NOAA -- Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 Verification of the Origins of Rotation in Tornadoes Experiment in the Southeast U. S. (VORTEX-SE), and Infrasound Detection of Tornadoes

Funding Agency:
Department of Commerce

This research funding opportunity is being jointly issued by the NOAA OAR Office and Weather and Air Quality (OWAQ) and the National Severe Storms Laboratory (NSSL). It seeks to obtain new knowledge of the meteorological and infrasound aspects of tornadoes in the southeastern United States (U. S.) and the social and behavioral aspects of the public response to tornado forecasts and tornado events. This new knowledge will improve our ability to understand, forecast and warn the public of tornadoes and elicit appropriate responses to mitigate damage, injuries, and loss of life. For the first time in the life of the Program, this year VORTEX-SE places an emphasis on obtaining improved understanding of the processes at play that produce tornadoes in tropical cyclone outer rainbands, as well as during the tropical-extratropical transition over land.

There will be three separate competitions with three funding pools from this announcement, two for VORTEX-SE (addressing 1) the meteorological or social/behavioral priorities and 2) multidiscipline topics addressing both meteorology and social/behavioral priorities), and one for the infrasound category. Proposals in each category will be separated into independent pools based on these focus areas as specified by the Principal Investigators for the purposes of peer review, ranking, and funding.

Deadline: Apr. 12, 2018

Agency Website

Areas of Interest

The projects that NOAA will support through this Federal Funding Opportunity (FFO) fall into three categories (VORTEX-SE Type 1, VORTEX-SE Type 2, and Infrasound) as discussed below. Principal investigators must identify which one of these categories their project predominantly falls in since the proposals will be separated, ranked, and selected from the separate proposal pools in separate competitions with separate funding sources:

1) VORTEX-SE: The VORTEX-SE topics pertain to research in the physical, social, behavioral, and economic sciences to improve the ability to forecast, detect, communicate threat information, and reduce vulnerability to tornadoes in the Southeast U. S. 

 There will be two separate competitions for this VORTEX-SE category in each of these two subcategories: a) Type 1 single-discipline (e.g. atmospheric science, economics), and b) Type 2 multi-discipline or interdisciplinary. Type 2 proposals will uniquely combine at least one of the physical science objectives (see I.B.1.a-e) and one of the Social, Behavioral, and Economics science (SBE) objectives (see I.B.1.f-h). As such, Type 2 proposals are required to have, at a minimum, one physical science Principal Investigator (PI), and one SBE PI. Please note, however, that proposals may also include PIs that represent other disciplinary perspectives, such as structural engineering or biology, for example.

2) Infrasound understanding, detection, and warning of tornadoes: This second topic focuses more narrowly on infrasound data collection and applications to the understanding, detection, and warning for severe thunderstorms and tornadoes (including tornadoes generated by land-falling hurricanes) using infrasound techniques. 

Eligibility Requirements

Eligible applicants are institutions of higher education; other nonprofits; commercial organizations; or state, local, and Indian tribal governments. Federal government employees are ineligible but may serve as unfunded co-I’s on applications where substantial federal involvement is proposed.



Amount Description

VORTEX-SE competitions: It is expected that in Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 NOAA will fund around 2-4 Type 2 projects and around 4-8 Type 1 projects. Total grant funding of the two pools combined is expected to be around $2.6M. Total two-year funding amounts per project are limited to no less than $100,000 and no more than $300,000 for Type 1 projects, and no more than $400,000 for Type 2 projects (see I.A for descriptions). Funds allocated for each category type may be altered depending on the number and quality of proposals submitted within each category.

Infrasound competition: It is expected that NOAA will fund 1-2 infrasound projects depending on the final FY2018 NOAA budget appropriation. The maximum two-year funding per project is $500,000. If additional infrasound funding beyond FY2017 levels becomes available to NOAA, additional grant projects may be awarded. 

Funding Type





Engineering and Physical Sciences
Environmental & Life Sciences
Social Sciences

External Deadline

April 12, 2018