U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), Office of Justice Programs (OJP), National Institute of Justice (NIJ)
03/12/18 11:59 PM ET
Grants of $32,000 to USA and territories IHEs to support social and behavioral sciences doctoral candidates to carry out research related to the criminal justice system. Applicants are advised to verify or create the required registrations well in advance of the deadline date.
This program supports graduate-level research in social and behavioral science fields supports crime reduction, enhancing investigations and prosecutions, protecting police officers and other public safety personnel, combating the opioid epidemic, victimization, and addressing illegal immigration in the United States.
This program furthers the Department’s mission by sponsoring research to provide objective, independent, evidence-based knowledge and tools to meet the challenges of crime and criminal justice, particularly at the state, local, and tribal levels.
The NIJ Graduate Research Fellowship (GRF) Program in Social and Behavioral Sciences is open to doctoral students in all social and behavioral science disciplines. This program provides awards to accredited academic institutions to support graduate research leading to doctoral degrees in areas that are relevant to ensuring public safety, preventing and controlling crime, and ensuring the effective administration of criminal justice in the United States. Of particular interest is research on issues deemed critical by the U.S. Department of Justice:
-Violent crime reduction
-Enhancing investigations and prosecutions
-Protecting police officers and other public safety personnel
-Combating the opioid epidemic
-Addressing illegal immigration.
NIJ invests in doctoral education by supporting universities that sponsor students who demonstrate the potential to successfully complete doctoral degree programs in disciplines relevant to the mission of NIJ, and who are in the final stages of graduate study. Applicants sponsoring doctoral students are eligible to apply only if:
1. The doctoral student’s degree program is in a social and behavioral science discipline; and
2. The student’s proposed dissertation research has demonstrable implications for addressing the challenges of public safety, crime, and/or the fair and impartial administration of criminal justice in the United States.
Academic institutions sponsoring doctoral students whose disciplines are outside the social and behavioral sciences will not be considered under this solicitation. Applicants sponsoring doctoral students whose research is in the areas of science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) should submit applications under NIJ’s “Graduate Research Fellowship Program in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics” (GRF-STEM) solicitation.
Awards are anticipated to be made to successful applicant institutions in the form of a grant to cover a fellowship for the sponsored doctoral student. Award funds should be used to cover all allowable expenses over the project period. Additional funds will not be provided. Final award decisions will be made by the Director of the National Institute of Justice.
Degree-granting educational institutions are encouraged to sponsor outstanding and promising doctoral students whose dissertation research has direct implications for ensuring public safety, preventing and controlling crime, and ensuring the fair and impartial administration of criminal justice in the United States.
Successful applicants must clearly demonstrate how the proposed dissertation research will advance criminal justice practice and/or policy in the United States and addresses issues deemed critical by the U.S. Department of Justice (see above). The proposal must demonstrate strong support from the dissertation chair in the development, review, and submission of the proposal as well as the execution of the proposed work.
Quantitative, qualitative, primary, and secondary data analysis and mixed-methods approach research studies are encouraged. Special consideration will be given to applications that demonstrate that the most rigorous research methods applicable to the proposed research topic will be used to maximize the validity and reliability of the findings.
Goals, Objectives, Deliverables, and Expected Scholarly Products:
The ultimate goal of this solicitation is to increase the pool of researchers in the social and behavioral sciences that are involved in research relevant to problems that affect criminal justice policy and practice in the United States, particularly addressing issues deemed critical by the U.S. Department of Justice (see above). Through the GRF program in the Social and Behavioral Sciences, NIJ supports graduate education by investing in academic institutions that support outstanding and promising doctoral students.
Recipients of awards made under this solicitation will be required to deliver bi-annual and final progress reports, and quarterly financial reports to NIJ by specified deadlines.
The final deliverables for awards under this solicitation are:
-An official signed copy of the doctoral student’s dissertation.
-A list of scholarly products and products developed for broad dissemination to informal audiences resulting from the dissertation research.
Upon submission, the dissertation may be archived at the National Criminal Justice Reference Service (NCJRS). Doctoral students who participate in the GRF program are encouraged but are not required to archive their dissertation data.
