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Institute of Hazard, Risk and Resilience

Small Grants


At the beginning of each academic year IHRR offers small grants in the area of hazard, risk and resilience. The aim of the small grants scheme is to promote activities at Durham University that develop research activity, research capacity, impact and/or dissemination in the broad fields of hazard, risk and resilience. The funds can be used to pump-prime new research; organise workshops or meetings; fund attendance at conferences; develop marketing materials; and suchlike.

Funding may be used to support the activities (but not maintenance or fees) of research postgraduate students in hazard, risk and resilience, so long as the planned activity supports the development of IHRR.

The maximum normally awarded to any single proposal will be £2000 and partial funding of proposals is a possibility.

Examples of Small Grants Awarded in 2015/16




Dr Frances Thirlway


Fund a scoping visit for comparative research on majorettes in Northern France to: 1) add a comparative cross-national element to ongoing research in North West Durham 2) contribute to a future fellowship application on working class cultures and health/resilience 3) make links with French colleagues and create publication outputs.

Dr Kerstin Oloff

Hispanic Studies

One-day Workshop: Aesthetics of Crisis: Disaster and Narrative Irrealism.

Ms Floor Hussamin


This application requests funding to support the cost of an interdisciplinary postgraduate and early career researcher conference: ‘Climate Change and Human Society: Impact and Perceptions in the Past and Present’. This one and a half day conference will take place on the 4th-5th December 2015 in the Department of Archaeology at Durham University.

Christopher Riley

Durham Law School

Will the Liability of Parent Companies for their Subsidiaries’ Torts Lead to Greater Safety Precautions?

This research project aims to do two things. The first involves an initial literature review, carried out by a Research Assistant, to ascertain how much is already understood about the extent to which companies embrace too much risk in anticipation of their avoidance of liability through insolvency.

The second is to carry out a pilot study to ascertain whether parent companies are now, as a result of the legal developments described above, causing their subsidiary companies to lower their risk profile or are instead taking the avoidance measures mentioned above

Dr Francisco-J Hernández Adrián

School of Modern Languages and Cultures

This research will contribute to the development of the Matariki Risk Humanities Network, an international research network incorporating researchers from the seven leading research universities which are members of the Matariki Network of Universities (Durham, Dartmouth, Otago, Queens, Tuebingen, Uppsala and Western Australia).

Dr Christopher Lawless

School of Applied Social Sciences

Address the effects of drought experienced by the residents of East Porterville, San Jaoquin Valley, California

Zahra Hussain


The importance of interdisciplinary research combining human geography, anthropology, and physical geography and the arts in order to generate effective responses for crisis zones.

Dr Kerstin Oloff

Hispanic Studies

This is the second annual conference of the newly established World-Ecology Network, which has been formed by a group of a scholars with a shared interest in exploring the implications of theorising capitalism as an ecological regime driven by ecological revolutions and crises.

Previous Small Grant awards

The Institute of Hazard, Risk and Resilience has funded over 30 projects through its Small Grants Scheme since 2012. A list of all the projects that have successfully won IHRR Small Grants funding is provided below.


Name Department Topic
Dr Duika Burges Watson School of Medicine, Pharmacy and Health Hugging the Coast: an exploration of liminal living in Sangihe Archipelago, Indonesia
Professor Sarah Banks School of Applied Social Sciences Durham University Citizens’ panel with environmental change
Mohd Syazwan Md Rahim and Professor David Toll Engineering and Computer Science The Effects of Climate Change on Slopes in Malaysia
Dr Tahani Collen-Maturi Durham Business School Competing Risk inferences with combined data from different sources, including unobserved and unknown risks
Asem Hassan and Professor David Toll Engineering and Computer Science Conference attendance costs 'Water content measurement in landslides and engineered slopes


