R. W. “Bill” Hamilton Research Grant for Decompression Safety

The DAN/R. W. “Bill” Hamilton Research Grant is a 12-month, US$10,000 research grant established by Divers Alert Network in memory of R. W. “Bill” Hamilton, Ph.D. Dr. Hamilton conducted research in diving physiology and the treatment of injured divers and authored numerous papers, reports and workshop proceedings. Dr. Hamilton passed in 2011 at the age of 81.

The US$10,000 award will support new or continuing research in one or more of the following areas: development of decompression procedures; development of new decompression models; probability of risk or probabilistic modeling; multi-gas dive simulation; dive computer procedures, protocol and testing; and/or treatment of incomplete decompression and resulting incidents.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Applicants may be in any stage of their professional education or career. There is no specific requirement for the applicant to be enrolled in a degree-granting program, but a successful applicant will have documented expertise and experience in research in one or more of the areas specified above.
  • Projects must directly address this call for proposals.
  • Projects should demonstrate sound theoretical grounding and relevance to policy or practice.
  • Projects should employ rigorous methods that are appropriate for the proposal’s goals.
  • Research plans must demonstrate feasibility in budgeting and timeline.
  • The applicant must have proper training for the proposed research and relevant prior publications.
  • Grants are awarded to a researcher, not to an institution.
  • Funds primarily support research activities and cannot cover overhead costs.
  • Successful applicants must be prepared to present their work upon invitation at relevant scientific conferences or public lectures.

Proposal Submission

Proposals must be submitted via email as a single PDF file.

Two letters of support may be sent directly to DAN Research. The application comprises a short personal statement of motivation (letter of inquiry) and a proposal of the research to be undertaken. Please follow the instructions in the DAN Research Grant Application Guidelines. Please note that as a nonprofit organization, the DAN Foundation cannot cover indirect costs.

Proposal Review

Proposals will enter a peer-review process coordinated by the DAN Research Grant Committee for scientific merit, project feasibility and appropriateness for DAN funding. Applicants may be contacted during the 4- to 6-week review process to provide supplemental information.

Award Notification

Award notification will be emailed to the applicant within 6-8 weeks of proposal deadline. Approved awards are made available shortly after notification. The awards will be available upon resolution of all administrative issues (see Permissions). The award will be announced publicly at the UHMS Annual Scientific Meeting.


IRB approval of human subject studies, collecting permits, animal care and use approval and other procedures must follow institutional policy and regulations and must be obtained before awarded funds can be collected. If a DAN employee is named as an investigator/collaborator in the study, the proposal must seek (additional) approval from the DAN IRB. For more details download the DAN Grant General Conditions.

Progress reports and publications:

  1. DAN Research will periodically ask for progress reports; dates for progress updates and final reports will be specified once grant has been awarded.
  2. A final report is required for the project; it must be submitted no later than one year from the date on which funding is received.
  3. All publications, including print and oral presentation of findings, resulting from funding supported by DAN must include the following acknowledgement: “Financial support of Divers Alert Network is acknowledged.”

Submit one PDF document to by March 15, 2023.


Mechanics of Gas Bubble Formation and Dissolution in Spinal Cord Tissue

Jens-Christian Meiners
2019 DAN/R. W. “Bill” Hamilton Grant Recipient
University of Michigan

The 2019 DAN/R. W. “Bill” Hamilton Grant was awarded to Jens-Christian Meiners, Ph.D., of the University of Michigan. His project focuses on exploring spinal cord decompression sickness (SC-DCS) and the dynamics of gas bubble formation. This study will involve compressing and rapidly decompressing spinal cord tissue to induce bubble formation inside magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanners to identify any tissue damage that may arise.

Read more about the project here.

Hypoxia Signatures in Closed Circuit Rebreather Divers

Daniel Popa
2018 DAN/R. W. “Bill” Hamilton Grant Recipient
University of California San Diego Medical Center/Universidad Marista de Merida

The 2018 DAN/R. W. “Bill” Hamilton Grant was awarded to Daniel Popa, M.D., Ph.D., an emergency medicine physician at the University of California San Diego Medical Center and an adjunct professor of clinical epidemiology and research methods at the Universidad Marista de Merida. His study focused on the incidence of hypoxia in rebreather divers. Hypoxia, or insufficient oxygen to sustain bodily functions, is a hazard that closed-circuit rebreathers (CCRs) can experience when failures occur with their equipment.

Read more about the project here.

Improving Decompression Science: Redefining Decompression Modeling

Virginie Papadopoulou, Ph.D.
2017 DAN/R. W. “Bill” Hamilton Grant Recipient
University of North Carolina

Dr. Papadopoulou has a background in physics and bioengineering. She is an assistant professor in the Dayton Lab at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where her primary research addresses ultrasound imaging and cancer therapy using special formulations of microbubble contrast agents. Since receiving the Hamilton grant to support her research on improving decompression science by redefining decompression modeling to limit decompression stress, Dr. Papadopoulou has become a valued collaborator for DAN. She has advanced this initial grant into a multiyear research project, which is now also funded by the Office of Naval Research (ONR).

Read more about our collaborative projects with Dr. Papadopoulou:

Occupational Saturation Divers on the Norwegian Continental Shelf

Ingrid Eftedal, Ph.D.
2016 DAN/R. W. “Bill” Hamilton Grant Recipient
Norwegian University of Science and Technology

Dr. Eftedal is an experienced dive medicine researcher with a background in biophysics and molecular biology. She is currently the principal investigator for a project titled Fitness to dive – a translational approach to physiological challenges in the hyperbaric working environment. The aim of Dr. Eftedal’s current research is to achieve an improved understanding of the immune system’s role in reactions and acclimatization to diving. Dr. Eftedal used the Hamilton grant to support a study on occupational saturation divers on the Norwegian continental shelf. The results of her study will provide information that may be applied to prepare divers and protect them from injury, which closely aligns with DAN’s mission to advance diving science and promote dive safety.