll of disasters. To protect communities now and into the future, it is critical that more resources be invested into mitigation research and evidence-based mitigation solutions.

Hazards and disaster mitigation succeeds when physical infrastructure—such as reinforced buildings, redundant power and water networks, and strong roads and bridges—withstand hazard events and reduce the destruction, damage, and harm that leads to disaster. Effective mitigation also requires a strong social infrastructure that supports planners and policy makers in their understanding of local risks and in making investments in short- and long-term solutions to reduce suffering and enhance community well-being.

To address the ongoing need for novel mitigation research, the Natural Hazards Center has partnered with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) to support the Mitigation Matters Research Award Program. This program provides funding for researchers focused on natural hazard mitigation and other forms of risk reduction.

Award Details At-A-Glance

Please see below for key proposal and deliverable requirements. Additional details and due dates are included throughout this call.

  • All applicants are encouraged to attend the Proposal Information Q&A Session to learn more about this funding opportunity, ask questions, and receive support regarding preferred approaches to the study design.
  • Available funds will support 10 awards of up to $10,000 each.
  • Proposals are due by 5:00 p.m. MT on Monday, December 4, 2023.
  • Proposals should be 5 pages, single-spaced, and meet the specifications detailed in this call.
  • Award announcements will be made no later than Friday, January 12, 2024.
  • Awardees must submit a 20-page, double-spaced report summarizing research findings by no later than Friday, July 26, 2024.
  • A two-page research brief is due after the final report has been edited and approved for publication.

Focus Areas

The 2023 funding call will prioritize research proposals that focus on hazards and disaster mitigation solutions at the national, state, local, tribal, or territorial level in one or more of the following areas:

  • Building Codes. Research focused on building code adoption and enforcement, particularly regarding incentives and catalyzing wider implementation.

  • Technical Assistance. Research regarding best practices for delivery of cooperative, inclusive, and comprehensive technical assistance geared toward building resilient communities through mitigation.

  • Community Needs. Research exploring the needs of communities—e.g., tools, platforms, data, personnel, and other resources—to promote effective mitigation planning and implementation.

  • Equitable and Inclusive Mitigation Practices. Research focusing on gaps or best practices for involving historically marginalized groups, such as people of color, or underserved places, such as rural regions or tribal areas, in the mitigation planning and implementation process.

  • Hazard-Specific or All-Hazards Mitigation or Climate-Focused Adaptation. Research that focuses on mitigation in the context of understudied hazard types, such as wildfire, or that takes an all-hazards approach to mitigation is encouraged, as is research on climate change adaptation.

  • Mitigation Workforce. Research focused on the size, skills, diversity, or other characteristics of the mitigation workforce.

  • Mitigation Success Stories. Research that documents mitigation successes at the neighborhood or community level or beyond are welcome.

Applicants are encouraged to review the abstracts and research briefs and reports for past Mitigation Matters Research Awards.

Proposal Submission

Applicants are invited to submit a full research proposal through the online submission form by no later than 5:00 p.m. MT on Monday, December 4, 2023. To be fair to those who submit on time and as required, no exceptions will be made for late submissions. Emailed proposals will be returned without review.

The online submission form requires that applicants complete the following fields:

  • Project Title: Limit 12 words. (Please use APA title case)

  • Investigator Name(s) and Affiliation(s)

  • Full Abstract: Limit 500 words.

    • Abstract should include an overview of the project, clear research questions, the proposed research design, the gap this research intends to fill, and the expected practice or policy implications of the proposed work.

  • Brief Abstract: Limit 100 words. To be posted on the Natural Hazards Center’s website. See examples of the format here.

  • 3-5 Keywords

  • Focus Areas: Proposals must include a clear description of one or more of the outlined focus areas this research intends to advance.

  • Location of Study: The geographic focus of the research (e.g., community, state, tribal nation) should be clearly specified. 

