Mitigation Matters Research Award Program

The Mitigation Matters research program enables innovative natural hazards mitigation research.

FEMA defines mitigation as 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.

The Natural Hazards Center has partnered with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) to create the Mitigation Matters Research Program which provides small grants, typically between $1,500 to $2,500, to researchers to conduct studies on hazards mitigation.

The current application period is now closed.

Spring 2020 Priority Areas

The Spring 2020 funding period will prioritize applications that focus on or engage with the following four areas:

  1. The impact of mitigation strategies on social vulnerability and inequality

  2. Research focused on persuasive communication, decision-making, and shifting attitudes, values, and behaviors associated with mitigation actions

  3. The effectiveness of various wildfire mitigation techniques

  4. The availability and efficacy of training related to the adoption and enforcement of building code

Why focus on vulnerability? Scholars have noted that socially vulnerable households often live in poorer quality housing that sustains more damage during disasters and in neighborhoods with older, less robust infrastructure that is more likely to fail. This program will support research that prioritizes vulnerable households.

Additional Focus Areas

In addition to the four priority areas, other areas of strong interest for the program include:

  • Research on the social, behavioral, and economic aspects of mitigation, including interdisciplinary approaches addressing the intersection between humans, hazards risk, and the built environment

  • Inclusion (or exclusion) of vulnerable populations in mitigation activities, including low-income communities, underserved communities or other marginalized groups, such as tribal populations

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

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

  • Mitigation activities associated with other natural hazards such as flooding, as well as less frequently studied hazards such as landslides and drought, including adaptation to climate change

  • Understudied and under-represented geographic areas

  • Linking infrastructure and capital improvement planning to risk analysis and hazard mitigation

  • Assessing, encouraging, and increasing risk-informed mitigation investments

  • Mitigating the impacts of population displacement on host communities

  • Methods and metrics for evaluating the effectiveness of mitigation strategies

More Information

To receive news about the program and special calls for proposals, please update your preferences or subscribe to the Small Grants Programs email list.

Applicants are encouraged to explore research resources available through CONVERGE as these will likely be useful in preparing a Mitigation Matters research proposal.

Applicants who are social scientists who study hazards and disasters are also encouraged 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 on work supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF 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.