May 21, 2018

Facebook invites submissions for Crisis Informatics research awards

By: Facebook Research

As social media and messaging apps continue to become important communication tools in people’s everyday lives, they have also come to play important roles in how people prepare, respond to, and recover from disasters. For example, Facebook’s Safety Check and Community Help features make it easier for people impacted by a disaster to let loved ones know when they are safe and request and offer help with neighbors, and Facebook Disaster Maps provide insights into evacuations and connectivity issues to humanitarian organizations responding to a crisis.

To support new and innovative research in the area of crisis informatics to make social media tools more useful to people responding to or impacted by a disaster, we invite the academic community to respond to a call for research proposals on crisis informatics and the role of social media in disaster response and recovery.

The research should explain how social media is currently used during a disaster, and it will unlock new tools and products to improve disaster response and recovery. Grants will be awarded for both qualitative and quantitative research proposals, including but not limited to:

  • Methods for assessing the validity, relevance and usefulness of crisis maps or other data products for disaster preparedness, response and recovery
  • Topics and themes of social media posts that transcend individual regions, languages and disaster types
  • Methods for identifying disaster relief needs and conditions on the ground from social media posts and civilian reporting
  • Statistical models of movement, evacuation and long-term displacement due to natural disasters
  • Quantitative and qualitative insights into how humanitarian response organizations make use of social media or crisis informatics datasets for disaster preparedness, response and recovery
  • Novel techniques for visualization of social media crisis data
  • Case studies in the use of social media crisis data by humanitarian organizations
  • Data privacy in crisis informatics and social media crisis data
  • Bias and fairness in social media crisis data and its impact on disaster response

Three awards up to $50k USD will be granted for projects that demonstrate innovative and compelling research that has the potential to significantly advance the understanding and value of social media and social media data for disaster preparedness, response and recovery.

We encourage award recipients to openly publish any findings from their work as well as make any code available as open source. No Facebook data will be provided for accepted research proposals.

For more information and to respond to the Crisis Informatics request for proposal, visit the Crisis Informatics request for proposal page.