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FY 2018 Comprehensive School Safety Initiative

Grants to USA Nonprofits, For-Profits, IHEs, Agencies,
and Individuals for Research on School Violence

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U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), Office of Justice Programs (OJP), National Institute of Justice (NIJ)

Deadline Date:

05/07/18 11:59 PM ET


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Grants to USA and territories nonprofits, for-profits, government agencies, IHEs, and certain qualified individuals for research addressing violence and safety in the nation’s schools. Applicants are advised to create or verify the required registrations well in advance of the proposal deadline.


The Comprehensive School Safety Initiative (CSSI) funds rigorous research to produce practical knowledge that can improve the safety of students and schools. CSSI is carried out through partnerships between researchers, educators, and other stakeholders; including law enforcement, behavioral and mental health professionals, courts, and other justice system professionals. Projects funded under the CSSI are designed to improve school safety knowledge that can be applied to schools and school districts across the nation, for years to come. This solicitation includes five funding categories with different expectations and requirements to accomplish the purposes of the CSSI.

Program-Specific Information:

NIJ has administered the CSSI since 2014. The initiative was a response to disturbing high- profile incidents of violence in the nation’s schools. Schools are mostly safe places — but when violence occurs in a school, it strikes a blow against a fundamental institution within the nation’s communities. Educators and public safety officials grapple with the challenge of creating and maintaining a safe and healthy learning environment for students. CSSI is an investment in building sound and objective knowledge to improve the safety of schools, students, and communities across the nation.

CSSI is focused on K-12 public schools (including public charter schools). The initiative is concerned with all forms of crime and violence that occur on school property during or outside of school hours, on the way to-and-from school or school-sponsored events, on school-sponsored modes of transport, or during school-sponsored events.

Framing the Problems that CSSI Aims to Address:

CSSI funding may support and address a wide range of school safety activities. Within the program parameters and in furtherance of the goals and objectives detailed in this solicitation, applicants have considerable discretion in determining the kinds of school safety initiatives they propose to address. Applicants are strongly advised to review previously funded projects. Although proposals to fund similar studies as those funded in FYs 14-17 will be considered for CSSI funding in FY18, NIJ will give priority in award decisions to those studies and projects that advance school safety research in new and novel ways.

Multiple authoritative sources provide recommendations and guidance for those seeking to improve school safety. For example, the National Academy of Sciences published Preventing Bullying Through Science, Policy, and Practice; the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Community-Oriented Policing Services (COPS) partnered with the U.S. Department of Education to develop Safe School-Based Enforcement through Collaboration, Understanding, and Respect (SECURe) Rubrics; six relevant professional associations released A Framework for Safe and Successful Schools; and in 2013, a collection of federal agencies comprised of the U.S. Departments of Education, Justice, Health and Human Services, and Homeland Security released a Guide for Developing High-Quality School Emergency Operations Plans.6 NIJ, through its National Law Enforcement Corrections Technology Center system, has produced a five-volume set titled Sharing Ideas & Resources to Keep Our Nation’s Schools Safe, which features innovative ideas and practices from the field. Applicants are encouraged to consider these resources and others when developing their projects. Applicants should also seek out and consider any available research and evaluation findings relevant to proposed projects.

Every award made under CSSI must include a carefully developed research strategy with clear potential for producing findings that have practical benefits for schools, students, and communities at large. Research strategies should include clearly stated research questions, the most rigorous appropriate research design to answer those questions, a minimally intrusive data collection strategy, provisions for protecting students from unintended harm during the research process, and a plan for sharing findings with practitioners and policymakers who can most benefit from them. NIJ is open to supporting a wide range of appropriate and rigorous research designs to address and understand the full range of school and student safety issues and activities.

With few exceptions, most studies on school safety require educators and other stakeholders within the schools and in the community to work closely with researchers to ask the right questions, prioritize challenges, identify solutions, collect data, and make sense of the findings. No single profession or discipline holds all of the answers to the complex challenges of creating and maintaining safe learning environments for children — therefore applicants should consider multidisciplinary approaches. NIJ expects applications for CSSI to prominently feature close collaboration and partnerships involving schools, researchers, and others, as necessary (e.g., justice professionals, parents, and students) to implement and study the proposed issues and activities related to school and student safety.

