Special Call 4: Wildfire Ready Quick Response Research and Data Publication

Proposal Q&A Session

Learn more about this funding opportunity by watching the recorded Q&A session here.

Despite advancements, wildfire risk in the U.S. remains severe. In light of the urgent need for more relevant and actionable research on wildfires and fire weather, the Natural Hazards Center (NHC)—with support from the National Science Foundation and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Program Office in partnership with the National Weather Service (NWS)—is issuing a special call for proposals for Wildfire Ready Quick Response Research and Data Publication in the social, behavioral, and economic sciences.

As part of the Weather Ready Research Award Program, this special call will advance novel collection of perishable data pre-, during, and post-wildfire events as well as data publication of existing wildfire and fire weather specific datasets. The intent of this special call is to help advance knowledge regarding how diverse community members perceive wildfire risk, prepare for wildfire threats, understand fire weather observations and forecasts, receive fire weather alerts and warnings, make evacuation decisions, and respond to and recover from the impacts of a wildfire. While not a requirement, proposals that advance understanding of NWS fire weather products, such as fire weather watch, red flag warning, Storm Prediction Center Fire Weather Outlooks, or fire weather needs in reference to decision-making are highly relevant.

Available funds will support three possible tiers of awards ranging in amount from $1,000 to $7,500 each.

  • Tier 1: $1,000 to $7,500 for individual researchers or teams studying pre-wildfire activities (e.g., fire weather forecasting, baseline wildfire risk perception, preparedness, mitigation).
  • Tier 2: $1,000 to $7,500 for individual researchers or teams studying during and post-wildfire activities (e.g., fire weather alert and warning receipt and processing, evacuation decision-making and behavior, wildfire impacts, displacement, rebuilding, recovery).
  • Tier 3: $1,250 to $2,500 for wildfire and/or fire weather instrument and data publication on Designsafe. The $1,250 awards will support publication of one or more research protocols; instruments such as surveys, interview or focus group guides; or observation protocols from a single project that is focused on wildfire or fire weather related research. The $2,500 awards will be reserved for those who publish a dataset and associated data collection instruments and protocols for a single wildfire related project in the social, behavioral, and economic sciences.

For the Tier 1 and Tier 2 awards, smaller funding amounts will be dedicated to single discipline and/or smaller-scale projects whereas larger award amounts will be reserved for social science-led interdisciplinary teams engaged in problem-focused and solutions-based convergence research.

Applicants can apply for more than one tier of activity, but separate 5-page proposals should be submitted for each tier.


Proposals will be accepted on a rolling basis from June 28, 2022 through June 31, 2023.


Proposal reviews will begin on June 21, 2022 and will continue throughout the funding period. Successful Tier 1 and Tier 2 proposals will clearly outline the study’s implications for understanding and improving fire weather and wildfire communication and outcomes in the United States. Successful Tier 3 applicants will receive training through the NSF-supported CONVERGE Publish Your Data! initiative and will ultimately publish their own data and instruments through the DesignSafe Cyberinfrastructure. Upon publication, researchers will receive a permanent Digital Object Identifier (DOI) for their data and instruments.

For Tier 1 and Tier 2 awards, the final Weather Ready Research Report is due no later than six months following award Activation. For Tier 3 Awards, the Data Publication Checklist is due no later than three months following award activation.

All applicants are encouraged to propose wildfire research that is culturally relevant, ethically informed, and scientifically rigorous.

Award Details in Brief

All prospective applicants are encouraged to register for and attend the Proposal Q&A Session on Tuesday, August 23, 11:00 a.m. to Noon MDT, which will discuss this special call in more detail.

  • Available funds will support awards in the amount of $1,000 to $7,500 each. Please review the submission guidelines for the three tiers of research activities that will be funded.
  • Applicants can apply for more than one tier of activity, but a separate proposal should be submitted for each tier.
  • Proposals for Tier 1 and 2 should be 5 single-spaced pages and also must include a separate reference list and budget and budget justification submitted through an online form.
  • Proposals for Tier 3 require the completion of a data or instrument publication form only.
  • Proposals will be accepted on a rolling basis between June 28, 2022 and June 31, 2023.
  • Proposals can be submitted anytime. However, if you are interested in post-event research, we highly recommend drafting a proposal ahead of time and getting pre-approval from your Institutional Review Board so that you can submit materials and get into the field quickly to collect perishable data. Investigations cannot be launched until human subjects approval is sent to the Natural Hazards Center.
  • Award funds will be disbursed upon completion of required paperwork, as described below. Given the accelerated timeline, quick response fieldwork may need to begin before payment is received.
  • For Tier 1 and Tier 2 awards, Weather Ready Research Reports are due within six months of proposal activation.
  • For Tier 3 awards, Data Publication Checklists are due within three months of proposal activation.

