Making tomorrow’s infrastructure sustainable and resilient requires investing in high calibre research and innovation today. Increasingly complex infrastructure systems of the 21st century require capabilities that can combine knowledge from multiple disciplines, harness the promise of emerging technologies, and bring together insights from the local level. The CDRI Fellowship Programme is designed to develop a global pool of practitioners who represent such capabilities.

The aim of the CDRI Fellowship Programme is to promote research and innovation on disaster resilient infrastructure (DRI). It does this by supporting practitioners, academicians, and community leaders, who are working in related fields. The Fellows will have an opportunity to interact and exchange ideas with their peers from across the world. The Fellowship provides financial aid to support a search for solutions to real-world problems related to DRI. Promising solutions emerging from the Programme will be shared widely and may be taken up for implementation in multiple contexts. Upon successful completion, the Fellows will join the global network of CDRI alumni and participate in alumni events.

Total number of Fellowships

In a year, CDRI will offer up to 30 Fellowships.

Fellowship amount

CDRI offers a lump-sum Fellowship amount up to US$ 10,000 or equivalent. This amount is inclusive of all costs of research, travelling for research and review presentations, institute overheads, taxes, duties, etc., and any applicable tax. However, if the research teams are invited by CDRI to make presentations at conferences, seminars, etc., the cost of travel will be borne by CDRI. The honorarium/overhead of the endorsing institute will be up to fifteen percent (15%), and is included in the above amount.

Duration of the Fellowship

The research projects under the CDRI fellowship should be completed within 12 months from the disbursement of the first instalment of the Fellowship grant. Generally, no extension is granted in the duration of the project, in extraordinary situations, CDRI may consider an extension of project duration for not more than six months. However, there shall be no increase in the Fellowship amount due to extension of the duration of the Fellowship.

Payment of Fellowship

The CDRI Fellowship grant will be a lump-sum amount to be paid in two instalments of 50% each. First instalment will be paid after the applicant(s) is selected for the Fellowship. Second instalment will be paid after a satisfactory level of research work in the second progress review.


The CDRI Fellowship does not intend to sponsor course fee of applicants for their Master or PhD degrees. Instead, CDRI Fellowship will provide a one-time grant for research projects being taken up by any individual or group of researchers, including Master and PhD students, on the topics relevant for disaster resilience infrastructure. The CDRI Fellowship will be in addition to any existing scholarship/fellowship/salary/income of the candidate(s). If applicants/research projects are receiving any funding from other organizations which restricts receipt of any additional fellowship, then the applicants must clarify this issue with the concerned organizations.

The decision of CDRI in the matters of Fellowship Programme shall be final.


The CDRI Fellowship Programme supports research focused on urban, rural or regional contexts, whether it is focused on resilience of existing infrastructure or new infrastructure. The research may focus on risks at the level of asset (e.g. construction technology for components of a power transmission network) or risks at the level of an infrastructure system (e.g. innovative ways to identify vulnerable nodes in a power grid).

Types of risks

The CDRI Fellowship Programme supports research on building resilience of infrastructure to disaster risks emanating from both natural (hydro-meteorological and geophysical hazards) and man-made hazards. The proposed research may look at risks from extreme events as well as slow-onset events including those emanating from the emerging effects of climate change.

Types of infrastructure

The CDRI Fellowship Programme supports research related to resilience of physical infrastructure (e.g. power, telecommunication, roads, railways, and airports), social infrastructure (e.g. schools, hospitals amd community infrastructure), as well as ecological infrastructure (e.g. natural waterways, wetlands, mangroves).

Thematic Areas

Across the sectors mentioned above, the research may focus on any of the following eight thematic areas:

  • Governance & Policy

    Governance and Policy

    The development of governance and policy arrangements required to enable the integration of disaster and climate resilience concepts in all infrastructure creation.

  • Risk Identification & Estimation

    Risk identification & Estimation

    The identification and estimation of risk to and from infrastructure from large and small hazards, from the macro to micro scales.