Name Department Topic
Dr Stephen Willis School of Biological and Biomedical Sciences Pilot work for a publication and development of a collaborative project involving RSPB.
Dr Andrés Luque-Ayala Geography Climate vulnerability and the smart city: control rooms and management of ecological risk. Pilot study in Brazil to develop a larger project proposal by a group in geography.
Elias Lopez-Romero Archaeology Costal heritage vulnerability and resilience: costs to run a workshop at Durham with a view to building a group to bid to EU Horizon 2020. Delegates include representation from France and Spain.
Dr Kerstin Oloff School of Modern Languages and Cultures Hold a conference: Plotting the crisis: ecologies, commodities and the arts.
Dr Ilan Baron SGIA and others Application from a group of ECRs fostered by IHRR working on food politics for a workshop, and 2 pilot studies.
Dr Christopher Lawless SASS Climate Change Resilience. Attendance at 2 conferences. First to present a paper and secondly to contribute to an international network preparing a set of papers for peer review.
Dr Natalya Reznichenko Geography Glacier-rock avalanche interactions in the Alps. Joint application from IAS JRF working with Nick Rosser et al. Fieldwork scoping and networking with a CNRS group in France.
Professor Alex Densmore Geography Hold a 2 day workshop in Durham regarding Geomorphic effects of large earthquakes. Preparation of a Marie Curie ITN application.
Ms Arley Cruz Santiago Geography Workshop for 15-20 participants on The Missing: creating resilient communities through forensic science.


Name Department Topic
Dr Stephen Willis Biological and Biomedical Sciences Understanding the risk and resilience of British woodlands from ongoing and future climate change
Dr Patrick Gray Department of English Studies Guest Lecture by Nancy Sherman, Prof from Georgetown University "Stoicism, Military Culture, and Vulnerability to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder”
Mr David Clinnick and Dr James Walker Archaeology Slash and Burn farming in Southeast Asia: small-scale community benefits and environmental risks 6,000BC to present
Miss Nicki Kindersley History Postdoctoral foundation work: local negotiations of long-term displacements in South Sudan
Dr Richard Wilman Physics Evaluating space risk: a feasibility study for a new interdisciplinary research initiative
Miss Julia Heslop Geography Urban organisms that yield sustainable futures
Mr Matteo Capasso SGIA Carbon democracy and revolution: critical perspectives from the middle east and the Mediterranean (13-14 February 2015)
Miss Jen Truby Earth Sciences Disaster in slow-motion: communicating lava flow risk to the community of Pahoa, Hawaii

IHRR Urgency Grants (January 2016 – July 2016)

In 2016 IHRR is piloting an Urgency Small Grant Fund to enable Durham University Researchers to respond to urgent or unforeseen events where there is a strong case for immediate action. The maximum amount that researchers can apply for is £1500. Examples include data collection and field visits around events such as the eruption at Iceland's Eyjafjallajökull volcano in 2010, or the Nepal Earthquake in 2015. Research to be covered will focus on essential attendance at emergency meetings, initial analysis and urgent data collection. A clear strategy for the relationship to IHRR and taking the work forward once the urgent phase is completed is required. Applicants must submit a brief project outline.

The following situations will not be accepted as grounds for an urgency proposal:

• Time-limited logistical events, such as an unforeseen opportunity to participate in a particular experimental or observational programme or the unexpected availability of staff or facilities.

• Events where planning could have allowed support for study via published funding opportunities, such as seasonal, relatively frequent, or periodic natural events.

• Events that are expected to be imminent but have not yet occurred, such as forecast extreme weather conditions or volcanic eruptions. Urgency grant funding cannot be used to undertake operational monitoring for the purpose of forecasting the occurrence of hazardous natural events.

• Responding to unexpected research findings.

• Continuation of monitoring or other existing projects for any reason.

The Urgency Grants are open to postgraduate research students, post-doctoral researchers and staff at Durham University. Researchers may belong to any Faculty or Department. Two examples of Urgency funds used so far this year:





Earth Sciences

Mount Etna Volcano eruption




Contact Details

Institute of Hazard, Risk and Resilience
Durham University
Science Labs, South Road, Durham

Tel: +44 (0)191 3342257
Fax: +44 (0)191 3341801

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