Quick Response Grant Program


The Quick Response Grant Program provides funds for researchers to travel to recently disaster-affected areas to capture perishable data. Funded researchers submit brief reports that make preliminary analyses of recent events available to the Hazards Center's multidisciplinary network of researchers, practitioners, and educators. The program promotes innovation in disaster research by prioritizing students, new researchers, and novel areas of study.

To receive news about the Program and special calls for proposals, please subscribe to the Quick Response email list.

To submit a proposal, carefully read the Program Guidelines and submit materials directly to hazards.qrgrant@colorado.edu. For general questions and guidance, please contact Jennifer Tobin.



The imperative to collect perishable post-event data has driven the Quick Response Grant Program for nearly 35 years. The program, which is funded through the National Science Foundation, provides small grants to help researchers travel quickly to disaster-stricken areas and document disaster before memories fade and physical evidence is erased. The Quick Response Program also serves an important training function by encouraging principal investigators to take students into the field and allowing Ph.D. candidates to submit proposals on their own, with letters of support from a dissertation chair.

The Natural Hazards Center has produced two special publications in response to major disaster events in our nations history.

Learning from Catastrophe

The first, following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, included more than a dozen rapid-response data collection efforts. The 2003 publication, Beyond September 11: An Account of Post-Disaster Research is a compilation of 22 papers developed out of research activities sponsored by the Center, NSF Small Grants for Exploratory Research, and NSF grant supplements.

The second funding effort resulted in the 2006 publication, Learning from Catastrophe: Quick Response research in the Wake of Hurricane Katrina. The Center funded 25 research teams to study these events and many of the research findings were included in this edited volume.

In addition, the Natural Hazards Center staff has worked with researchers to produce over 250 quick response grant-funded reports over the years that are available on our Quick Response Report Archives page.

Recent Efforts

In 2017, the Natural Hazards Center committed $33,700 to fund 18 Quick Response Grants. Topics of research proposals included evacuation behavior, emergency comunication, food chain disruptions, public health in recovery planning, community resilience, flood risk to mobile homes, the role of prison inmates in disaster, the Federal Emergency Management Community Rating System, mental health outcomes for children and youth, protection of undocumented immigrants, and many aspects of vulnerability. Research is being conducted in many locations affected by the devastating 2017 disaster season.

Despite the small size of the grants awarded, the QR Program has had an important impact on scholarship in the field of hazards and disasters. In early 2016, the NHC surveyed the authors and co-authors of quick response reports published between 2005 and 2014 (N=144) to learn more about the influence of those awards on recipients' subsequent scholarly and professional activities. The 65 grant recipients that replied to the survey reported that their research ultimately contributed to 10 books, 12 master's theses, 14 dissertations, 52 peer-reviewed articles, 23 book chapters, a variety of other publications (e.g., encyclopedia entries, technical reports, conference proceedings), and 61 conference presentations. Findings were also incorporated into courses taught by many awardees. Seventeen of the survey respondents indicated that after receiving QR funding, they went on to obtain subsequent National Science Foundation grants, while 13 indicated that were able to obtain grants from other agencies based on their QR research.

Quick Response Research Reports are based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the NSF or the Natural Hazards Center.