Call for applications: Interdisciplinary pressure cooker: Risk communication

Source(s): Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery, the (GFDRR) FM Global National Environment Research Council Water Youth Network
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Call for Applications

Apply to join the Pressure Cooker event on Risk Communication at the 2018 Understanding Risk Forum in Mexico City, 14 – 18th May 2018, organized by The Water Youth Network and GFDRR with support from FM Global and The UK Natural Environment Research Council (NERC).


The challenges surrounding risk communication are vast. How can the ever increasing amount of scientific information and technology be harnessed to inform local decision-making to reduce and manage natural hazard risk? Can the young generation of today bridge this gap to develop meaningful and tailored risk communication solutions for local decision makers and the general public?

Collaborative methods are often used to bridge these gaps between users and producers of risk information, e.g. role play gaming, collaborative risk modelling, participatory mapping. New technologies, communication techniques and big data, e.g. mobile applications, interactive web tools, have made it easier to reach more people and deliver tailored information – but is this being applied for maximum impact? Young people have an important role to play in the development and implementation of locally applicable risk communication solutions that go beyond the ‘norm’ in their capacity as scientists, practitioners and volunteers. But solutions cannot be developed in isolation, they require a broad mix of skills from social and behavioral sciences; design, media and journalism; ICT and risk modelling; natural and physical sciences (e.g. hydrology, geology and meteorology); and community engagement.

What innovative solutions can young professionals and students from different disciplines co-develop when put under pressure?

The Event

This one day event (24 hours) will host up to 20 young professionals and students divided into interdisciplinary teams to test their innovative, creative, scientific and technological skills to co-develop risk communication solutions to real world challenges facing local decision makers.

The teams will receive support and feedback from mentors and experts throughout the day (and night!). The solutions will be judged by a panel of experts and local decision makers, and the winning solution will be showcased as part of the UR2018 Forum.

All participants are invited to participate in the UR2018 Forum, from 14-18 May. They will receive a certificate of participation from GFDRR and WYN, their solutions disseminated on social media and shared to a wider audience for further uptake, and future mentoring will be explored. After the event, participants will be expected to contribute to print and online materials to share the knowledge generated during the event.

Who are we looking for?

Applications are invited from young students, researchers and professionals from different disciplinary backgrounds under the age of 35.

We are looking for a diverse international group of young researchers or professionals from, but not limited to, the following backgrounds:

  • Environmental science
  • Modelling (e.g. hydrological, geological, economic, risk modeller etc.)
  • Engineering
  • ICT and big data
  • (Urban) planning
  • Social science
  • Community engagement specialists or local volunteering
  • Media and journalism
  • Graphic design and communication

Applicants should have proven experience, skills and interest on particular aspects of risk communication, have obtained at least one university degree and have a working level of English.

Participants will be selected based on their motivation, skills, previous experience and interest in risk communication, and the ability to apply the outcomes of the event. Each team – assigned by the steering committee – will be balanced from a regional, gender and disciplinary perspective.

We are also looking for mentors who are interested in the topic and have relevant experience and knowledge in the field.

Funding availability

Financial support is available from FM Global and NERC to support a limited number of applicants. Funding will cover costs associated with travel, accommodation and subsistence to attend the Pressure Cooker and UR Forum. NERC funding can only be used for scientists working in RCUK eligible research organisations (see list here). FM Global funding is prioritized for successful applications from Brazil, India, Mexico and Argentina. Additional funding may become available at a later date and we strongly encourage self-funded applications.

Low cost group accommodation will be arranged in Mexico City for all the participants between 13 -18 May who are expected to stay in this accommodation on the night of the event.

Invitation letters will be provided to all successful applicants. Successful participants are expected to attend the full UR Forum from 14-18 May.

How to apply

Interested applicants under the age of 35 can apply online by filling out the form at

Please submit your application before Friday January 26th, 2018. Successful candidates will be notified before February 25th, 2018. You may be contacted by the organisers to answer questions about your application via email or phone.

If you are interested in being a mentor for the event, please contact Lydia Cumiskey (

Further information

Please contact the Pressure Cooker Organising Team via Lydia Cumiskey ( if you have any specific questions.


2018 Understanding Risk Forum (UR2018) English

Document links last validated on: 16 July 2021

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