Federal Award Administration Information), NIJ expects scholarly products to result from each award under this solicitation, taking the form of one or more published, peer-reviewed, scientific journal articles, and/or (if appropriate) law review journal articles, book chapter(s) or book(s) in the academic press, technological prototypes, patented inventions, or similar scientific products.
The Goals, Objectives, Deliverables, and Expected Scholarly Products are directly related to the performance measures that demonstrate the results of the work completed.
GrantWatch ID#: 161588
NIJ expects to make up to 10 awards.
Awards in the amount of $32,000 will be made under this solicitation.
To allow time for (among other things) any necessary post-award review and financial clearance by OJP of the proposed budget and for any associated responses or other action(s) that may be required of the recipient, applicants should propose an award start date of January 1, 2019.
NIJ will not supplement awards with additional funding, but no-cost extensions may be granted on a case-by-case basis, for project delays.
The applicant under this solicitation will be a degree-granting academic institution in the United States or its territories. To be eligible, the academic institution of record must be fully accredited by one of the regional institutional accreditation agencies recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education. An applicant institution sponsoring a doctoral student is eligible to apply only if the doctoral student satisfies the Doctoral Student Eligibility Requirements. Applications from students who apply as individuals will be removed from consideration.
The academic institution’s institution-wide research office (e.g., office of sponsored research) must complete and submit an application electronically using Grants.gov (see What an Application Should Include). If allowed by the applicant institution, the sponsored doctoral student should be identified as the project’s principal investigator.
The applicant must demonstrate that the sponsored graduate student is enrolled in a qualifying doctoral degree program at the time of application. This should take the form of a document from the Office of the Registrar, or an equivalent university- or college-wide office with the authority to verify status. A transcript may be accepted if it clearly indicates the student’s current full-time enrollment in the qualifying doctoral degree program.
Doctoral Student Eligibility Requirements:
The graduate student must:
1. Be enrolled full-time in a doctoral degree program in a social and behavioral sciences discipline at the eligible academic institution; and
2. Propose a dissertation research topic that is relevant to addressing the challenges of public safety, crime, and/or the fair and impartial administration of criminal justice in the United States (see What an Application Should Include).
There are three requirements for the NIJ Graduate Research Fellowship Program that must be completed before an award can be made. It is not necessary for the student to have completed the three requirements listed below at the time of the application due date:
1. The doctoral student must have completed all required course work.
2. The doctoral student must have passed qualifying comprehensive exams.
3. The doctoral student must be advanced to candidacy by the university.
The doctoral student need not have a dissertation committee at the time the application is submitted, nor is it necessary for the student’s dissertation topic to have been accepted by the committee. However, if the application is selected for award, grant funds will be withheld until the applicant academic institution submits proof that the student’s dissertation topic has been accepted by the committee, and that it is substantively the same as that proposed in the application.
If the doctoral student has an approved topic at the time of application, then it should be noted in a statement of support from the doctoral student’s dissertation committee chair (see Dissertation Committee Chair Requirements). If the doctoral student’s topic has not been approved at the time of application, then the expected dates by which the doctoral student will meet this requirement should be indicated in the project timeline. In addition, the doctoral student’s faculty advisor, department chair, departmental director of graduate studies, or an individual with similar responsibilities must submit a statement of support at the time of application. That statement of support should generally follow the outline provided below for the statement of support from the dissertation committee chair, including all relevant elements.
Even though an award may be made, access to award funds will be withheld until the required documentation is received and approved by the NIJ Program Office. The applicant academic institution and the doctoral student are cautioned not to anticipate the availability of fellowship funds for meeting any necessary or required expenses until the requirements stipulated above have been met in full. Awarded applicants may receive fellowship funding to support only a doctoral student who is actively enrolled in the doctoral degree program and actively carrying out the research for the dissertation identified in the funding application.
Applicants whose doctoral students have completed the three requirements are encouraged to provide documentation of such completion in the application. Applicants whose doctoral students have not completed these requirements by the solicitation application deadline are encouraged to apply but should indicate, in the project timeline, the dates by which the sponsored doctoral student is expected to complete the three requirements under this section. The timeline should also provide details of other project milestones, including but not limited to: the expected timing of the dissertation prospectus defense, the writing of the dissertation, and an expected dissertation defense date. The project timeline also should include time to complete edits to the dissertation and time for submission of the final dissertation to NIJ.
