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Hurricane Maria - Aid, funding, and support for affected scientists and students

Giovanna Guerrero-Medina's picture
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We are very thankful to the international scientific community has rallied in support of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands after the devastating passage of Hurricane María. Here we will list ways to solicit or review offers of aidfunding opportunities, offers of tuition and registration for students, and other resources. We also offer tips on how to seek placement in other labs.


In response to CienciaPR’s assistance registry (, we have received more than 200 offers of aid, including workspace, reagents, equipment, and more. Investigators are welcome to peruse this resource and contact investigators directly by visiting it here:

In addition, you may want to review the ASCB’s and SDB’s lab registries for displaced scientists, which together collect ~350 additional offers.

Investigators who are seeking assistance are encouraged to use the CienciaPR registry to submit specific requests. An offline version of the survey can also be accessed by downloading the Qualtrics application (iPad, iPod, & iPhoneAndroid Tablets & Phones) and contacting us at for access. We are working with the Puerto Rico Science Technology and Research Trust and with academic leaders to help in connecting investigators with offers of assistance.


AAAS-Caribe, CienciaPR & PR Science Technolgy and Research Trust - Funding program consisting of Continuity Funds to support traveling to another lab to continue research temporarily; Restoration Funds to restore and repair laboratory equipment or affected classrooms; and Thesis Funds to support students who need to complete their thesis. The application form will open October 30, here.

National Institutes of Health (NIH) - If you are hosting an eligible trainee displaced by the recent hurricanes and they will be doing work related to your eligible NIGMS grant, you may want to consider applying for a Diversity Research Supplement to support them. Electronic applications, via eRA Commons, are received and reviewed on a rolling basis and it can take roughly 12 weeks to reach a funding decision.See here for more information.

National Science Foundation (NSF)

American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB) - The ASBMB has opened a Hurricane Irma and Maria Award application for researchers to solicit funds for the recovery from losses experienced due to these natural disasters. The application form for grants of up to $2,000 from ASBMB is open to members of the society and nonmembers alike, including students. Inquiries about this award should be directed

American Physiological Society (APS) - APS has allocated $100,000 for a Hurricane Relief Fund to assist young APS member-researchers in their rebuilding efforts following Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria. Applications are now being accepted for grants of up to $2,000 which are intended to help graduate students and postdoctoral fellows impacted by the storms to replace belongings, pay for relocation costs and get back on their feet. Funds do not have to be used toward research-related expenses. Learn more.

Society for Developmental Biology (SDB) - SDB is deeply concerned about the damage caused by Hurricanes Irma and Maria to the laboratories of our colleagues in Puerto Rico.  To facilitate the continuation of research programs in those labs or at another temporary host location, SDB is offering relief grants of up to $10,000 to each lab.  Funds may be used for replacement of organisms, reagents, supplies, travel to host lab by PI or his/her trainees, core facility usage fees at host institution, etc.  The deadline to apply is December 31, 2017.


Some universities in the mainland United States, have agreed to offer in-state tuition and waive admission fees to students from Puerto Rico was have been displaced by Hurricane Maria and that risk not being able to complete their studies. Institutions that have offered in-state tuition or other type of assistance to displaced students include:


National Library of Medicine (NLM) - NLM activated the Emergency Access Initiative (EAI) in response to Hurricanes Irma, Harvey, and María and the recent earthquake in México. The EAI is a collaborative partnership between NLM and participating publishers to provide free access to full-text from more than 650 biomedical journals and more than 4,000 reference books and online databases to healthcare professionals and libraries affected by disasters. It is also intended for medical personnel responding to the specified disaster. To access this resource, please have your library visit NLM Customer Support or call 1.888.346.3656 in the United States, or +1.301.594.5983 internationally.


  1. Contact the PI with whom you or your trainee would like to conduct research. Seek a placement in a lab that is proficient in the techniques you want to pursue and/or where you might establish a collaboration

  2. Discuss the details of the placement: space, available facilities and reagents, start date, duration, lodging, travel, and if a student, courses or tuition and registration. It is recommended that you get a final agreement in writing (e.g. signed letter)

  3. If additional funding is needed, contact one of the sources listed here for funding.