Enabling the Next Generation of Hazards and Disasters Researchers

Greenville, June 30, 2008

By Michael Leo Owens
Assistant Professor
Department of Political Science
Emory University

Project website: http://www.ncsu.edu/project/nextgen/

With this message I write to bring to your attention a new, National Science Foundation-funded initiative to develop a new generation of researchers in the area of hazards and disasters. The project is entitled "Enabling the Next Generation of Hazards and Disasters Researchers," and is being led by Dr. Tom Birkland of the School of Public and International Affairs at North Carolina State University. The overarching goal of this project is to identify and support junior-level faculty members seeking to build their careers in this area. The remainder of this message provides further information on the project, the benefits of participating in it, and the procedure for applying.

This is the third round of a very successful mentoring and training program that seeks to support junior faculty in developing top quality research programs that advance basic and applied science and engineering in the context of natural, technological, and social hazards and disasters. Up to sixteen fellows will be selected for this program. A team of eight mentors providing a broad range of social science and engineering perspectives will work directly with these fellows through the two years of the project.

The project provides both training and career development. Fellows will be introduced to the methods and theoretical perspectives in the field of disaster and hazards research. They will have the opportunity to meet with some of the leading researchers in this field, as well as within their individual disciplines. They will work closely with project mentors in planning and developing their careers. Representative activities include writing scholarly articles, book proposals, and grant proposals.

Eligible applicants are tenure-track faculty who have not yet attained tenure and promotion. We seek applications from faculty in academic departments with doctoral programs, as well as from those in non-doctoral programs that have demonstrated a capability to prepare their own students for research careers. We particularly encourage applications from members of groups that are underrepresented in the hazards and disaster field-including especially women and racial and ethnic minorities.

Fellows will be selected through a competitive application process. Applications are due on or before February 15, 2009. The fellowship covers travel expenses and offers a modest stipend. Fellows are required to attend an orientation and program kick-off workshop in Boulder, Colorado in July 2009, and a second workshop tentatively planned for June 2010 in Washington D.C.

Application materials and profiles of project mentors are available on the project website. Please direct questions to Prof. Tom Birkland at 919-513-7799 or via email at tom_birkland@ncsu.edu or tom.birkland@gmail.com.

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