- Author: Kathleen P Nolan
The National Science Foundation (NSF), Directorate for Engineering requests applications for the Disaster Resilience Research Grants (DRRG) program with a letter of intent deadline of August 14, 2020.
Scientific and engineering research can contribute significantly to disaster resilience by revealing fundamental principles with implications for actions that can improve the nation's disaster resilience. With this joint solicitation, the NSF and the U.S Department of Commerce (DOC) National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) call for proposals for research to advance fundamental understanding of disaster resilience in support of improved, science-based planning, policy, decisions, design, codes, and standards. Advances in scientific and engineering methods and tools relevant to resilience are also of interest.
Natural hazards that are of interest include, but are not limited to:
- Windstorm events, including hurricanes and tornadoes;
- Water events, including hurricanes, sustained rain, both coastal and inland flood, and tsunamis;
- Wildland-urban interface fires;
Terrorism, industrial accidents, and pandemics are not covered by this competition. Projects that aim to address multi-hazard resilience phenomena are welcome.
Processes associated with disaster resilience that are of interest include, but are not limited to:
- Destructive forces associated with hazards, such as wind forces, seismic forces, water forces, and wildland-urban interface fire-related radiative, convective, or branding forces;
- Performance of structures and infrastructure in natural hazard events;
- Assessment of potential community-level disaster consequences, including characterization of risks, potential failures, and anticipated losses in support of planning and decision making;
- Development or assessment of alternatives for improving resilience that address prevention, preparedness, response, mitigation, or recovery;
- Diffusion, adoption and implementation of measures for resilience of households, organizations, or jurisdictions.
Entities associated with disaster resilience that are of interest include, but are not limited to:
- Communities/National, State, Local, Tribal Territorial Jurisdictions;
Disaster resilience-related policies and practices that are of interest include, but are not limited to:
- Building design practices, codes, and standards;
- Infrastructure design practices, codes, and standards;
- Community planning and decision making;
- Household planning and decision making;
- Land-use planning and decision making.
Two congressionally mandated interagency coordination programs — the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program (NEHRP) and the National Windstorm Impacts Reduction Program (NWIRP) — make NSF and NIST responsible to promote the nation's resilience to earthquake and windstorm hazards respectively. The Director of NSF and the Director of NIST serve as the senior leadership for both NEHRP and NWIRP, along with the FEMA Administrator and the Director of the USGS (for NEHRP) and the NOAA Administrator (for NWIRP).
For both NEHRP and NWIRP, NSF is responsible to advance fundamental understanding that can be used to achieve those goals and NIST is responsible to ensure that fundamental new insights are translated to practice, as well as to conduct applied research directly. The laws also direct the agencies to coordinate to achieve those goals. This solicitation is designed to help both agencies better meet their NEHRP and NWIRP responsibilities, as well as their overall missions, via collaboration.
In addition, for several years, the OSTP-OMB priority memos have encouraged all science and technology agencies to pursue work relevant to the resilience of the nation, particularly its critical infrastructure, to natural hazards. The memos have also strongly encouraged agencies to coordinate, collaborate, and partner in order to maximize the probability of achieving national priorities. This solicitation adheres to the spirit of those priorities.
Toward the goals and responsibilities listed above, this joint solicitation is designed to enable both NSF and NIST to collaborate and partner to, among other things:
- Encourage the nations' university-based research communities to pursue resilience-relevant research across the spectrum from fundamental to applied, in support of NEHRP and NWIRP;
- Enable agency staff (as well as the reviewing community) to better understand the range of research ideas and capabilities across the nation, across the fundamental to applied spectrum. Improved understanding will enable more effective policy design and coordination across agencies going forward;
- Convene all the awardees in a jointly designed annual PI meeting, that will (a) enable investigators to share research approaches and results; (b) ensure that findings are shared with Federal scientists and engineers with responsibility to improve resilience policies and standards; and (c) encourage discussion of potential new collaborations, including translational opportunities.
Program funding is $3,100,000 for FY20. It is anticipated that 8 to 12 awards will be made, with an award size of $200,000 up to a maximum of $400,000.
For additional information, please review the program's website: https://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2020/nsf20581/nsf20581.htm
The letter of intent deadline is 8/14/2020.
Kathleen Nolan, Director, ANR Office of Contracts & Grants (OCG)