As noted on the title page, NIJ strongly recommends that research organizations be designated as the applicant (the “prime”) for CSSI awards, making subawards (“subgrants”) to participating stakeholders, as appropriate for the proposed project. This arrangement is preferred in order to produce the highest quality research while reducing administrative burdens to SEAs, LEAs, and other stakeholders. Research organizations may be institutions of higher education, nonprofit or for-profit organizations, or public entities that have experience in conducting applied research and evaluation.

An applicant may propose to work with any combination of elementary, middle, or high schools, or may elect to focus solely on a single type of school or range of grades. An applicant should consider carefully the schools and grades that it will focus on, based on the research questions it proposes to address. NIJ is particularly interested in research involving charter schools and alternative schools. Alternative schools and/or alternative programs are designed to address the needs of students that typically cannot be met in a regular school. The students who attend alternative schools and programs are typically at risk of educational failure (as indicated by poor grades, truancy, disruptive behavior, pregnancy, or other factors associated with temporary or permanent withdrawal from school).8 Care should be taken to assure that proposed programmatic and research activities are developmentally appropriate for the impacted student population. Applicants are also encouraged to consider appropriate ways to involve students and parents in safety planning and activities.

Applicants should consider interventions that include coordination with diverse partners, including local law enforcement, behavioral and mental health professionals, courts, criminal and juvenile justice professionals, as well as parents and youth. Proposed interventions should take into account recent research findings related to disciplinary policies and practices that may be overly harsh or exclusionary.

Areas of Interest for School Safety Research:

NIJ is particularly interested in applications that address: School Shootings

Schools and communities have developed a number of programs, practices, and policies for the purpose of preventing and responding to incidents of lethal violence in school settings. For example, most schools have developed emergency operations plans to prepare for what to do in the case of an active shooter event. Also, some schools have implemented threat assessment protocols, crisis response teams, and anonymous tip lines to facilitate early detection and prevention of potentially violent situations. NIJ is interested in supporting projects likely to provide credible and objective knowledge that schools may use to more effectively prevent and respond to school shootings and other incidents involving mass violence.

School Resource Officers:

NIJ continues to be interested in research to inform the work of school resource officers, other law enforcement, and security officers (hereafter referred to as SROs) who work within/coordinate with schools. The existing body of research on SRO programs is limited, both by the number of studies and by the rigor of the studies that have been conducted. Available research draws conflicting conclusions about whether SRO programs reduce school violence. Current CSSI studies examine SRO selection and training, SROs involvement in school discipline, the impact of SROs on student and teacher perceptions of school climate and safety as well as examinations of the costs associated with implementing SRO programs. NIJ seeks additional research on unexamined topics related to SROs.

School Discipline and School Coordination with the Criminal Justice System:

Developing a positive school climate and refining school discipline policies and practices are critical steps to improving student safety and success. The growing body of research on school discipline should inform locally developed approaches to identifying factors that may lead to poor school climate. NIJ encourages applicants to develop and evaluate programs and practices that involve stakeholders — school districts, courts, law enforcement (including police, sheriff’s departments, and district attorneys’ offices), public defenders, family and child welfare system personnel, and communities (e.g., parents, students, local leaders) — working together to address issues related to school safety and violence. Relatedly, NIJ encourages applicants to develop school-based policies and practices that: (1) hold students accountable for misbehavior using graduated sanctions appropriate to the behavior; (2) minimize the use of forms of discipline that remove or exclude a student from his or her educational setting and school-based arrests; and (3) provide opportunities for students to learn from their mistakes. NIJ is also interested in expanding the body of knowledge concerning observed disparities in school discipline based on demographics. More rigorous research is needed to identify the sources of those disparities (e.g., prior and current student behavior, implicit bias on the part of those administering the discipline, and others).

