Call for Applications

Research Grants on Inclusive Early Warning Early Action

Application period is now closed. Meet the Awarded Researchers

The Global Disaster Preparedness Center (GDPC) is proud to announce the launch of its Small Grants Research Program focused on inclusivity and accessibility of early warning early action among last mile communities. In collaboration with the Risk-informed Early Action Partnership (REAP) and in support of the achievement of the REAP Global Targets, this program aims to enhance literature on early warning early action and contribute to the expansion of the evidence base for more inclusive and people-centered approaches.


The program intends to provide support to scholars who traditionally have limited access to funding. As a result, grants offered through this program are exclusively available to researchers from low- and middle-income countries. By doing so, we hope to support and amplify the voices of researchers from diverse backgrounds and regions.

The research grants are limited to $10,000 and must be completed by April 30, 2024. The research is expected to be original, and any form of plagiarism will result in disqualification from the grant at any stage of the process. We encourage researchers to approach their projects with creativity and innovation, enabling them to choose their preferred methods and approaches.

To learn more about the program's terms and conditions, we invite you to explore the Frequently Asked Questions section on this page.

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    Despite the proven effectiveness of early warning early action in reducing disaster impacts and saving lives, around one-third of the global population is still not covered by early warning systems. Furthermore, research indicates that even when information reaches at-risk communities, it is often not properly perceived or acted upon to mitigate risks. 

    Communication barriers, social and cultural stigma, lack of accessibility of infrastructure, and the absence of effective social safety nets continue to prevent communities from accessing timely early warning and risk information. These obstacles disproportionately affect marginalized and minority groups, making it even more difficult for them to access and act on early warning information. These groups are often referred to as "last mile communities," as they are the farthest away, most difficult to reach, and/or the last to benefit from programs or services. 

    In addition to warning dissemination, an important aspect of early warning systems is response capability, which means that at-risk communities are prepared and have resources to respond to warnings received. Often, support is provided through cash and voucher assistance (CVA), which helps households address needs related to early action such as improving mobility during evacuations, purchasing extra food supplies for sheltering, securing homes or protecting livelihoods. By bolstering people’s capacity to take early action before the hazard event, these measures further strengthen their ability to protect themselves. 

    In this context, anticipatory action offers a promising solution by delivering faster, more sustainable, predictable, coordinated, and cost-effective aid prior to the onset of a disaster. The inclusivity of these programs remains a challenge for last mile communities as they often have lower levels of literacy and technological proficiency, as well as limited access to social protection and financial services. 

    Through this program, the GDPC seeks to expand the knowledge and evidence base for inclusive and accessible early warning early action by fostering a better understanding of the barriers that prevent last mile communities from accessing, comprehending, and acting on early warning information and benefiting from resources that enable early action. Recognizing these barriers and identifying factors that impact them is a crucial step to designing more inclusive and people-centered early warning and early action approaches.  

    Red Cross volunteers train migrants in Bangladesh on first aid, early warning systems, and other skills so they can respond to flooding, cyclones, and other hazards.

    Research objectives

    1. Investigate barriers faced by last mile communities in accessing, understanding and acting upon early warnings, and explore factors that impact inclusivity of early warnings.

    2. Draw lessons and insights from the field to make early warning more inclusive and effective .

    3. Identify and map existing local solutions that enable effective early warning early action among vulnerable groups .

    4. Gather evidence of early actions taken by individuals following the receipt of a hazard alert or evacuation order and outline financial resources needed to support those actions. 

    Research topics and questions

    The research grant program aims to stimulate new knowledge and exploration in priority research questions under the following topics. Research proposals should focus on one research topic from the list below and address ONLY one or two questions under the selected topic

    Topic 1

    Accessibility, inclusivity, and actionability of early warning messages among last mile communities

    • Question 1.1: What are the barriers to accessing early warning messages? 
    • Question 1.2: What factors impact comprehension and inclusivity of early warnings?
    • Question 1.3: Are last mile communities able to take preventative action based on early warning messages? What influences the actionability of early warning messages among last mile communities? 

    Topic 2

    Strategies to improve accessibility and actionability of early warning messages among last mile communities

    • Question 2.1: What community-developed solutions to early warning early action challenges help enhance their inclusivity and accessibility?
    • Question 2.2: What policies or interventions employed by local governments, civil society organizations, or RCRC National Societies help increase uptake and improve inclusion and accessibility of early warning early action among last mile communities?  

    Topic 3

    Resource accessibility in facilitating early action among last mile communities

    • Question 3.1: If given financial support (cash and voucher assistance (CVA), remittances or other financial resources) in a forecast window of a hazard, what actions do individuals or communities take that they wouldn't have taken otherwise?
    • Question 3.2: What are the impacts of financial support (cash and voucher assistance (CVA), remittances or other financial resources) when used in advance of hazards to reduce impact and save lives? 


    Applicants must be affiliated with an accredited university at the time of submission, including undergraduate, graduate, post-doctorate students, and faculty members. Teams of researchers are welcome to submit proposals, and collaboration among different institutions is highly encouraged

    Identification of an experienced supervisor is required for any student research teams. The supervisor should provide guidance and oversight throughout the research process.

    Applications are open to researchers from low and middle-income countries only (least developed and upper-middle income countries included), and their research must focus on those countries. The list of eligible countries can be found here.

    Abstracts should focus on only one research topic from the list above and address one or two questions under the selected topic.

    Researchers have the flexibility to conduct their research in a language of their preference. However, the final research paper must be submitted in English. If translation in English is needed, the budget proposal should include the estimated costs for translation services.

