Application guidelines

The RISK Award will be assigned to an operational project in the field of the specific biennial topic. The award winner will receive funding up to € 100,000. The prize has to be used for the implementation of the proposed project. With each awardee an individual funding agreement will be concluded that fits to the specific project situation and needs.

In the past, we have used major conferences on disaster risk reduction, such as the IDRC in Davos or the Global Platform for DRR, to announce and honour the topics and winners of the RISK Award. Due to the current pandemic situation, we will not do this in this RISK Award cycle. However, we will be launching a new call for entries and look forward to receiving many good entries. The new theme will be announced on October 13, 2020 (International Disaster Reduction Day). The application phase will then run for 2 months until 14 December 2020.

It is expected that the successful project will be carried out by a team of people who have complementary skills. It is perfectly legitimate to involve participants from partner institutions, but it is not advisable to form large consortia for the purpose of submitting a proposal. Research institutions, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and non-profit organisations (NPOs) are especially encouraged to submit.

The jury who will make the final decision consists of a board of internationally renowned experts in the field of disaster risk reduction representing a variety of backgrounds (international origins, gender-balanced, politicians, scientists and practitioners). They stand for a fair, objective and targeted decision process. Therefore the decision of the jury cannot be challenged and must not be subject to appeal. 

Dates and deadlines
Announcement of the 2021 RISK Award topic 13 October 2020
Application phase 14 October 2020 (00:00 CET) to 14 December 2020 (23:00 CET)
Individual notification of application status 1 March 2021 (tbc)
2021 RISK Award ceremony May 2021


  • The proposal must address the specific annual RISK Award topic
  • The proposed project must include an implementation part (action), a proposal solely based on research is not sufficient. 
  • The risks must be related to natural, climate change and or/environmental issues. 
  • Risks due to social turmoil, war, chemical disasters, and/or political crises cannot be funded. 
  • We appreciate ideas to involve the people at risk (people centred approaches).
  • We appreciate proposals which combine bottom-up approaches with top-down frameworks.
  • We encourage project teams which are engaged in multi-stakeholder partnerships (different sectors, different sizes, different organisational background, PPPs).


  • The award is endowed with 100,000 €. Hence, our project funding is limited to 100,000 €. However, we also understand that there are many initiatives that are larger. In this case, please write in your application what the volume of your overall project is and where the other required financial resources will come from.
  • The overall budget of the project shall not exceed € 1,000,000. Otherwise the contribution of the RISK Award is too little.
  • The RISK Award contribution must have a visible impact within the project.
  • If the whole budget is bigger than the RISK Award, it must be visible for what purpose the RISK Award will be used.
  • The proposal should include a milestone planning and a rough budget plan explaining how the funding will be used.

Timeline and formality:

  • The timeline of the proposed project should be between 6 months and 2 years maximum. 
  • Attachments must not exceed 20 additional pages. 
  • The form must be completed in English.


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