Call 4: Wildfire Ready Quick Response Research and Data Publication

Call Now Closed!

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 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 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 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 tracks of awards ranging in amount from $1,000 to $7,500 each.

  • Track 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).
  • Track 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).
  • Track 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 Track 1 and Track 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 track of activity, but separate 5-page proposals should be submitted for each track.

Successful Track 1 and Track 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 Track 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 Track 1 and Track 2 awards, the final Weather Ready Research Report is due no later than six months following award Activation. For Track 3 Awards, the Data Publication Checklist and Data Publication Template are 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 watch the recorded Proposal Q&A Session, which will discussed this 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 tracks of research activities that will be funded.
  • Applicants can apply for more than one track of activity, but a separate proposal should be submitted for each track.
  • Proposals for Track 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 Track 3 require the completion of a data or instrument publication form only.
  • Proposals will be accepted on a rolling basis.
  • 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 Track 1 and Track 2 awards, Weather Ready Research Reports are due within six months of proposal activation.
  • For Track 3 awards, Data Publication Checklist and Data Publication Template are due within three months of proposal activation.

Topic 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 track:

Funding Agreement

Award recipients must carefully read and agree to the following funding criteria:

  • The lead investigator, as designated in the proposal, must be from an academic institution based in a U.S. state, tribal region, or territory, including American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, or the U.S. Virgin Islands. Other co-leads, project assistants, or local collaborators do not have to be affiliated with a university or located in a U.S. state, tribal region, or territory—these individuals cannot, however, serve as the project lead and primary award recipient.
  • Award payments 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.
  • 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.
  • This award funding can NOT be sent directly to a university or other institutions, and there are no overhead or indirect costs associated with these funds.
  • Expenses may need to be paid out of pocket if fieldwork begins prior to receiving payment.
  • Individual recipients of these awards will be solely responsible for all tax reporting and ramifications. Awardees are allowed to include estimated taxes in their budget justification.
  • If you or one of your team members are a University of Colorado employee, please reach out to Katie Murphy at prior to submitting a proposal, as the funding distribution has different requirements, including additional fringe and payroll tax considerations.
  • 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.

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 contact the Natural Hazards Center at


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. Opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations produced by this program are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of NSF, NOAA, or the Natural Hazards Center.