Global Disaster Resilience Centre

Organisation profile

“A global leader in multi-disciplinary research, education and advocacy to improve the resilience of nations and communities.”

What would it be like to live in a world in which government authorities, businesses, communities and individuals work together to create a society that is able to withstand the effects of unforeseen events and threats?

At the Global Disaster Resilience Centre (GDRC) we are working with stakeholders at the global, national and local level to make this happen. This work includes the support of stakeholders towards achieving the outcome and goal of The Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, and its coherence with The Paris Agreement of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Our work recognises that with growing population and more extensive and interconnected built environments, the world’s exposure to hazards is increasing. It is urgent and critical to anticipate, plan for and reduce disaster risk in order to more effectively protect people, communities and countries. When disaster does strike, communities may need to be rebuilt physically, economically and socially.

GDRC is based at the University of Huddersfield’s School of Applied Sciences. Our vision is for a society that has the capacity to resist or change in order to reduce hazard vulnerability, and to continue functioning physically, economically and socially when subjected to a hazard event.


  • Managed 30 research grants worth £10m since 2014 with 17 currently ongoing and new research projects
  • Collaborate with higher education, government, private sector and nongovernment partners in Europe, Asia, Australia/Oceania, Africa, North America and South America
  • Editors of International Journal of Disaster Resilience in the Built Environment, published by Emerald, indexed and abstracted in SCOPUS
  • Winner of the 2019 Newton Prize for Indonesia, which recognises research and innovation projects which create an impact socially and economically
  • Founding Steering Committee Members and UK Advocates of the UNDRR  Making Cities Resilient campaign
  • Member of the UNDRR, European Science and Technology Advisory Group (E-STAG)
  • Founders of the International Conference on Building Resilience Series
  • Expert members - IOC UNESCO ICG/ IOTWMS ICG/IOTWMS WG-1 on Tsunami Risk, Community Awareness & Preparedness Winner of the International Research Project Award for the Collaborative Action towards Disaster Resilience Education Project in 2017
  • Steering Committee Member of the UK’s Frontiers Programme, which is the joint programme of the UK four national Academies: The Royal Academy of Engineering, the Academy of Medical Sciences, the British Academy, and the Royal Society
  • Steering committee member of the UK Alliance for Disaster Research (UKADR)
  • Input towards the DRR Research Agenda and the Horizon Europe Programme
  • Co-chair - Research Committee, Commonwealth Association of Planners (CAP), Young Planners’ Network
  • Invited member of the UNDRR GRAF (Global Risk Assessment Framework Working Group on Risk Communication)
  • Invited to be a member of the UNDRR Expert Review Group (ERG) for the Development of a new Global Disaster Risk Reduction Research Agenda towards 2030 and beyond

Our objectives:

  • Carry out internationally outstanding, original, significant, rigorous, innovative and
  • potentially agenda setting research
  • Secure significant, high profile and prestigious grants
  • Produce quality publications that target a range of stakeholders
  • Influence decisions within political, economic, and social systems and institutions
  • Inform professional practice, raise awareness and develop skills to tackle disasters
  • Establish mechanisms for the transference of knowledge to the market, government and
  • professionals
  • Attract high calibre students to conduct world class research in key emerging areas

Our work:

  • Tackles disaster risk factors and scenarios, including emerging disaster risks
  • Addresses regional, national and local application
  • Supports action by local communities and authorities
  • Supports the interface between policy and science for decision-making

GDRC expertise

The centre’s expertise includes (but is not limited to):

  • Physical, social and economic resilience
  • Disaster resilient cities and infrastructure
  • Urban development and disaster risk
  • Disaster risk governance
  • Reconstruction and sustainable development
  • Empowerment of women and vulnerable groups
  • Multi-hazard early warning
  • Displacement
  • Business continuity management
  • Investment for disaster risk reduction
  • Integrating risk reduction and climate change adaptation
  • Conflict sensitive reconstruction
  • Climate change adaptation
  • Risk communication
  • Biological hazards
  • Systemic risks

For further information about our team, its recent and current research, and recent outputs, activities and events, please view our 2021 report  which is available via this link

For further information on activities at Global Disaster Resilience Centre (GDRC) including PhD opportunities with the Centre, please contact:

Professor Dilanthi Amaratunga


Professor Richard Haigh

UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. Our work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 1 - No Poverty
  • SDG 2 - Zero Hunger
  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 6 - Clean Water and Sanitation
  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 14 - Life Below Water
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions
  • SDG 17 - Partnerships for the Goals


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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