NHERI Graduate Student Council


Frequently Asked Questions for Prospective and New Members

Q: What is NHERI GSC?

A: NHERI GSC stands for Natural Hazards Engineering Research Infrastructure Graduate Student Council. It is a student-run organization established by NHERI, in October 2021, to connect and support the next generation of natural hazards researchers and scientists.

Q: How do I register to become a member?

A: Please follow the link below to register to become a member: https://bit.ly/NHERI_GSCouncil(opens a new window).

Q: Do I have to pay to register for membership?

A: No, registration for membership is free.

Q: How can I get involved?

A: First, register to become a member. Once you join, you will have the option to join one or more of our several Working Groups. You can also attend our monthly meetings (General and Executive meetings) and other events such as workshops, panels, conferences, etc. See the following links for more on our meetings and events:

Q: I am not studying in the U.S. Can I still participate?

A: Yes, we welcome graduate students from universities around the world. Our meetings and most of our events are held online, which makes it easy to participate and contribute.

Q: Are there opportunities for research collaboration?

A: Yes, through our Working Groups, Research Challenges, and other engaging events you can collaborate with other natural hazard graduate researchers.

Q: What are the opportunities for leadership?

A: We encourage members to run for both Officers and Working Groups leadership positions, so that they can shape the experience of all members. For more details on specific leadership roles, please visit: https://www.designsafe-ci.org/learning-center/nheri-graduate-student-council/explore/leadership/

Q: Can I get funding to attend conferences?

A: NHERI GSC members who attend at least two meetings/workshops can apply for funding to attend the NHERI Summer Institute (https://www.designsafe-ci.org/learning-center/summer-institute/). At least 5 NHERI GSC members who apply for the NSF Travel Award each year will be selected. Funding to other NHERI events, including conferences, may also be offered based on available funding. All funding is subject to the terms of the National Science Foundation.

Q: How diverse is the organization?

A: Our membership is quite diverse with graduate students from over 10 nations and different fields of study within natural hazards from core engineering to medical, earth, and social sciences.

Q: Can I get access to the NHERI facilities?

A: To access and learn more about any of the NHERI facilities, please visit: https://www.designsafe-ci.org/about/.

Q: Can I showcase my research work and ask questions?

A: Yes, opportunities for research presentation are available in our events (such as research challenges and conferences) where you can receive constructive peer review.

Q: Who do I go to when I need help?

A: Reach out via email to the Chair of Membership (Faith Nnenanya, fennenanya@ucdavis.edu) or Vice Chair (Sasan Dolati, seyedsasan.khedmatgozardolati@utsa.edu) or our NHERI Liaison (Robin Nelson, robin.nelson@utsa.edu).

Q: What are the "Working Groups"?

A: Working Groups comprise a group of members, who work on specific activities to achieve the programming of NHERI GSC. They work hand in hand with Officers to ensure the smooth running of NHERI GSC and together shape the entire membership experience. Currently, we have 6 Working Groups:

  1. Research
  2. Workshop & Mentoring
  3. Networking & Community Building
  4. Membership
  5. Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
  6. Technology & Communication.

If you would like to join any of the Working Groups, please use this link to register: https://bit.ly/NHERI_GSCWorkingGroup(opens a new window).

Q: How do I get involved in the Working Groups?

A: To get involved in a specific Working Group, please reach out to the leadership of the Working Group of interest at a General or Executive Meeting. You can find a list of leadership at the following link: https://www.designsafe-ci.org/learning-center/nheri-graduate-student-council/explore/leadership/.

Q: Can I network among my peers?

A: Yes. Many opportunities exist through our various events (workshops, meetings, socials) and our online networking platforms.

Q: How do I stay up-to-date on NHERI GSC activities?

A: NHERI GSC communicates events and opportunities through emails, our Google Events Calendar, and on social media. Please, refer to the links below:

Q: Do I need to be in a specific major, discipline, or field?

A: No, as long as your research interest/project is related to natural hazard assessment/recovery/mitigation, you are welcome to join NHERI GSC.

Q: How soon can I become a member of NHERI GSC after I become a student?

A: After enrolling in your university as a Master/Ph.D. student, you are welcome to join NHERI GSC in your first semester.

Q: Can I publish a paper in NHERI GSC?

A: While NHERI GSC does not currently publish student papers, NHERI GSC has conference opportunities for student presentations, which is a great opportunity for networking, meeting peer researchers, and improving your research/dissertation.

Q: Can I be a reviewer in NHERI GSC?

A: When a conference or other event requiring peer review is open, you can request to serve as a reviewer.

Q: What are the main benefits of becoming a NHERI GSC member?

A: In general, you can improve your research/dissertation by attending workshops and presenting at conferences. NHERI GSC is also a great fit for those seeking academic, industry or public service jobs based on the cooperation of faculty, facilities, and firms with NHERI through workshops and conferences funded by NSF.

Q: What are the topics of workshops?

A: Past and upcoming workshops include NSF proposal writing, academic publishing, reconnaissance, and others. Workshops will vary in topic based on the interests of members and availability of potential speakers.