Just a week after Hurricane Harvey made landfall in Texas, the National Science Foundation published a call to scientists to come up with research proposals related to the storm. In a "Dear Colleagues" letter, officers from America's basic science-funding agency described what they were looking for:
NSF encourages the submission of proposals that seek to address the challenges related to this storm. NSF also will support fundamental science and engineering research projects whose results may enable our country to better prepare for, respond to, recover from, or mitigate future catastrophic events. Research proposals relating to a better fundamental understanding of the impacts of the storm (physical, biological and societal), human aspects of natural disasters (including first responders and the general public), emergency response methods, and approaches that promise to reduce future damage also are welcome.
Scientists can submit proposals any time, the letters says, but they must be in by September 13th to be funded using the foundation's 2017 budget, which is $7.5 billion. The National Science Foundation's 2018 budget is still to be determined; in May, the Trump administration proposed cutting the agency's budget by 11 percent.