Quick Response Report Submission Guidelines

About the Quick Response Reports Series

For over three decades, the Natural Hazards Center team has worked with researchers to produce over 300 reports that are available in our Quick Response Report Archives. The series is designed to help researchers to share their results quickly in order to help inform the public, policy makers, journalists, and other academics who can draw from this work to make evidence-informed decisions that benefit communities affected by disaster. The Natural Hazards Center promotes these reports widely through our website, social media, and online publications. We encourage authors to share the reports as well and to build on initial findings to develop future peer-reviewed publications, grant proposals, and other collaborative activities.

General Instructions

Before drafting your final report, please review the following style guidelines in full. Reports that do not follow these instructions will be immediately returned to the author for further revision.

The final report should be approximately 8 to 10 single-spaced pages. Additional pages are allowed for the title page, abstract, references, tables, and figures.

Quick Response Research Reports conform to APA 7th edition style. Please consult the style guide directly for additional guidance. Further, please be aware of the need to use inclusive and bias-free language.

For examples of how your report will appear online, please visit the Natural Hazards Center Quick Response Reports page.

Report Due Date

The reports for the Quick Response Research Award Program are due no later than six months following award activation.

Style Guidelines

The body of the paper should be 8 to 10 pages, single-spaced, using 12 pt. Calibri or Times New Roman font. APA style provides for up to five heading levels, shown below. The number of levels of heading needed for a paper depends on its length and complexity. The average paper uses three heading levels.

Heading 1. Centered, Bold, Title Case Heading. Text that follows begins as a new paragraph.

Heading 2 Flush Left, Bold, Title Case Heading. Text begins as a new paragraph.

Heading 3 Flush Left, Bold Italic, Title Case Heading. Text begins as a new paragraph.

Heading 4. Indented, Bold, Title Case Heading, Ending with a Period. Text begins on the same line and continues as a regular paragraph.

Heading 5. Indented, Bold Italic, Title Case Heading, Ending with a Period. Text begins on the same line and continues as a regular paragraph.

In-Text Citations: Basic Format: (Author’s Last Name(s) or Organization, Year). If there are 3 or more authors, use et al., which means “and others.” Example: Harris, Jones, Torres, and Parker, 2018, would be cited in-text as: (Harris et al., 2018).

Quotes: If you are quoting the exact words of someone else, introduce the quote with an in-text citation in parentheses and always include the page number, or link to the online source if there is no page number. Any sentence punctuation goes after the closing parenthesis. Example: According to Shavers (2007), “Direct quote” (p. #). Use quotes sparingly. However, if quotes longer than 40 words are necessary, use block format. See guidance here.

Front Matter

The front matter of your report should contain the following information.

  • Title: Bold Title up to 12 words, written in Title Case, and centered.
  • First Author: First Last, Institutional Affiliation.
  • Additional Authors: Use the same format as for the first author and list additional author names in the order you would like them to appear online.
  • Bio and Photo: Each author should submit a brief (less than 100 words) bio and photo here.
  • Abstract: Limit 500 words. The abstract should include a brief overview of the project, the research questions being addressed, a description of the research design and sample, preliminary findings, and any conclusions or implications of the study.
  • Keywords: Please list 3 to 5 comma-separated keywords.

Body of the Report

The body of your report should be organized as follows.

Introduction and Literature Review

The Introduction should describe the geographic and disaster context and underscore the rationale for the current study, emphasizing what gap in the literature will be filled. You may include a brief description of the study here, noting that specific details will be provided in the following methods sections. The literature review should demonstrate a solid grasp of the theory and/or empirical work that has been done in the area of study proposed.

Research Design

The order of sections below may differ depending on the study and preference of the researcher, but in most cases all of these sections will be necessary.

