May 18, 2018

Crisis Informatics request for proposals

This Research Award is now closed


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’s Disaster Maps provide insights into evacuations and connectivity issues to humanitarian organizations responding to a crisis.

Facebook is supporting 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. 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. No Facebook data will be provided to award recipients.

Representatives from each awarded project will be invited to a workshop with other participants in January 2019 to share preliminary results, and are expected to attend an evaluation meeting in May 2019. Travel costs to Menlo Park CA, USA should be included in the proposed budget. Award recipients will be listed on the Facebook Research website and will be encouraged to openly publish any findings from their work as well as make any code available as open source.

Three $50,000 USD gifts will be awarded.

Applications are now closed

Application Dates

Notification process: Successful awardees will be notified by email in October 2018.

  • Launch Date May 18, 2018
  • Deadline
  • Winners Announced October 2018

Areas of Interest

We are pleased to invite the academic community to respond to this call for research proposals on crisis informatics and the role of social media in disaster response and recovery. Research awardees will be expected to contribute insights and innovative solutions in this space, 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

Submitted projects do not need to be about Facebook, and no Facebook data will be provided to award recipients. Successful proposals will 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.


Proposals should include

  • A summary of the project (1-2 pages) explaining the area of focus, a description of techniques, any relevant prior work, and a timeline with milestones and expected outcomes
  • A draft budget description (1 page) including an approximate cost of the award and explanation of how funds would be spent
  • Curriculum Vitae for all project participants

Timing and dates

  • Applications are now closed.
  • Notification process: Successful awardees will be notified by email in October 2018.