Disinvestment in Ineffective School Safety Programs:

Withdrawing resources or ceasing the use of a particular program, policy, or practice has been termed “disinvestment” and has been recommended in instances where there is little perceived benefit relative to the costs expended in implementing a program. In education, there is a strong push to promote the use of evidence-based programs/policies/practices (EBPs) and many schools use EBPs to address school safety issues. However, years of evaluation research have demonstrated that not all programs/policies/practices are effective. They may be generally ineffective or ineffective in certain conditions and/or with specific populations. Relatedly, programs may be ineffective at reaching desired outcomes, but effective at accomplishing other desirable, yet unintended outcomes. However, these ineffective programs/policies/practices are often used in schools at the same time as EBPs.

NIJ is interested in the examination of several questions related to disinvestment in ineffective programs/policies/practices related to the safety of schools and students. Disinvestment research is a new area of investigation for the field. Since this area of research is in its burgeoning stages, NIJ envisions that this research would be exploratory and would possibly take a case study approach. Examples of disinvestment-related questions that may be examined include:

-What barriers to success exist when trying to implement evidence-based programs/practices in school safety?
-As a school incorporates EBPs to improve school safety, how does the use of programs and practices with no demonstrated effects, harmful effects, or limited benefits impact the use and/or outcomes of EBPs?
-What challenges occur when school systems try to disinvest in particular programs/practices/policies?

Bullying and Cyberbullying Intervention and Prevention:

Bullying continues to be a serious problem in America’s schools. In 2015, about 21 percent of students, ages 12-18 reported being bullied at school during the previous academic school year. In the past few decades, research has improved the fields’ understanding of what bullying behavior is, how to measure it, and the types of school climates that foster conditions that are ripe for bullying. Technology and social media now allow for a type of digitally aggressive behavior, cyberbullying. NIJ would like to continue examinations of bullying and cyberbullying with a focus on multicomponent, school-wide programs aimed at reducing bullying and improving school safety. NIJ is particularly interested in studying the implementation of these prevention programs and learning lessons from successfully implemented prevention and intervention programs. Applicants are encouraged to refer to the National Academy of Sciences’ Preventing Bullying Through Science, Policy, and Practice to propose research that will advance the field of bullying prevention and intervention research.

School Safety in Non-Classroom Settings:

In a school, there are non-classroom settings where students are at increased risk for victimization. Areas such as cafeterias, hallways, playgrounds, bathrooms, bus loading zones, buses, parking lots, assemblies, sporting events, dances, and others are locations where school administrators have reported increased incidents of school violence and bullying. These are also areas where students may outnumber school staff, and instruction is not readily available as a behavioral management tool. NIJ is interested in empirical research on how active supervision techniques in non-classroom school settings and student management techniques affect levels of school violence. This would include walking to and from school, as well as the bus ride to and from school.

Implementation and Translation of School Safety Research:

The program evaluation literature has highlighted the importance of high-quality program implementation. Techniques have been developed that can support the design and testing of programs and the improvement of school safety programs. However, research occurs in the context of local schools, and school districts, with different policies and procedures. That local context has implications for successful implementation. More research is needed to answer questions such as: does replication of rigorously implemented programs yield similar results as previous studies; what are the most effective components in the design of a school safety intervention; how can we test variations in implementation of school safety programs; and can altering the intensity of a program affect school safety outcomes? NIJ is soliciting research to support innovative approaches to identifying, understanding, and overcoming barriers to the adoption, replication, adaptation, integration, scale-up, and sustainability of evidence-based interventions, practices, policies, and guidelines in school safety research. Relevant projects should contribute to the knowledge base about “how” interventions are transported to real-world practice settings.