  • Research Questions: List the guiding research questions for this study.
  • Study Site Description: This section can include a description of the study location, additional details related to the disaster, and the geographic and cultural context in which this work takes place.
  • Data, Methods, and Procedures: Describe all quantitative, qualitative, and/or mixed methods approaches used in the study. The unit of analysis should be clearly specified.
  • Sample Size and Participants: The sampling strategy, including inclusion and exclusion criteria, should be explained, including reference to representation and potential for generalizability of results. Procedures for sample recruitment and obtaining consent should be explained in the case of human subjects research. For human subjects research, specify the number of participants and relevant socio-demographic characteristics. If human subjects are not directly involved, describe the documents, secondary data, or other materials used in the research.
  • Researcher Positionality, Reciprocity, and Other Ethical Considerations: This section offers the opportunity to elaborate on the role of research positionality, reciprocity in the context of the research, and other relevant ethical considerations.
  • Dissemination of Findings: Please consider including a section describing how the data or findings from this research have been or will be returned to the people or community where your research took place.

Preliminary Findings

This section should use subheadings and be organized by overarching themes related to:

  • Data Analysis
  • Results
  • Discussion of Preliminary Findings


Please conclude with a brief overview of the research and highlight the main findings again. This section may be organized using some combination or version of the following subheadings:

  • Key Findings
  • Implications for Practice
  • Limitations
  • Future Research Directions

Back Matter

The back matter of your report should contain the following information.


References should start on their own page. Format your references in the reference list and the in-text citations using APA 7th Edition style. All references should begin with a hanging indent, as illustrated below.

Example, journal article:

Author, A. A., & Author, B. B. (Year). Title of the article. Name of the Periodical, volume (issue), pgs. #–#. https://doi.org/xxxx

Example, book:

Author, A. A., & Author, B. B. (Copyright Year). Title of the book (7th ed.). Publisher. DOI or URL

Example, chapter in an edited book:

Author, A. A., & Author, B. B. (Copyright Year). Title of the book chapter. In A. A. Editor & B. B. Editor (Eds.), Title of the book (2nd ed., pgs. #–#). Publisher. DOI or URL

Example, web page with organization as author:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2018, August 35). Preventing HPV-associated cancers. https://www.cdc.gov/features/adultvaccinations/


1 Add footnotes, if any, on their own page following references.

Tables and Figures

Visual material such as tables and figures can be used to quickly and efficiently present a large amount of information to an audience. Each table and figure should be intelligible without reference to the text. At the same time, because tables and figures supplement the text, it is important to refer to tables or figures in the text (e.g., See Figure 1).

Number all tables sequentially as you refer to them in the text (Table 1, Table 2, etc.), likewise for figures (Figure 1, Figure 2, etc.). If you are using figures, tables and/or data from other sources, be sure to properly document your sources. More formatting and style guidance can be found here.

Start a new page for each table or figure, include a table or figure number and table or figure title for each. For tables, include a heading for every row and column, even if the content seems obvious.

Table example:

Table 1 Title of table in italics here

Figure example: Include a numbered caption for each figure.

Figure 1 Title of figure in italics here

Figure note at bottom is optional.

If figure is from another source: Caption under Figure - Figure X. Descriptive phrase that serves as title and description. Reprinted [or adapted] from Title of Website, by Author First Initial. Second Initial. Surname, Year, URL. Copyright [year] by the Name of Copyright Holder. Reprinted [or adapted] with permission.

Project Photos

If possible, please provide one to three original photos that can be posted online with your report (e.g., research team, study location, data collection sites, social media posts, graphics, or other relevant project imagery). Photos should be submitted as separate .jpg or .png files. Any human subjects that appear in photographs must have provided consent to have their image released online. Please provide captions for each photo including context, credit, and date. Copyright privileges must be granted to the Natural Hazards Center to use all photos and/or graphics submitted, by any means or form, in present or future existence, with or without compensation.

For further guidance, please see the CONVERGE Extreme Events Research Checksheets focused on Sharing and Communicating Results.

Report Submission and Editing

When your report is completely formatted and closely edited, please submit it as a Word document to the Natural Hazards Center at haz.research.awards@colorado.edu. If your report meets these Guidelines, it will then enter the review process. You will receive comments and any suggestions for revision within 4 weeks of submission.

After the report is finalized, it will be posted on the Natural Hazards Center Quick Response Report Archives page and widely promoted.