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September 14, 2005

HURRICANE KATRINA

Grant Agencies Move To Assist Researchers

Programs are being set up to help scientists displaced by natural disaster

David Hanson

The aftermath of Hurricane Katrina has created many disruptions, including problems for scientists and students with ongoing projects. As universities and colleges are struggling to come to grips with these problems, federal agencies are responding with programs to help researchers at this most difficult time.

The Department of Energy has announced a Temporary Educational Matching Program that it hopes will create opportunities for students and researchers displaced by the hurricane to work at other institutions. The Office of Science has set up a clearinghouse through DOE’s Oak Ridge Institute for Science & Education to match displaced individuals with host grant recipients. Several DOE laboratories also have made space available to researchers impacted by the hurricane. More information is available at http://www.orau.gov/doeedrelief.

The National Science Foundation is also moving to ensure continuity of research and education in the projects it supports in the damaged Gulf Coast region. It has extended deadlines for awards that had been set to expire Oct. 1 and is working to transfer awards for faculty and students forced to temporarily change institutions. The agency asks that any investigator affected by the hurricane call his or her program officer as soon as feasible to discuss how each NSF-sponsored project has been impacted. A telephone hotline for questions has been set up at (800) 381-1532, as well as an e-mail address: katrina@nsf.gov.

The National Institutes of Health also specifies that awardees contact their program officers if impacted by the hurricane. It says it will consider requests for extensions in time of awards, as well as supplements to awards, including for personnel costs and replacement of equipment. Some answers to researchers’ questions are on a website at grants.nih.gov/grants/katrina/index.htm. Another point of contact is the NIH Grants Hurricane Recovery office by e-mail: nihghr@nih.gov or phone at (301) 435-0949.

Chemical & Engineering News
ISSN 0009-2347
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