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Hurricane Maria - How Institutions Can Help

Solymar Rolón-Martínez's picture
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Driven by the Puerto Rican diaspora, several institutions have mobilized to help students and scientists affected after Hurricane Maria. Here we outline several initiatives and institutional offers and how you can serve as a link from your institution.

How to involve your institution? 

Notify your institution - Here at CienciaPR we received a number of questions on how students and scientists affected by the hurricane could be helped. Immediately after the hurricane, we shared a template to help students and faculty engage institutional leaders in disaster response measures.

Tips for Students - If you are a student outside of Puerto Rico and want to help, the best way to do this is by looking for an audience with your college administration. The first line of communication could be with student associations, especially those aimed at diversity, as they could give some idea of ​​how to establish communication with the central administration of the University. On the other hand you can initiate conversations with faculty members, department directors, or diversity officials for ideas of how the University can come together to help. In addition, they will have a better idea of ​​who to contact to involve the institution. It is possible! Students at Universities all over the US are in talks right now with their respective administrations, so that they join the movement to offer their services to the community.

Ways Your Institution Can Help

Offers of assistance - Through CienciaPR we started a registry to collect offers of help for the scientific community in Puerto Rico. The registry, based on similar initiatives developed by professional associations, such as the American Society for Cell Biology, following the passage of Irma and Harvey, can be found on this page: Through it, researchers or institutions interested in collaborating can offer work space for scientists or students, reagents, equipment, or other types of help.

Here you can see the offers of help at the moment. We are collaborating with the Science, Technology and Research Trust of Puerto Rico and with leaders of academic institutions. If you are a member of an institution that is providing assistance to the scientific community in Puerto Rico, send us the information to add it. This way we can help those who want to start their own initiatives and our reading community. #Ricanstruction.

Space or registration offers for students - María's passage through Puerto Rico has put at risk the semester of thousands of university students. Professor Jorge Silva-Puras of Hostos Community College-City University of New York (CUNY) has created a database for teachers willing to teach in Spanish. To be part of this database, please add your information on this page, 

The University of Puerto Rico requests that  institutions interested in providing assistance provide the following information and submit it to Dr. José Garriga Picó, Assistant to the President for Interuniversity Assistance (, 787-448-2010)

  1. What are positions being offered? (For example, visiting, temporary, or exchange student; visiting graduate researcher; temporary visiting faculty etc.)

  2. How many positions are available?

  3. What will be the requirements? For example:

    1. to be a student at the UPR,

    2. registered for the current semester with

    3. an academic average above 2.5 pts (in a scale of 4)

    4. to submit copy of the current class program/schedule (interrupted by Maria)

    5. other

  4. What classes will they be able to take (for example, those equivalent to the ones in their UPR class schedule for this semester.)

  5. What fees will they be charged: For example:

    1. Out of state fees

    2. State resident fees

    3. Special reduced fees

    4. UPR fees

    5. No fees

  6. Will free room and board be provided?

    1. Yes

    2. Yes, room. Some meals

    3. Yes, room. No meals

    4. NO room and board

  7. By what date must they apply

  8. How do they apply? (for example: on line at such and such site)

  9. Which documents are needed (Consider that right now we cannot provide students with official transcripts. Will you allow unofficial ones? Or will the official class program for the semester be enough?)

  10. By what date must they be installed and attending classes in your university?

  11. Is you offer good for this semester, next semester or both. How about the Summer?