Mitigation Matters Research Program

The Mitigation Matters small grant program enables innovative, next generation natural hazards mitigation research.

FEMA - What is Mitigation?

Mitigation is the effort to reduce loss of life and property by lessening the impact of disasters… Effective mitigation requires that we all understand local risks and invest in long-term planning to reduce risks and enhance community well-being.

With the support of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the National Science Foundation (NSF), Mitigation Matters provides small grants, typically between $1,500 to $2,500, to researchers to conduct studies on hazards mitigation. Submissions that propose new research on the social, behavioral, and economic aspects of mitigation or entail interdisciplinary approaches that consider the intersection between humans, hazards risk, and the built environment will be prioritized for funding.

Research in the following focal areas is strongly encouraged:

  • how to assess, encourage, and increase risk-informed mitigation investments.

  • how to incentivize individual and collective behavior change oriented toward the adoption of mitigation alternatives.

  • mitigation activities associated with common natural hazards (such as flooding) as well as less frequently studied hazards (such as landslides, wildfires, and drought), including adaptation to climate change.

  • diverse geographic areas that have been understudied and underrepresented in the academic literature.

  • how to link general planning of public works, such as hospitals, bridges, highways, and dams, and capital improvement planning to risk analysis and hazard mitigation.

  • consideration of the factors influencing utilization, or lack thereof, of existing mitigation policies and programs.

  • how to build the mitigation capacity and engagement of local, state, and federal actors, private-sector partners, and non-profit and philanthropic groups.

  • mitigation actions that include (or exclude) especially vulnerable populations, low-income communities, or other marginalized groups such as tribal populations.

  • assessments of the success of community mitigation science and stakeholder engagement in hazard mitigation, including inclusive planning processes for historically underrepresented and marginalized groups.

  • mitigating the impacts of population displacement on host communities.

  • methods and metrics for evaluating the effectiveness of mitigation strategies.

Socially vulnerable households as defined by social features (e.g., income, race, ethnicity) are more likely to live in poorer quality housing that is subject to greater damage…Mitigation strategies should account for differences in the extent of vulnerability among population groups, and support outreach and public participation programs that are sensitive to these differences (371-372, Berke et al., 2010).

The Mitigation Matters small grant program also encourages research on how to translate the existing evidence base of “protective action decision making for environmental hazards and disasters linked to research on persuasive communications” and more social science research topics, in ways that build the capacity of underserved communities (116, Facing Hazards and Disasters: Understanding Human Dimensions).

How to Submit

To submit a proposal, carefully read the Program Guidelines.

More Information

To receive news about the Program and special calls for proposals, please subscribe to the Small Grants Programs email list.

Social scientists are invited to sign up for the research resources available through CONVERGE and to join the Social Science Extreme Events Research (SSEER) network to connect to other researchers.

Please contact Courtney Welton-Mitchell at with any questions.

The Mitigation Matters program is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation (Award #1635593) through supplemental funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of NSF, FEMA, or the Natural Hazards Center.