Dissertation Fellowships in Hazards, Risk, and Disasters
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Program Details

Purpose of the Program
This granting program supports research that is crucial to advancing the knowledge in the hazards field, as well as ensure that the next generation of interdisciplinary hazards professional has a source of financial and academic support to foster sound development. As a relatively small subset of many different disciplines, the interdisciplinary hazards field relies to an unusual extent on a continuous influx of young scholars committed simultaneously to their own disciplines and to the more practical, applied aspects of the field. This is a combination that can be awkward in today's traditional academic climate, and thus a program that helps solidify a student's interest in and commitment to hazards, via financial support, is a significant contributor to the ongoing development of scholars in the disciplines that underlie the field of hazards, risk, and disasters.

Overarching Aims of the Program
1) Training of new scholars in hazards, risk, and disasters
2) Enhancement of hazards research and education infrastructure
3) Dissemination of scientific information to enhance understanding throughout hazards community

Fellowship Description
In 2012, funding from NSF will enable us to provide up to 6 fellowships each year to Ph.D. candidates to support dissertation work in any relevant field of the natural and physical sciences, social and behavioral sciences, specialties in engineering, or interdisciplinary programs such as environmental studies that focusing on hazards, risk, and disasters. The grants are flexible and can be used for data collection, travel for field work, or for presentation of findings at meetings, purchase of software, data entry assistance, statistical analysis services, or a combination of these or other similar purposes (but, NOT for stipends or tuition).

The dissertation grants are awarded through a merit-based, competitive process. After the application deadline, the proposals are sent to reviewers in disciplines corresponding to the proposal. Based on these reviews, those receiving the highest rankings in each discipline are submitted to an interdisciplinary review panel, which then chooses the fellows.

Selection & Review Process

1) Receipt of Applications.
All digital applications must be submitted electronically by 5:00pm EST on MARCH 1, 2012. As they are received, each applicant will receive an e-mail confirming that the digital files have been received. If the application is not complete, it will receive no further review. Applicants will not be notified if elements are missing.

2) Disciplinary Specific Review.
Based on the applications, the Natural Hazards Center will select reviewers from relevant disciplines. Each proposal will be reviewed by multiple reviewers able to evaluate proposals from that discipline and will be evaluated on the individual merits of the proposal, as well as the strength of the dissertation advisor. Those proposals receiving the highest overall scores will remain in the list of potential fundees and be forwarded to an interdisciplinary review panel. When multiple proposals are ranked highly, a conference call between the discipline-specific reviewers will occur to choose which proposals to submit to the interdisciplinary review panel.

3) Interdisciplinary Review.
The Natural Hazards Center will select an interdisciplinary review panel with a person representing each proposal discipline being put forward. This panel will be convened to create a ranking of the remaining proposals and to select fellowship recipients.

4) Notification.
Fellows will be notified in late-May or early-June, 2012, by phone call and e-mail, as will the fellow's advisor. Fellows' bios will also be included on the website, along with an abstract of the research.

5) Contractual Agreement.
Fellows will sign an official contract with PERI that addresses fellowship contractual obligations.

Products Required of Fellows
Award recipients will be expected to finish the dissertation for which they award was made, supply two hardbound copies and an electronic copy for the libraries of the granting organizations. Further, each fellow will write a short (12-page) summary of the applied significance of the research findings in plain language. The granting organizations will publish and distribute these reports to the user community through existing vehicles, and publicize the students' results in other ways as appropriate. We highly encourage recipients to attend the Natural Hazards Workshop held in July in Boulder, Colorado ( This can be included in the budget of the proposal.