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Have a research idea? Submit it to FPRF by Jan 31!

Have you ever wondered how the Fire Protection Research Foundation (FPRF or Foundation), the research affiliate of NFPA, becomes aware of the critical issues and concerns of the fire protection community?  For example, why guidance for early suppression, fast response (ESFR) sprinklers in the presence of obstructions were developed? Or why we conducted demonstrative testing to establish recommended response procedures for electric vehicle (EV) fires?

Every year, the Foundation solicits research needs and ideas from YOU and others who share an interest in protecting people and property from fire and related hazards. The FPRF prides itself on listening to needs identified by stakeholders and working to provide answers through stand-alone projects or multi-phase research programs.

In 2006, NFPA developed and generously supported a new initiative, known as the NFPA Research Fund in collaboration with the FPRF. This Fund exists to stimulate and facilitate research that supports the work of NFPA Technical Committees. The success of this initiative has helped several NFPA Technical Committees to address their information needs through small research projects with assistance from the FPRF.

The Foundation is currently in the process of gathering ideas for small projects that will tap into these available funding resources. Does anything come to mind? General project ideas include:

  • gathering data to support the addition of new technology into a standard,
  • gathering and analyzing data to address two opposing views on an issue,
  • data collection around emerging technical issues (e.g. alternative energy)
  • ·other relevant research needs that are aligned with the NFPA and FPRF missions

A list of past projects can be found on the NFPA Research Fund website.

To submit a proposed research project, please:

  • Formulate your research idea using this Project Idea Form” and submit it via our online project idea submission portal. Note, you will need to sign into your NFPA account or create a free profile to access this portal.
  • Find the project idea form and other information about the Research Fund at www.nfpa.org/nfparesearchfund. We encourage you to work with your staff liaison to help scope the problem and project outline.
  • Follow the criteria for selection to be consistent with the Foundation operating principles and vetting criteria and the NFPA and Foundation missions.
  • Provide information on the anticipated cost/benefit, whether there are other obvious funders, the sense of urgency, and the potential for the project to be a starting point for a larger constituency funded effort.

Bear in mind, no project idea is too small (literature reviews, code comparisons, loss summaries) or too large (full scale fire testing). We take on vast and limited projects - and anything in between! If you are not sure what research needs to be done, but you feel something must be done, maybe a workshop (research planning meeting) can help get the ball rolling?

The submission deadline (for consideration of 2022 projects) has been extended to January 31, 2022. If you have questions or have an idea and you are not sure where to begin, please feel free to contact us.  Or if you have any general research or information needs, please do not hesitate to reach out. Thank you in advance for your participation in this initiative and for your interest in fire and life safety research.

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Victoria Hutchison
Research Project Manager, passionate about the advancement of fire protection, life safety and emerging technologies through the development of research at FPRF.

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