Topical Areas

We welcome proposals that expand knowledge and data available on wildfire risk perception, preparedness, response, and recovery. However, there are a variety of additional fire weather topics and data collection strategies of interest to NOAA, including, but not limited to studies that accomplish the following:

  • Develop and test methodologies that systematically collect data on diverse end users, such as emergency managers, operational forecasters, broadcast meteorologists, different demographic groups in the general public, and other weather and water decision makers, as related to fire weather observations, forecasts, products, or impact-based decision support services.
  • Identify, develop, and test methods that measure the effectiveness of impact-based decision support services (e.g., fire weather forecast information related to timing, uncertainty, severity, and/or lead times for wildfire events); technology (e.g., formats, interactivity); and tools (e.g., graphics, interactive displays, apps).
  • Identify, develop, and test methods that measure how the public receives, interprets, perceives, and responds to fire weather information, especially alerts and warnings, with respect to protective action decision-making.
  • Identify, develop, and test methodologies to assess the needs, vulnerabilities, and challenges of historically underserved, economically marginalized, and/or socially vulnerable communities with respect to wildfires.
  • Increase understanding of how diverse members of the public perceive two or more types of uncertainty as it relates to the communication of fire weather or wildfire events with other hazards. Specifically, this may include uncertainty between more than one variable, such as the temporal versus spatial uncertainty of a wildfire.
  • Further develop the theoretical advancement of how scales, indices, categories, and risk and/or severity levels impact public perceptions of fire weather or wildfire risk and uncertainty.
  • Conduct economic valuation studies to estimate the benefits of fire weather watch and warning improvements, and/or perform economic evaluation studies to assess the benefits of reducing service equity gaps to historically underserved and/or socially vulnerable communities.

Proposal Requirements and Post-Award Deliverables

Please click on the links below to review detailed guidelines about proposal requirements and post-award deliverables, and learn how to submit a proposal for each tier:


How the Funding Will Be Issued

The lead investigator, as designated in the proposal, must be from an academic institution based in the United States. Other co-leads, project assistants, or local collaborators do not have to be affiliated with a university or located in the U.S.—these additional individuals cannot, however, serve as the project lead and primary award recipient. All applicants are encouraged to collaborate with the larger community of scholars; weather, water, wildfire, and climate enterprise practitioners; and community leaders in various study locations to leverage existing resources and advance ongoing activities.

Award funding will be provided to the lead investigator and/or co-leads, project assistants, or other local collaborators. Once the steps below are completed, these payments will be sent directly to the award recipients as designated in the budget to cover project-related expenses or time dedicated to data collection, analysis efforts, or the dissemination of results.

The funding can be distributed across team members as designated by the lead investigator (for example, 50% of the award sent to the lead, 25% to the co-lead, and 25% to a local collaborator). No more than five recipients can be designated for any one award.

Award funding will be processed after proposals are accepted and awards are announced. To receive the award funding, the designated recipients will need to return:

  • One copy of a completed and signed funding agreement, to be issued upon approval to designated recipients of the award funds. The information for payees will be filled out on the form.
  • A W-9 or W-8BEN for all payment recipients (W-9 is for U.S. citizens or permanent residents; W-8BEN is for non-U.S. citizens).
  • A letter of approval or exemption from a university based Institutional Review Board.

Once the award has been activated and the award agreement, tax forms, and IRB approval has been submitted to the Natural Hazards Center, researchers may begin fieldwork. Please note that expenses may need to be paid out of pocket if fieldwork begins prior to receiving payment.

This award funding will NOT be sent directly to a university or other institutions, and there are no indirect costs associated with these funds. These payments will be made to an individual or individuals and then distributed or applied to project-related expenses as decided by the lead investigators. The recipients of these awards will be solely responsible for all tax reporting and ramifications.

Please note, for award recipients who are non-U.S. citizens, the payment process may take longer and will require additional paperwork. All payments made to visa holders are submitted through the International Tax Office at the University of Colorado Boulder.


Questions?

Please contact Jennifer Tobin at haz.research.awards@colorado.edu.


Acknowledgements

The Weather Ready Research Award program is based on work supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF Award #1635593) through supplemental funding from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Program Office. 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, NOAA, or the Natural Hazards Center.