    Program Timeline

    July 31, 2023
    August 2023
    September 1, 2023
    September 2023 – April 2024
    December 2023
    By April 30, 2024
    April – July 2024

    Application deadline

    Application review and shortlisting

    Program kick-off

    Research period

    Mid-term reports

    Final reports

    Research promotion and dissemination

    Selection Criteria

    Affiliation to an accredited university at the time of the application. Undergraduate, Graduate, Post-doctorate students and faculty members in good standing.

    Strong background, experience, and/or research interest in disaster preparedness and risk reduction, specifically in early warning early action, community engagement and accountability, gender and inclusion, and other relevant fields.

    Prior experience and/or interest in working with vulnerable and marginalized groups.

    Competitive and relevant budget proposal. For more guidance on budget proposal, refer to the FAQ section of this page.

    All research to be submitted in English, translation costs can be supported.

    Letter of support from a faculty supervisor, for student applicants.

    Ability to carry out independent work as well as working in and managing teams.

    Ability to comply with technical and financial reporting and documentation requirements as outlined below.

    All research to be submitted in English, translation costs should be included in needed.

    Research must be completed and delivered by April 30, 2024, or sooner.

    Added Value

    Cross-collaboration and partnership between various institutions. Letter of support from a relevant partner institution should be included in the application.

    The proposal clearly demonstrates how their work is adding to the state of knowledge in their country.

    Application Form

    Deadline of application: July 31, 2023

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

    The research grants are limited to US$ 10,000.

    The funds under the grant can only be used to cover expenses directly related to the proposed research project. Eligible expenses may include but not limited: 



    • Funds may be used to pay part-time staff fees, office staff, graduate students and other workers for their labor in support of the research projects.

     Not allowable:

    • Funds may NOT be used to add to or supplement the salary of existing full time scientists, administrators or administrative staff who are not directly working on the research project.

    Equipment & Software


    • Leasing or renting equipment for the duration of the project.
    • Purchase of equipment that will remain in the department as a way of increasing long-term capacity for conducting research.
    • Fees for software necessary to conduct the research project

    Not Allowable:

    • Equipment and/or software that will become the property of an individual researcher at the completion of the project



    • Where travel is necessary for the performance of the project, the most economical means of transport should be used.
    • Airfare for projects funded through must be at no more than economy rate, if possible. Awardees will be provided with more details and exceptions in the final contract.
    • Transportation between the airport and hotel shall be by the most economical means available.
    • Vehicles may be rented or hired for travel to remote field work.
    • The cost of any airport taxes and other taxes incurred, as well as necessary visas and inoculations may be charged to the grant.

    Not Allowable:

    • Upgrades to business class or first class.
    • Telephone calls during travel are not covered by this grant.
    • Excess baggage fees will be covered only for items necessary to the project.
    • Side trips or other items unnecessary to the project.

    Per Diems


    • A per diem may be provided to Project team members when performance of the project requires them to travel away from their home and spend a full night or more away. The per diem is provided to cover costs of accommodation and a daily allowance.

    Other Expenses


    • Printing.
    • Copying.
    • Communication.
    • Rental of meeting rooms.

    Not Allowable

    • Administrative overhead

    The budget proposal for the research project should be in US dollars and should include a breakdown of expenses.

    The budget should indicate the following categories:

    • Personnel;
    • Travel and logistic expenses;
    • Sub-contracts;
    • Translation cost (if applicable);
    • Other expenses;
    • University fees;
    • Total.

    For exchange rate information please see Oanda Currency Converter.

    Researchers can leverage AI technologies as a supportive tool to improve writing, but all intellectual contributions and research of the papers should be the result of human effort and expertise. Scholars are required to provide a detailed description of any instances where AI was used, including the specific tasks, extent of AI usage and applications involved.

    Yes, undergraduate students, as well as graduate students, post-doctorate students, and faculty members, are eligible to apply. However, student applicants must have an experienced supervisor who will provide guidance and oversight throughout the research process.

    Low- and middle-income countries for this research grants program are defined based on the country classifications provided by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). 

    Yes, you are eligible to apply for the research grants program if you are if you are a national of a low- or middle-income country, even if you currently reside in a high-income country. However, please keep in mind that your research project must focus on addressing issues within a low- or middle-income country context.

    All of the countries on this list are eligible for grants, including upper-middle income countries (but not high-income country).

    Yes, international collaborations and partnerships between various institutions are encouraged. A letter of support from a relevant partner institution should be included in the application.

    While the program is primarily focused on researchers from low- and middle-income countries, collaborations with researchers from high-income countries or institutions are not explicitly prohibited. However, the primary applicant must be from a low- or middle-income country, and the research should primarily address the needs and challenges of last mile communities in those countries.

    Yes, researchers are encouraged to disseminate their research findings through academic journals or conferences. Publishing your findings in reputable journals or presenting them at conferences can contribute to the expansion of the evidence base and knowledge in the field. However, it is important to ensure that any publication or presentation acknowledges the support received from the Global Disaster Preparedness Center (GDPC).

    No, there are no specific restrictions on the research methods or approaches that can be used. Researchers are encouraged to approach their projects with creativity and innovation and choose their preferred methods and approaches. However, it is important to ensure that the chosen methods and approaches are appropriate for addressing the research questions and objectives outlined in the proposal.

    While the program does not provide explicit guidelines on ethics, it is important for researchers to ensure that their studies adhere to ethical principles. This includes obtaining informed consent from participants, protecting their privacy and confidentiality, and minimizing any potential harm or risks associated with the research. Researchers should also consider the ethical implications of their research on the last mile communities and ensure that their work promotes inclusivity and respect.

    The program welcomes both completely new research projects and extensions of ongoing studies. However, if it is an extension of a previous study, the proposal should clearly outline how the new research project builds upon and expands the existing work.

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