  • Standards & Certification

    Standards & Certification

    Adoption of mechanisms required for developing, enforcing, and updating scientific standards and regulations for infrastructure resilience in light of changing technology and risk profile.

  • Capacity Development

    Capacity Development & Knowledge Exchange

    Enabling the exchange and spread of scientifically accurate knowledge enabling the contribution of all stakeholders to building resilience of infrastructure systems.

  • Use of Emerging Technology

    Use of Emerging Technology

    Harnessing and leveraging the power of technology to address constraints on accuracy, scale, reach and capacity in constructing, operating, and recovering infrastructure systems.

  • Recovery & Reconstruction

    Recovery & Reconstruction

    Ex-ante development and adoption of mechanisms for assessing losses, estimating needs, and channelling adequate funds to disaster affected areas in a timely manner.

  • Financing


    Risk financing strategies for each nation will depend on its capacity, risk appetite, resources, and willingness to manage risk. Appropriate financing can incentivise resilience of infrastructure systems.

  • Community-Based Approaches

    Community-Based Approaches

    Building the capacities of local communities to participate in the process of creating and sustaining small-and large-scale infrastructure, so as to enhance disaster and climate resilience of the community and its surrounding infrastructure.

Indicative research topics

The main emphasis of the research should be to address specific real-world problems and search for implementable solutions in infrastructure sectors. Above-mentioned themes provide few indicative research topics to give an idea of the type of research the Programme may support.

jury Member

Charlotte Benson

Charlotte Benson is the Principal Disaster Risk Management Specialist at the Asian Development Bank, where her work includes the development and coordination of ADB's disaster risk management policy.

jury Member

Marjorie Greene

Marjorie Greene recently retired from the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI) after a 40-year career in earthquake hazard mitigation and preparedness.

jury Member

Jim Hall

Jim Hall is Professor of Climate and Environmental Risks at the University of Oxford and Director of Research in the School of Geography and the Environment.

jury Member

Takeya Kimio

Takeya Kimio is a Distinguished Technical Advisor on Disaster Risk Reduction at the Japan International Cooperation Agency and a visiting professor at the Tohoku University International Research Institute of Disaster Science.

jury Member

Ravi Sinha

Ravi Sinha is Professor of Civil Engineering and former Dean of Alumni & Corporate Relations at the Indian Institute of Technology in Bombay, India. His research activities are mainly in earthquake engineering, structural engineering and disaster risk management.

Progress review process
Along with every research proposal, applicants will submit a work plan. At the end of each quarter, research teams will submit a self-assessed plan-vs-achievement report. CDRI Secretariat will monitor the plan with respect to the progress achieved. CDRI may also invite research teams, in person or through video conferencing, for a research review meeting which may include a Panel of experts. Following are tentative timelines for review meetings of research projects:
First review at the end of first quarter: The research team is expected to present a clear and detailed research methodology and expected outcomes.
Second review at the end of second/third quarter: The research team is expected to present the detailed analysis/experimental set up and preliminary results. Satisfactory performance at this stage is mandatory for the release of second installment of payments. In case of unsatisfactory presentation, supplementary review may be organized. Research teams who undertake quality research may be invited to present their findings at the conferences/workshops promoted by CDRI.
Final presentation meeting at the end of third/fourth quarter: The research team is expected to present complete research outcomes and reports in the third review. To ensure uniformity, CDRI will provide a format for submitting the research report.
Project closure report

After satisfactory performance in the final meeting, and by the end of 12th month, the project team will submit a project closure report. The project team is expected to acknowledge CDRI in the report and all research publications arising from the research. Research teams will also share an electronic copy of such publications with CDRI, which may be published on its Knowledge Portal. Note: Some journals require special permission and payments for publishing in public domains; such cases will be decided on a case-by-case basis.

Opportunities for best performing projects and researchers

CDRI may consider further collaboration with the best performing researchers (Fellows). Also, CDRI may consider to upscale the best research projects. Such decisions will be taken based on the inputs from the Panel of experts reviewing the projects, project closure reports, and other factors considered relevant by CDRI.