Human subjects protection paperwork including Institutional Review Board (IRB) documentation and a completed privacy certificate are not required at the time of application. If awarded, and if applicable, funds will be withheld until submission and NIJ approval of any required Human Subjects Protection paperwork and/or a completed Privacy Certificate. The Privacy Certificate must be signed by the academic institution’s IRB chair.
Dissertation Committee Chair Requirements:
Although a fellowship may be awarded based on consideration of a letter of support from the faculty advisor, department chair, departmental director of graduate studies, or individual with similar responsibilities, the NIJ Program Office must receive a statement of support from the sponsored doctoral student’s dissertation committee chair prior to authorizing the disbursement of award funds (applicants can expect to see conditions to that effect attached to any such award). If the dissertation committee has accepted the student’s topic at the time of application, that statement of support must be submitted as part of the application. If the topic has not been accepted by the time of application, it must be submitted as soon as is reasonable after the topic has been approved. The approved dissertation topic must remain substantively similar to that initially proposed.
The statement of support should:
-Evaluate the doctoral student’s proposed project.
-Describe the current status of the proposed work.
-Outline any other outstanding work, academic or otherwise, toward completion of the degree.
-Verify the date on which the dissertation research project is expected to be ready to begin.
-Comment on the student’s potential to complete the dissertation successfully.
-Indicate that the doctoral student has the full support of the dissertation committee.
-Describe the dissertation committee chair’s role in monitoring the project and present evidence of both the department’s and the dissertation committee chair’s abilities to mentor doctoral candidates through the completion of their degrees.
-Verify that the dissertation committee chair will review and approve all progress reports prior to their submission to NIJ.
An application that does not include the statement of support from (1) the dissertation committee chair; or (2) the doctoral student’s faculty advisor, department chair, departmental director of graduate studies, or individual with similar responsibilities will be removed from consideration.
What will not be funded:
-Applications primarily to purchase equipment, materials, or supplies. (A budget may include these items if they are necessary to conduct research, development, demonstration, evaluation, or analysis.)
-Applications for dissertation research by doctoral students who are not pursuing research related to public safety, crime, and/or the fair and impartial administration of criminal justice in the United States.
-Applications that are not responsive to this specific solicitation.
NIJ will host a webinar to discuss the solicitation on February 1, 2018, from 1:00 - 2:00 PM. A Q&A session will conclude this webinar.
Applicants must provide a unique entity identifier (currently, a DUNS number). A DUNS number is usually received within 1-2 business days.
All applicants for OJP awards (other than individuals) must maintain current registrations in the SAM database. An applicant must be registered in SAM to successfully register in Grants.gov. SAM registration and renewal can take as long as 10 business days to complete (2 more weeks to acquire an EIN).
An application cannot be successfully submitted in Grants.gov until Grants.gov receives the SAM registration information. Once the SAM registration/renewal is complete, the information transfer from SAM to Grants.gov can take as long as 48 hours. OJP recommends that the applicant register or renew registration with SAM as early as possible.
Applicants must register with Grants.gov prior to submitting an application. All applications are due by 11:59 PM Eastern Time on March 12, 2018.
OJP urges applicants to submit applications at least 72 hours prior to the application due date, to allow time for the applicant to receive validation messages or rejection notifications from Grants.gov, and to correct in a timely fashion any problems that may have caused a rejection notification.
NIJ anticipates that award notifications will be made on or before September 30, 2018.
View this opportunity on Grants.gov:
Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.
Register for the February 1 workshop here:
For technical assistance with submitting an application, contact the Grants.gov Customer Support Hotline:
-Phone: 800-518-4726, 606-545-5035
For assistance with any other requirements of this solicitation, contact the National Criminal Justice Reference Service (NCJRS) Response Center:
-TTY: 301-240-6310 (hearing impaired only)
-Web Chat: https://webcontact.ncjrs.gov/ncjchat/chat.jsp
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