CSSI Funding Categories:

NIJ is soliciting applications for CSSI funding in five categories. The first three categories are focused on developing knowledge about what works to make schools safe, using a tiered evidence approach. The tiered evidence framework is based on a continuum of evidence that builds from early stage evaluations of innovative programs to highly rigorous evaluations of programs that are ready to scale-up. Increasing amounts of funding are awarded to programs of research according to their level of evidence effectiveness. In recent years, multiple federal grant making agencies (e.g., Department of Education, Department of Health and Human Services, and Department of Labor) have used tiered evidence frameworks to build increasingly rigorous evidence on the effectiveness of youth programs.

The three categories focused on developing knowledge through a tiered evidence approach are:
-Category 1: Developing Novel and Innovative School Safety Programs, Practices, and Strategies.
-Category 2: Demonstration, Evaluation, and Validation Tests for School Safety.
-Category 3: Expanding the Use of Effective Interventions Through Scaling-Up. This solicitation will also include funding categories to support short-term research on causes and consequences of school safety issues, as well as the dissemination of research from CSSI.
-Category 4: Research on School Safety.
-Category 5: Translation and Dissemination of Comprehensive School Safety Initiative Findings.

Applicants for Categories 1-3 should:

-Dedicate up to 1/3 (one-third) of funding directly to research partners to develop and carry out a rigorous program of evaluation. No less than 2/3 (two-thirds) of funding should go towards the personnel, programs, equipment, materials, training, and other activities intended to advance school and student safety that will be subject to evaluation. A budget should be prepared for the full period of performance that clearly reflects the 1/3 and 2/3 split. See below in What an Application Should Include for more details on expectations and requirements.

-Incorporate findings from any local school climate and safety assessments and, as appropriate, plan to update or align activities with existing frameworks for promoting safe school climates and existing school emergency operations plans.

-Consider the availability and quality of local administrative data as it relates to school climate and school safety. An applicant may propose and evaluate improvements to relevant administrative data collection practices as part of the project design.

-Applicants are required to describe the conceptual framework and propose a logic model that describes the intended operation of the program. The logic model should clearly articulate and operationalize the inputs, activities, outputs, and outcomes of the intervention program. Applicants will also be asked to articulate testable hypotheses that are firmly situated in the research literature.

-Submit, along with the application, an administrative agreement or, at a minimum, a letter of support from all project partners. At a minimum, this is to include LEAs or SEAs and research partners, but it may also include behavioral and mental health service providers, law enforcement, courts, municipal government partners, and others, as appropriate. If an award is made, recipients should submit a fully executed, written agreement between the relevant LEAs or SEAs and the research partner. This agreement should provide details on the roles and responsibilities of each party and on what will be done to ensure that the independence and objectivity of the research is maintained.

Applicants to this funding opportunity should not propose projects for which the primary purpose is to demonstrate and evaluate existing technologies, or develop, demonstrate, and evaluate school safety related technologies.

Category 1: Developing Novel and Innovative School Safety Programs, Practices, and Strategies (Competition ID: NIJ-2018-14141)

This category of the solicitation is aimed at providing LEAs, SEAs, and school research scholars with an opportunity to develop new, innovative, and evidence-based programs, practices, or strategies that have not yet undergone evaluation. NIJ has a strong interest in developing new programs that have the potential to improve school safety and reduce the potential harms associated with addressing school safety issues.

Applicants are encouraged to propose early-stage or exploratory research and evaluation projects to build evidence for novel and innovative school safety interventions. The novel grants will support the development of interventions and pilot tests of the implementation of the developed interventions. This research may help to identify factors that are likely to mediate or moderate relationships between school safety activities and intended outcomes in particular settings or with particular populations. For example, applicants may consider developing school safety programs for different types of schools, like alternative schools and charter schools, or for different non-classroom-based settings. This is also an opportunity for LEAs to formally evaluate programs that have been locally developed. NIJ considers innovation grants as short-term, small-scale projects that may set the stage for more extensive or rigorous projects to follow; they may provide evidence for whether an intervention or strategy is ready to be subjected to a more rigorous efficacy or effectiveness evaluation. Under this funding category, NIJ will not consider proposals for programs or practices that have undergone any previous evaluations.

