Frequently Asked Questions

Is this a one-time program?

No, the program has funding for 5 years.  We have funding for three fellows from developing countries on the list of GFDRR  priority countries for the first two classes.  We hope to secure additional funding to make the program self-sustaining.

Is there a set age for candidates?

No. The selection committee is expecting a range of ages to apply (there is no set lower or upper limit).  If you consider yourself young or mid-career, this program may be right for you. The selection committee will look for a range of ages in the candidates – the committee will keep your application active if you are not selected in the first year.  The committee is looking for enthusiastic, committed folks who want to make a difference.

What does it mean to have employer support?  How can this be demonstrated?

Basically the committee wants to know if your employer supports your participation. They also want to know if an employer might contribute some financial support, perhaps for travel or support related to the project.  Financial support is not a requirement and candidates will not be penalized if such support is not available. A letter from your current employer can indicate support for your participation.

What should the letters of reference address?

Letters of reference should address the candidate’s
Commitment to earthquake risk mitigation (track record, accomplishments, fields of interest)
Character (respected, willingness to assume responsibilities, ethical, positive attitude, concern for others, etc.)
Abilities (experience, credentials, preparation, personality, desire to work with groups of people, communications skills)

How much time am I expected to put in the group and/or individual project?

The selection committee realizes that candidates have full-time jobs—the exact time needed for the project(s) will be worked out by the group in developing the project.

The program recognizes the need to balance the reality of the modern work place and family demands, with the fact that the Housner program requires a serious commitment that will require participants to sacrifice. The Housner effort will be a challenge, one that not everyone will be willing to meet, but those who do will gain significant skills and feel tremendous satisfaction.

Do I need to be a member of EERI to apply?

The fellows program is intended for EERI members.  All categories of membership are accepted.  International applicants should consider joining as an e-affiliate member (USD 25).  Applicants in developed countries, including the U.S., New Zealand, Japan, Canada, can join as young professionals or regular members, depending on how far along they are in their careers.  More information on the various membership categories is available here.

I work in a developed country, but I am from a developing country. Am I eligible for the developing country slots?

The slots that are being supported by the GFDRR of the World Bank are meant for people who are involved in seismic risk reduction in their home countries. These countries must be on the list of  priority GFDRR countries: click here for list.

If you are temporarily working in a developed country but you plan on returning soon to your country of origin or another developing country, you will be considered for one of these slots. You should indicate this in the answer to one of the essay questions.

Do I need to indicate that I want to be considered for one of the three slots for EERI GRDRR-Housner Fellows?

No, the selection committee will realize from your application that you are from one of the GFDRR priority countries (list available here).

I am a student.  Am I eligible to apply?

Basically the program is intended for early to mid-career professionals. There might be some cases where a person has substantial work experience and has then gone back to school, and in that case he/she would be welcome to apply, while still a student.

Who selects the mentor(s)?

The selection committee will make the final decision on mentors, but will consider recommendations or requests. The committee will be looking for mentors with demonstrated leadership skills of the type we are trying to develop, and experience in pursuing earthquake safety. It is unlikely that the mentor would be a superior or manager of the same organization as the applicant for the program, but there could be exceptions.  You may indicate your requests in your application, but it is not mandatory.

I am self-employed so I don’t have an employer who can write a letter of recommendation.  What should I do?

If you are self-employed, you can ask a former employer or a client to write a letter.

Can I apply next year if I am not selected this year? Will it harm my chances to apply more than once?

The Selection Committee expects that there will be candidates who are not selected in one year but who would be very appropriate candidates in a subsequent year. Applicants will not be penalized for applying in more than one year.

If I still have questions?

Please feel free to contact Marjorie Greene of the EERI staff at if you still have questions, after reading through these answers.