Student Research Grant
The Student Research Grants is available to any student studying in the field of fire protection and fire safety engineering.
To support baccalaureate, masters and doctoral student research projects in fire safety science or fire protection engineering. A condition of funding is that research must result in a publishable paper and that paper or an alternate presentation must be made available for posting on the SFPE website.
Requests up to USD $25,000 will be considered. The maximum overhead allocation that the Foundation will approve is 25% of the value of the grant.
The request* must be submitted by the student and must include the student's faculty adviser's recommendation. These should be sent to the SFPE Foundation at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Submissions may not be longer than 5 pages.
- Submissions shall include a timeline of major tasks and deliverables.
- Review and recommendation will be by a global review panel comprised of fire safety experts. Final decisions rest with the Foundation's Board of Governors.
Submissions will be accepted at any time.
Applications for research grants must, in addition to the research plan, provide written documentation addressing each of the evaluation criteria. Clear, concise written examples of prior research and experience will greatly aid the evaluation process. The following specific criteria will apply to the review of each application.
Technical Merit – 35%. This is a measure of the quality of the research plan and the possibility that it will yield valid and broadly applicable results or contribute to knowledge in the profession. The plan will be evaluated according to the following:
- Does the hypothesis or objective have a supported basis?
- Does the approach follow accepted procedures of scientific inquiry?
- Are the means of evaluating experimental results appropriate?
- Is there anything novel about this research?
Usefulness – 35%. This is a measure of the potential impact of the research on the field of fire protection engineering. Applicants should provide information to help determine the following:
- Will the research produce results that are useful for fire protection engineers?
- Will the research advance the student, adviser, or institution in such a way that, individually or collectively, they will be able to contribute to the future of fire protection engineering?
Qualifications – 15%. Applicants should provide the following information:
- Number of fire protection engineering students whose research was supervised by the faculty supervisor in the last 5 years.
- Number of students in other engineering disciplines whose research was supervised by the faculty adviser in the last 5 years.
- List of faculty adviser's major publications resulting from research assisted by students in the last 5 years.
Achievability – 15%. This is a measure of whether the proposed plan can be carried out within the stated time frame. Applicants should specifically identify the following:
Human and facility resources available (or planned) at the home institution.
Facilities or assistance to be provided from another institution.
- Frantz Richter from Imperial College London awarded 5K to provide partial support for the Computational Investigation of the Timber Response to Fire, which is a study that focuses on the creation of a toolkit to more accurately predict the charring rate of timber, thereby helping fire engineers and regulators assess the safety of proposed building designs.
- Dr. Michael Gollner from University of Maryland awarded 5K to provide partial support for the graduate student program instructor and lecture and laboratory materials for An Introduction to Math and Physics through Fire Dynamics, which is an unique, semester-long, on-campus high school bridge program designed to introduce students to advanced concepts in chemistry, physics, and mathematics through the lens of fire dynamics, so as to increase their exposure to, and understanding of, the value of these concepts, which are typically taught independently as separate areas of study.
- Dr. Brian Meacham from Worcester Polytechnic Institute awarded 5K to provide partial support for development of a textbook entitled Fire Performance Analysis for Buildings, which will be published by John Wiley & Sons. The textbook will provide a framework for evaluating the performance of buildings against fire scenarios which link the fire, active and passive fire defenses, people, building architecture, and site conditions. The award will help support the participation of students and others to assist in the completion of fire performance analysis examples, supporting graphics and the final technical review.
- Dr. Brian Meacham from Worcester Polytechnic Institute awarded 5K to provide partial support for the research project Post-Earthquake Fire Performance of a Light-Gauge Cold-Formed Steel Framed Building. The funds from this grant will support room-scale fire tests in order to assess the fire performance of structural and non-structural systems, including exit system components (corridors, stairs, doors), fire- and smoke-rated compartmentation (walls and ceilings), exterior system performance (walls, windows), and if time and resources permit, active fire protection systems. The research is slated to begin in May 2016 and findings will be summarized and disseminated via multiple formats, including conference papers, journal articles and technical reports.
- Egle Rackauskaite from Imperial College London awarded 15K to provide partial support for the research project Response of Steel and Concrete Structures to Travelling Fires. The funds will go towards creating a collaboration between the Imperial College London and the University of Michigan to investigate and compare the structural response of steel frames and concrete frames to travelling fires. The research will capture the fire heterogeneity effect on the structural response and quantify it in a probabilistic framework. This will identify the critical fires that could lead to the most severe conditions for the structures.
- Isaac Leventon from The University of Maryland awarded $11,607 to provide partial support to provide a new high school bridge course: An Introduction to Math and Physics through Fire Dynamics. The funds will go towards creating a semester long program that is designed to introduce students to advanced concepts in chemistry, physics, and mathematics, through the lens of fire dynamics to increase their exposure to, and understanding of, the value of these concepts, which are typically taught independently as separate areas of study. By studying the content of this course as it applies to a series of real world applications, student awareness of the responsibilities and career opportunities of a fire protection engineer is also developed. Watch a story on The University of Maryland funded course Sparking a Love for Science by Studying How Christmas Trees Burn.
- Dr. Jose Torero from The University of Queensland awarded 5K to provide partial support to the creation of a fire safety engineering program and The University of Queensland SFPE Student Chapter (UQ-SFPE). The UQ-SFPE has been active since October 2014. You can find all the great things UQ-SFPE is doing here.