Category 2: Demonstration, Evaluation, and Validation Tests for School Safety (Competition ID: NIJ-2018-14142)

The purpose of Category 2 is to support demonstrations and evaluations of programs, practices, policies, and strategies designed to enhance school and student safety. There continues to be a need for research using strong research designs, such as randomized controlled trials. NIJ also sees a need for funding replications of evidence-based programs in different settings in order to confirm previous findings. In keeping with the focus on funding research based on a continuum of evidence, this category will solicit applications for funding for rigorous evaluations of interventions (including RCTs) that have already undergone some evaluation and have demonstrated promise for enhancing school and student safety.

Applicants are asked to conduct independent evaluations of promising programs. They are also asked to develop the most robust research designs possible that will produce scientific evidence regarding the efficacy, effectiveness, and cost/benefit of these programs. One example of a project that may be considered under this category is an evaluation of an intervention by an outside researcher when the program/model developer has evidence of positive outcomes via internal evaluations. Applicants may propose studies that test individual programs, practices, and strategies; or that test a combination of multiple approaches that have been previously evaluated. Applicants should consider including cost/benefit analysis. In cases where evaluations find that interventions have produced the intended benefit, cost/benefit analysis provides valuable and practical information for practitioners and policymakers that aids decision-making. There is no requirement to study programs from a specified list; however, applicants are strongly encouraged to examine NIJ’s, the Institute of Education Sciences What Works Clearinghouse, and various other “what works” repositories to identify promising programs and practices that may be ready for additional evaluation and validation. If an applicant chooses to implement a program that has been designated “No Effects” on, the applicant should provide a strong justification for the choice of program in their application.

Randomized controlled trial (RCT) studies are a powerful, much needed tool for building scientific evidence about what works. Therefore, studies employing RCT methods to assess the effectiveness of programs and practices will be given higher priority consideration in award decisions. RCT applications with strong designs measuring outcomes of self-evident policy importance are strongly encouraged. A strong RCT design should include low sample attrition, sufficient sample size, close adherence to random assignment, valid outcome measures, and statistical analyses. Taking RCT costs into consideration, applicants may want to consider studies using privacy-protected administrative data that are already being collected or implementing an intervention into a program already funded.

Category 3: Expanding the Use of Effective Interventions Through Scaling-Up (Competition ID: NIJ-2018-14143)

The purpose of Category 3 is to expand, replicate, and evaluate the implementation of interventions that have demonstrated positive results and have a strong evidence base. This category represents the final tier of evidence on the continuum of evidence. Interventions ready for scale-up will require strong evidence of proven effectiveness through multiple efficacy or effectiveness studies. Applicants in this category are encouraged to focus their efforts on replicating specific interventions and expanding them beyond the school level to the district, regional, or state level. Applicants should provide a clear justification for the proposed scale of the project, based on factors related to number of schools, number of students, characteristics of the program, evaluation design, and other issues, as appropriate. The interventions must be ready for scale-up, in that training, materials, and other implementation support must be available at the time of application or must be proposed for development as part of the application.

Applicants should describe the intervention that will be scaled-up, and provide the research evidence to demonstrate that the intervention is ready to go to scale. Key project participants (e.g., LEAs, SEAs) should provide letters of support indicating their willingness to participate in the implementation and the research associated with the project. Applicants may request resources to facilitate the project, including entering into an agreement with the program developer or training organization. The program narrative should also include a sound implementation strategy, and a rigorous evaluation of that strategy. This plan should provide a realistic foundation for implementation, based on the implementation science literature, and be flexible enough for the necessary adjustments that have to be made as scaling-up proceeds.

Applicants are encouraged to consider basic principles in guiding the planning, analysis, and decision-making in these projects. First, be aware of system thinking. Expansion and institutionalization of interventions occurs in a complex network of interactions and influences, which should be taken into account in order to ensure scaling-up success. In school safety, systems thinking refers especially to the interrelationships between the intervention, trainers, schools, and the evaluation team. Striving for an appropriate balance among these elements is a major task in designing and implementing a scale-up strategy.