  • Disciplinary Focus Statement: Provide a statement (maximum 250 words) that briefly describes the disciplinary composition of your research team, including whether the team is single discipline, multi-disciplinary, interdisciplinary, or transdisciplinary in nature. Proposals will be prioritized that demonstrate convergence research that is interdisciplinary in scope, problem-focused, and solutions-based.

  • Proposal Narrative and Appendices: The proposal narrative should be a maximum of 5 single-spaced pages, with additional pages allowed for budget, references, and appendices. Please download the Proposal Narrative Template below and follow the instructions. Once completed, please save the document as a single PDF, no larger than 4MB and upload to the online submission form, where indicated.

Award announcements will be made by Friday, January 12, 2024.

Post-Award Deliverables

In addition to the above proposal requirements, the lead investigator is required to do the following:

  • Report: Submit a 20-page, double-spaced report summarizing the project activities and results from this funding call. The first draft report is due by Friday, July 26, 2024.
    Final reports must follow the submission guidelines and formatting template. The Natural Hazards Center will review and professionally edit each report. If accepted for publication, the report will be included in an edited compilation of Mitigation Matters Research Reports on the Natural Hazards Website.

  • Research Brief: After the final report is accepted and edited, authors will submit a two-page research brief that summarizes findings, policy implications, and identifies key stakeholders. These briefs serve to quickly ground practitioners, policy makers, students, and other interested audiences in the research conducted. Find examples of published briefs here.

Recommended Activities

In addition to the above proposal requirements, it is recommended that all award recipients—including the lead investigator and any collaborators—do the following:

Funding Agreement

Award recipients must carefully read and agree to the following funding criteria:

  • The lead investigator, as designated in the proposal, must be from an academic institution based in a U.S. state, territory, or tribal nation. Other co-leads, project assistants, or local collaborators do not have to be affiliated with a university or located in a U.S. state, tribal region, or territory—these individuals cannot, however, serve as the project lead and primary award recipient.
  • Award payments can be distributed across team members as designated by the lead investigator (for example, 50% of the award sent to the lead, 25% to the co-lead, and 25% to a local collaborator). No more than three recipients can be designated for any one award.
  • Payments will be sent directly to the award recipients as designated in the budget to cover project-related expenses or time dedicated to data collection, analysis efforts, or the dissemination of results.
  • This award funding can NOT be sent directly to a university or other institutions, and there are no overhead or indirect costs associated with these funds.
  • Expenses may need to be paid out of pocket if fieldwork is involved in the research and begins prior to receiving payment. Due dates will not be extended due to delays in payment processing.
  • Per tax compliance requirements, the University of Colorado Boulder will report payments to taxing jurisdictions when required. Individual payees will be issued any applicable tax forms directly from the University. Payees are responsible any and all tax consequences related to payments they have received.
  • Individual recipients of these awards will be solely responsible for all tax reporting and ramifications. The Natural Hazards Center cannot provide tax advice. Awardees are allowed to include estimated taxes in their budget justification.
  • If you or one of your team members are a University of Colorado employee, please reach out to Katie Murphy at prior to submitting a proposal, as the funding distribution has different requirements, including additional fringe and payroll tax considerations.
  • For award recipients who are neither U.S. citizens nor permanent residents, the payment process may take longer and will require additional paperwork. All payments made to visa holders are submitted through the International Tax Office at the University of Colorado Boulder.

Award funding will be processed after proposals are accepted and awards are announced. To receive the award funding, the designated recipients will need to return:

  • One copy of a completed and signed funding agreement, to be issued upon approval to designated recipients of the award funds. The information for payees will be filled out on the form.
  • A W-9 or W-8BEN for all payment recipients (W-9 is for U.S. citizens or permanent residents; W-8BEN is for non-U.S. persons).
  • A letter of approval or exemption from a university based Institutional Review Board, if applicable.

Once the award has been activated and the award agreement, tax forms, and IRB approval have been submitted to the Natural Hazards Center, researchers may begin fieldwork.


Please contact the Natural Hazards Center at


The Mitigation Matters Research Award program is based on work supported by the Federal Emergency Management Agency through supplemental funding to 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 FEMA, NSF, or the Natural Hazards Center.