NSF and NIST coordinate support for new disaster resilience research grants

hurricane damage

Research will lead to more U.S. resilience to hurricanes, wildland fires and other natural hazards.

May 4, 2022

The U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) and the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have jointly invested $7.6 million in 20 new research projects for greater community and infrastructure resilience to natural hazards through the joint NSF-NIST Disaster Resilience Research Grant program. NSF has invested $4.5 million in 12 projects; NIST has invested $3.1 million in 8 projects.

The collaborative investment is an outcome of NSF and NIST research coordination that will lead to new understanding, models, designs and practices for disaster resilience.

Each year, communities across the nation face significant damage from hazards such as droughts, earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, and fires. While threats from natural hazards cannot be eliminated, well-targeted research can enable communities to reduce their vulnerabilities and increase their resilience — making the impacts of natural hazards less disastrous.

“Fundamental research can lead to significant improvements in disaster resilience by revealing fundamental principles that will help the Nation withstand and bounce back from windstorms, wildland fires, and other extreme events,” said Rob Stone, division director of the NSF Division of Civil, Mechanical, and Manufacturing Innovation.

“Because this partnership between NSF and NIST supports disaster resilience research from fundamental to applied,” Stone continued, “it will facilitate the implementation of science-based improvements, from planning and decision-making to policies and building codes, that will strengthen our resilience to natural hazards.”

The Disaster Resilience Research Grant program is part of the NSF’s broader coordination of its disaster-related research portfolio with NIST and other Federal agencies for the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program (NEHRP) and the National Windstorm Impact Reduction Program (NWIRP). For both NEHRP and NWIRP, NSF is responsible for advancing fundamental understanding, and NIST is responsible for ensuring that fundamental new insights are translated to practice, as well as for conducting applied research.

“Federal collaboration makes it easier for researchers to navigate the complementary roles of NSF and NIST and for the agencies to appreciate the full range of research possibilities relevant to national needs,” said Jacqueline Meszaros, NSF science and technology advisor for natural hazards, disasters, and resilience. “This joint program aims to enable new understanding and advances to move into practice quickly, to help communities and vulnerable populations in every part of the U.S. With more extreme natural hazards due to climate change, the need for resilience has grown more crucial.”

The 12 NSF projects for disaster resilience are funded through 17 awards:

The eight NIST projects for disaster resilience are funded through the following awards:

  • Analysis, Comparison and Experimental Investigation of Hurricane Wind, Storm-Surge and Wave Load Models: University of Miami
  • Assessing the Utility of Safe-to-Fail Design to Improve Climate Hazards Resilience of Interdependent Infrastructure Systems: Arizona State University
  • Characterization of Hurricane Boundary Layer Turbulence for Wind Hazard Mitigation: Columbia University
  • Developing a Selective Column Retrofit Framework for Damaged and Aging Reinforced Concrete Buildings to Improve Community Resilience After Earthquakes: University of Massachusetts, Amherst
  • Enhancing Windstorm Resilience of Coastal Communities Through Ultra-High Performance Glass Fiber Reinforced Polymer Concrete Seawalls: University of Miami
  • Forecasting WUI Fire Resilience: Quantifying Firebrand Generation and Transport to Identify Communities at Risk: Worcester Polytechnic Institute
  • Residual Axial and Lateral Load Carrying Capacity of Pile Supported Marine Terminal Exhibiting Seismically Induced Local Buckling in Inground Plastic Hinges: University of California, San Diego
  • Wildland Urban Interface and the Built Environment: Design, Evacuation and Retreat Under No-Notice Fire Hazards: University of Maryland, College Park; University of California, Berkeley; and University of California, Davis

The NSF awards are funded through the Disaster Resilience Research Grants program in the Division of Civil, Mechanical and Manufacturing Innovation in the Directorate for Engineering, with additional support from the Directorate for Geosciences. 

NSF and NIST will accept research proposals for the Disaster Resilience Research Grants program again in 2022 through the new solicitation, NSF 22-593. Letters of intent are due June 20, 2022, and full proposals are due August 19, 2022.



Media Contact 
Media Affairs, NSF, (703) 292-7090, media@nsf.gov 

Related Websites 
Disaster Resilience Research Grants program: https://beta.nsf.gov/funding/opportunities/disaster-resilience-research-grants-drrg 
NIST announcement: https://www.nist.gov/news-events/news/2022/05/nist-nsf-award-more-76-million-support-disaster-resilience-research 

The U.S. National Science Foundation propels the nation forward by advancing fundamental research in all fields of science and engineering. NSF supports research and people by providing facilities, instruments and funding to support their ingenuity and sustain the U.S. as a global leader in research and innovation. With a fiscal year 2023 budget of $9.5 billion, NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 40,000 competitive proposals and makes about 11,000 new awards. Those awards include support for cooperative research with industry, Arctic and Antarctic research and operations, and U.S. participation in international scientific efforts.

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