Second, scaling-up must be concerned with sustainable policy and program development, including attention to institutionalizing the intervention in policies, program guidelines, budgets, and other dimensions of the school system. In this regard, applicants are encouraged to include cost/benefit analysis in the proposal. Cost/benefit analysis is an effective way to communicate and disseminate findings from evaluation research and aids in decision-making.

Finally, these projects must assess scalability. Scalability refers to the ease or difficulty of scaling up the intervention, based on attributes of success, which have previously been identified in research on implementation science and through practical experience. Applicants should consider carefully these important principles as they design the scale-up project.

Category 4: Research on School Safety (Competition ID: NIJ-2018-14144)

The purpose of Category 4 is to produce research findings with implications for school safety practice and policy. In this category, NIJ is particularly interested in research that investigates common, but understudied practices and strategies related to school safety. Although project periods for this funding category may be for as long as three years, NIJ also encourages applicants for Category 4 studies to propose short-term studies with project periods that are two years or less.

Projects under this category will support research to improve understanding of the potential root causes and related factors that contribute to school violence, as well as the impact and consequences of school violence. The studies should have the potential to produce advances in theory, methodology, and/or understanding of important constructs, with clear potential implications for policy or practice related to school and student safety. Studies will answer questions about why school violence occurs, where and when it occurs, who is involved, and how schools and people are affected. Applicants are encouraged to consider a variety of research questions and research methods to improve the understanding of violence in schools, among students and directed at students. NIJ encourages studies that can be implemented within shorter timeframes. These studies might include high-quality case studies or mixed- methods comparative research. They may incorporate key member interviews, focus groups, secondary data analysis, surveys, document analysis, and other methods focused on the challenges, opportunities, and lessons learned from efforts to increase school and student safety under different circumstances.

Category 5: Translation and Dissemination of Comprehensive School Safety Initiative Findings (Competition ID: NIJ-2018-14145)

One of NIJ’s strategic goals is to translate knowledge to practice by disseminating rigorous scientific research to practitioners to advance what works best in preventing crime and violence. The CSSI initiative is focused on generating rigorous scientific research on school safety and translating that research into practice, in schools and communities across the nation, in ways that are measurable and improve school safety. To date, NIJ has funded almost 100 projects under CSSI. As the results of these studies begin to accumulate and circulate, NIJ is interested in funding multiple entities to undertake far-reaching and broad translation and dissemination activities, in coordination with NIJ.

The findings from CSSI research have implications for SEAs, LEAs, school administrators, principals, teachers, school staff, parents, students, researchers, policymakers, law enforcement officials, and mental and behavioral health school practitioners. Applicants should demonstrate an ability to engage directly with various audiences, in many ways. Proposals should include strategies for a broad range of dissemination activities including, but not limited to:

-Developing both written and video products synthesizing research results into easily digestible pieces.
-Translating research results into practical lessons and policies that can be implemented by educators.
-Creating campaigns using supplementary educational materials such as posters, infographics, magazine articles, etc. to reach targeted populations of principals, teachers, parents, and students with evidence-based school safety messages.
-Hosting training and technical assistance webinars on school safety topics.
-Working with NIJ to plan and host the 2020 NIJ School Safety Conference, which will gather between 300-500 of NIJ grantees, their practitioner partners, federal staff, and school safety stakeholders from across the country in Washington, DC, for a two-day research conference.
-Engaging in social media campaigns around school safety messages, which may include creating content for magazines, websites, blogs, and engaging with leading education social media outlets, where important school safety stakeholders obtain information.

In these proposals, applicants should anticipate up to three years of funding for this work. Clear strategies for coordination with NIJ should be outlined. Applicants should also propose strategies to assess the impact of these dissemination efforts.

New Investigator/Early Career Opportunity:

NIJ is interested in supporting researchers who are early in their careers and new to NIJ’s research grant portfolios, specifically non-tenured assistant professors, or equivalent full-time staff scientist positions in a research institution, who propose research on topics relevant to NIJ’s Office of Research and Evaluation (ORE) and/or Office of Science and Technology (OST). Applications that include a principal investigator (PI) who meets the criteria may, in appropriate circumstances, be given special consideration in award decisions.

