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Disaster Science Responder Research Program

NIOSH announces the Disaster Science Responder Research Program (DSRR) to develop an approach that will allow for timely and scalable responder-based research that can be implemented before, during, and after a disaster.

What started out as the Disaster Science Research Initiative (DSRI), is now the Disaster Science Responder Research (DSRR) Program located in NIOSH's Emergency Preparedness and Response Office. The goal of the DSRR is to implement a framework that allows for occupational safety and health research to be started quickly when a disaster or emergency occurs, without interfering with the response itself. The types of research conducted may include: the impact of a novel exposure, unexpected or severe health effects, the effectiveness of a proposed intervention, mental health/resilience issues, and disease outcomes with latency periods. By defining "research" in its broadest sense the DSRR Program includes etiologic, intervention, applied, comparative effectiveness research, worker-based participatory research, meta-analyses, and survey research, with the goal of providing better understanding of the situations and risks responders face. We believe the results of this research will lead to reduced health risks for responders, and to improvements in the effectiveness of emergency responses.

As the federal agency charged by Congress to conduct worker safety and health research, NIOSH has been a leader in the field of disaster science research especially with regard to finding new ways to ensure responder safety and health. In partnership with other Federal and state agencies, as well as private sector entities, NIOSH has made responder safety and health research an important part of its portfolio.

Conducting research on responder safety and health issues during disasters and as part of emergency responses presents unique challenges such as:

Quickly deciding whether or not a research study is needed;
Ensuring that the study design does not interfere with the actual response activities; and
Ensuring that the research provides a benefit for the responders in current or future events.

Visit the Disaster Science Responder Research Program here: http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/disasterscience/