Wildland Fire Research Funding Opportunity

Firefighters holding hoses surround and keep watch on a small fire burning through dried grass in a desert canyon

Firefighters manage a prescribed fire for a Joint Fire Science research project at Zion National Park. (NPS/David Eaker)


In 1998, the U.S. Congress directed the Department of Interior and U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service to develop a Joint Fire Science Program and Plan to prioritize and provide sound scientific studies to support the land management agencies and other stakeholders in addressing issues associated with wildland fire. Since then, the Joint Fire Science Program has released an annual cycle of open and competitive, peer reviewed proposal solicitations for current wildland fire research priorities.

The FY2021 Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) is now open! The Joint Fire Science Program is soliciting proposals from both government and non-government entities in three areas – Primary, Graduate Research Innovation (GRIN), and Regional Fire Science Exchange.

  • The primary announcement is soliciting proposals for two task statements – 1) sources and distribution of human-caused ignitions and their relation to wildfire impacts and 2) reducing damages and losses to valued resources form wildfire.  
  • The Joint Fire Science Program (JFSP) invites current master and doctoral students enrolled at colleges or universities within the U.S. in the field of wildland fire and related physical, biological, and social sciences to apply for a Graduate Research Innovation (GRIN) award. The purpose of a GRIN award is to enhance student exposure to the management and policy relevance of their research to achieve beneficial outcomes of funded work. Proposals that address any of the following topics will be considered – fuels management and fire behavior, changing fire environment, emissions and air quality, fire effects and post-fire recovery, relative impacts of prescribed fire versus wildfire, and human dimensions of fire.  
  • The Regional Fire Science Exchange Announcement has one task statement focused on leading and executing a regional fire science exchange in the Lake States and Tallgrass Prairie regions.

Through annual cycles, the Joint Fire Science Program has funded important research that has made its way to managers, including but not limited to fire ember productionestimating fire smoke related health, and post-fire seeding treatments. On-going research includes modeling the impact of COVID-19 on wildfire managementco-production of wildland fire science and more. Current and past research can be found here.  

Getting research findings into the hands of managers, practitioners and policymakers is ​critically important. Close collaboration and partnership between scientists and managers is needed to develop information on how to treat hazardous fuels, reduce the threat of severe wildland fires, address smoke issues, plan for post fire recovery, and restore or maintain the appropriate role of fire in ecosystems. This is possible thanks in part to the Joint Fire Science Program!

Please consider applying to advance wildland fire research supporting sound decisions on the ground.

Proposals are due by September 30th, 2020 through grants.gov. For any questions about the Funding Opportunity Announcement, please contact Ed Brunson (Program Manager) at ebrunson@blm.gov or 208-387-5975.

Karen Dante-Wood is a Technology Transfer Specialist for the Joint Fire Science Program at the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise, Idaho.