At the time of application submission, the proposed PI must:
-Hold a non-tenured assistant professor appointment at an accredited institution of higher education in the United States or an equivalent full-time staff scientist position at a research institution.
-Have completed his or her terminal degree or post-graduate clinical training within the ten (10) years prior to September 30, 2018.
-Never have received NIJ funding as a PI on a research project with the exception of Graduate Research Fellows or Data Resources Program grantees.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 178848

Term of Contract:

Category 1: NIJ anticipates awards will be made with performance periods ranging from 24-48 months.

Category 2: NIJ anticipates awards will be made with performance periods ranging from 24-48 months.

For Category 3: NIJ anticipates awards will be made with performance periods ranging from 24-48 months.

For Category 4: NIJ anticipates that it will make awards with performance periods ranging from 12-24 months.

For Category 5: NIJ anticipates that it will make awards with performance periods ranging from 36-48 months.
An applicant should base its federal funding request and period of performance on the actual requirements of the research, and not necessarily on the anticipated amount of funding available in FY 2018 for awards under this solicitation. However, to expedite the budget approval process, applicants are encouraged to break out their budgets by project year or by phases in the event that NIJ choses to fund the project partially or incrementally.

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.


  • 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 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
  • See RFP and/or Grant Guidelines for full eligibility
  • Single entities
  • Small businesses
  • Special district governments
  • State governments

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

In general, NIJ is authorized to make grants to, or enter into contracts or cooperative agreements with, States (including territories), units of local government, federally recognized Indian tribal governments (as determined by the Secretary of the Interior), nonprofit and for-profit organizations (including tribal nonprofit and for-profit organizations), institutions of higher education (including tribal institutions of higher education), and certain qualified individuals. Local education agencies (LEAs), public charter schools that are recognized as an LEA, and State education agencies (SEAs) are eligible to apply.

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

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

NIJ welcomes 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). The applicant must be the entity that would have primary responsibility for carrying out the award, including administering funding, managing the entire project, and monitoring and appropriately managing any subawards (“subgrants”). While NIJ is open to applications submitted by entities other than the research entity, in cases where LEAs and SEAs partner with a researcher, NIJ strongly recommends that the research entity serve as the applicant (the “prime”) for CSSI awards, making subawards to project partners as needed for the project.

Under this solicitation, any particular applicant entity may submit more than one application, as long as each application proposes a different project in response to the solicitation. Also, an entity may be proposed as a subrecipient (subgrantee) in more than one application.

Pre-Application Information:

The total funding amount will be distributed as follows:
-Category 1: NIJ estimates that a total of $5 million will become available.
-Category 2: NIJ estimates that a total of up to $11 million will become available.
-Category 3: NIJ estimates that a total of up to $13 million will become available.
-Category 4: NIJ estimates that a total of up to $7 million will become available.
-Category 5: NIJ estimates that a total of up to $3 million will become available.

Applicants must register with prior to submitting an application.

Applicants must acquire a unique entity identifier (currently, a DUNS number). A DUNS number is usually received within 1-2 business days.

Applicants must acquire or maintain registration with SAM. Each applicant must update or renew its SAM registration at least annually to maintain an active status. 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 until receives the SAM registration information. Once the SAM registration/renewal is complete, the information transfer from SAM to can take as long as 48 hours. OJP recommends that the applicant register or renew registration with SAM as early as possible.

All applications are due by 11:59 PM eastern time on May 7, 2018.

To be considered timely, an application must be submitted by the application deadline using, and the applicant must have received a validation message from that indicates successful and timely submission.

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, and to correct in a timely fashion any problems that may have caused a rejection notification.

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Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

For assistance with any other requirements of this solicitation, contact the National Criminal Justice Reference Service (NCJRS) Response Center:

Toll-free: 1-800-851-3420
TTY: 301-240-6310
Fax: 301-240-5830
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