Quick Response Award Program Frequently Asked Questions

1. Who is eligible for the Quick Response Award Program?
The lead researcher must be from an academic institution based in a U.S. state or territory. Other research co-leads, research assistants, or local collaborators do not have to be affiliated with a university or located in a U.S. state or territory—they cannot, however, serve as the project research lead and primary award recipient.

2. Can graduate students apply?
Graduate students and early-career researchers are encouraged to apply.

3. What is the difference between an individual and a collaborative proposal?
An individual award is awarded to one researcher or a small team of researchers in the same or similar disciplines who are asking research questions that are relevant to one focused area of study. A collaborative award is awarded to a team of researchers, from more than one discipline, who are working together to investigate a variety of research questions that are boundary spanning. Successful collaborative awards must provide evidence that the team is leveraging resources and assets to conduct a broader scale or more in-depth investigation following disaster.

4. What is the maximum award amount?
A maximum of $5,000 is available for a collaborative award. A maximum of $2,500 is available for an individual award, although in most instances, the award amount is closer to $2,000. The Natural Hazards Center occasionally issues Special Calls for Proposals for awards that exceed these amounts, so please review all program guidelines carefully.

5. What does the program fund?
Funding should be used for expenses associated with the proposed research project. Funds may be dedicated to fieldwork expenses, the purchase of research equipment or datasets, for payments to researchers or collaborators, payment for translators or other team members, participant compensation, publication expenses, and/or research dissemination activities. In terms of budget needs for field equipment, please consider exploring options available through the NSF-supported RAPID facility before making requests.

6. Are locally affected researchers - who may not need travel funding - eligible?
Yes, we strongly encourage local researchers to apply for funding. We will consider non-travel related expenses associated with data collection or for the purchase of research materials.

7. Will the Quick Response Award Program cover costs associated with data collection or data analysis for social media or web-based studies?
The purpose of the Quick Response Award Program is to support the collection of perishable data in the aftermath of disaster. If the applicant is able to make the case that the data is indeed perishable, we will consider these applications on a case-by-case basis.

8. If my proposal is accepted, when will I receive the funds?
After the review team completes the scoring and ranking of your proposal, you will be contacted by Jennifer Tobin. If your proposal has been approved, she will discuss additional steps needed for activation. Award funding will be provided in the form of one payment in the amount approved by the Natural Hazards Center. This payment will be sent directly to the lead researcher to cover research-related expenses or time dedicated to data collection, analysis efforts, or research dissemination.

9. When can I begin collecting data?
Researchers may not begin collecting data until 1) their proposal has been formally approved through the receipt of an award activation email from the Natural Hazards Center, 2) agreement letters have been signed and submitted, and 3) Institutional Review Board approval or exemption letters have been processed. We are unable to fund expenses incurred prior to formal activation.

10. Do I have to be a social scientist to receive funding?
The Quick Response Program has a long history of supporting social and behavioral science in the aftermath of disaster. While you do not have to be a social scientist to apply for funding, the program prioritizes research that examines social, behavioral, cultural, political, geographical, psychological, and organizational phenomena. The research should promote new knowledge and perspectives by filling gaps in the hazards and disaster literature, be theory-driven, and use widely recognized, scientific methods.

11. Do I have to be a member of SSEER to apply?
No, you do not have to be a member of the Social Science Extreme Events Research (SSEER) network to apply for a Quick Response Award. However, we do strongly encourage all social scientists to join SSEER so we can better identify and connect social science researchers to one another, to interdisciplinary teams, and to communities at risk to and affected by hazards and disasters.

12. How I can get updates, notifications about calls for proposals, and more information about the Quick Response Award Program?
For future updates and information, please subscribe to our Quick Response Award Program and other Center announcements here.