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Grants to USA Agencies, IHEs, Nonprofits, and For-Profits for Research to Improve Forensic Laboratory Protocols

Research and Evaluation for the Testing and Interpretation of Physical Evidence in Publicly Funded Forensic Laboratories


GrantWatch ID#

Funding Source
U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), Office of Justice Programs (OJP), National Institute of Justice (NIJ)
CFDA Number: 16.560
Funding or PIN Number: O-NIJ-2023-171560
Array ( [0] => American Samoa (USA); [1] => Guam (USA); [2] => Puerto Rico (USA); [3] => Virgin Islands (USA); [4] => Northern Mariana Islands (USA); )

Geographic Focus
USA Territories: American Samoa (USA);   Guam (USA);   Puerto Rico (USA);   Virgin Islands (USA);   Northern Mariana Islands (USA);

Important Dates
Deadline: 04/26/23 11:59 PM ET - deadline; 05/03/23 8:59 PM ET - JustGrants deadline. Save

Grant Description
Grants to USA and territories government agencies, IHEs, nonprofit and for-profit organizations, and tribes for research projects to improve laboratory policies and protocols. Applicants must complete required registrations prior to applying. Funding is intended for studies to produce practical knowledge that has the potential to improve the examination and interpretation of physical evidence in forensic science laboratories. Proposals are expected to identify the forensic science discipline(s) intended to benefit from the project.

With this solicitation, NIJ seeks proposals for rigorous research and evaluation projects that will:

  1. Identify and inform the forensic community of best practices through the evaluation of existing laboratory protocols.
  2. Have a direct and immediate impact on laboratory efficiency and assist in making laboratory policy decisions.

The intent of this program is to direct the findings of the research and evaluation toward the identification of the most efficient, accurate, reliable, and cost-effective methods for the identification, analysis, and interpretation of physical evidence for criminal justice purposes. Projects should address the challenges and needs of the forensic science community, including but not limited to, the operational needs discussed at the 2021 and 2022 TWG meetings, which may be found on

Proposals are expected to identify the forensic science discipline(s) intended to benefit from the project. Some of the forensic science disciplines are listed below: 

  • DNA and forensic biology
  • Forensic crime scene analysis
  • Forensic anthropology and forensic odontology
  • Bloodstain pattern analysis
  • Seized drugs
  • Fire debris analysis and arson scene investigations
  • Firearms and toolmark identification
  • Latent print
  • Shoeprint/tire tread examination
  • Questioned documents
  • Trace evidence
  • Forensic toxicology
  • Medicolegal death investigations, including forensic pathology
  • Digital/multimedia evidence
  • Wildlife forensics

For Goals, Objectives, and Deliverables see:


  • City or township governments
  • County governments
  • For profit organizations other than small businesses
  • Native American tribal governments (Federally recognized)
  • Native American tribal organizations (other than Federally recognized tribal governments)
  • Nonprofits having a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS, other than institutions of higher education
  • Nonprofits that do not have a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS, other than institutions of higher education
  • Private institutions of higher education
  • Public and State controlled institutions of higher education
  • Unrestricted (i.e., open to any type of entity below), subject to any clarification in the text field entitled "Additional Information on Eligibility"
  • Others (see text field entitled "Additional Eligibility Criteria" for clarification)
  • Small businesses
  • Special district governments
  • State governments

Additional Eligibility Criteria
City or township governments, County governments, For profit organizations other than small businesses, Independent school districts, Individuals, Native American tribal governments (Federally recognized), Native American tribal organizations (other than Federally recognized tribal governments), Nonprofits having a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS, other than institutions of higher education, Nonprofits that do not have a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS, other than institutions of higher education, Private institutions of higher education, Public and State controlled institutions of higher education, Public housing authorities/Indian housing authorities, Small businesses, Special district governments, State governments, Unrestricted (open to any type of entity above), subject to any clarification in text field entitled as Additional Information on Eligibility

For purposes of this solicitation, the term “State” means any State of the United States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Virginia Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.

Federal agencies are eligible to apply. (Any award made to a federal agency will be made as an inter-agency reimbursable agreement.)

Applicants must be, or be partnered with, publicly funded forensic science laboratories that are currently accredited by an independent accrediting or certifying forensic science organization. Publicly funded forensic science laboratories include state, regional, county, municipal, and tribal agencies.

All recipients and subrecipients (including any for-profit organization) must forgo any profit or management fee.

NIJ will consider applications under which two or more entities would carry out the federal award; however, only one entity may be the applicant. Any others must be proposed as subrecipients (subgrantees).

Foreign governments, foreign organizations, and foreign colleges and universities are not eligible to apply.

What will not be funded:
- Applications that are not responsive to the purposes of this specific solicitation. This includes: Proposals that do not contain a research component, Proposals that do not propose assessing current lab processes, evaluating an emerging method or instrument, or otherwise do not respond to the specific goals of this solicitation, Proposals that do not clearly address criminal justice concerns in the United States.
- Applications primarily to purchase equipment, materials, or supplies, or to contract or purchase training, validation, or other services that will complete the majority of the proposed research project. (A budget may include these items if they are necessary to conduct research, development, demonstration, evaluation, or analysis.) Proposals that include equipment purchases should include a discussion of how federally funded equipment is proposed to be used after the funded work has been completed and/ or the project period has ended. Note that OJP may issue specific equipment disposition instructions in appropriate circumstances.
- Work that will be funded under another specific solicitation
- Proposals with the sole purpose of processing or analyzing casework samples.

Pre-Application Information
The SF-424 and the SF-LLL must be submitted in by 11:59 p.m. eastern time on April 26, 2023.

The full application must be submitted in JustGrants by 8:59 p.m. eastern time on May 03, 2023.

Applications must be submitted to DOJ electronically through a two-step process via and JustGrants.

Step 1: The applicant must submit by the deadline the required Application for Federal Assistance standard form (SF-424) and a Disclosure of Lobbying Activities (SF-LLL) form when they register in at Submit the SF-424 and SF-LLL as early as possible, but no later than 48 hours before the deadline.

Step 2: The applicant must submit the full application, including attachments, in JustGrants at by the JustGrants application deadline.

Before submitting an application, all applicants must register with the System for Award
Management (SAM). You must renew and validate your registration every 12 months. If you do not renew your SAM registration, it will expire. An expired registration can delay or prevent application submission in and JustGrants. Registration and renewal can take up to 10 business days to complete.

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For a list of relevant application documents, go to the Package tab (press Preview) on the link above.

Additional Funding Information

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Number of Grants

Estimated Size of Grant
The average FY 2022 NIJ grant award amount under this solicitation was approximately $330,000; however, NIJ grant awards typically range from $100,000 to $1 million.

Term of Contract
Successful applicants will be expected to complete the work proposed within a five-year period of performance.

Contact Information
For technical assistance contact the Customer Support Hotline at 800-518-4726 or 606-545-5035 or email

For technical assistance with submitting the full application in DOJ’s Justice Grants System (JustGrants), contact the JustGrants Service Desk at or at 833-872-5175.

For assistance with any other requirements of this solicitation, contact the Response Center by telephone at 800–851–3420 or TTY: 301–240–6310 (hearing impaired only) or email

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