Find Nonprofit and Small Business Grants

Advance Search

Only Available for Paid Subscribers
Clear Filters
Search Filters

Artificial Intelligence Technology Applied Research and Development for Law Enforcement Applications

Grants to USA Nonprofits, For-Profits, Agencies, and IHEs to
Research the Use of Artificial Intelligence in Law Enforcement

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

Add to My Calendar 

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

Deadline Date:

04/30/18 11:59 PM ET


Request a Grant Writer

Grants to USA and territories nonprofits, for-profits, government agencies, IHEs, and certain qualified individuals for research addressing the use of artificial intelligence (AI) technologies in law enforcement. Applicants are advised to create or verify the required registrations well in advance of the proposal deadline.


With this solicitation, NIJ is seeking applications for research to apply advances in artificial intelligence (AI) technologies to support law enforcement in preventing, responding to, and investigating gang violence, human and drug trafficking, migrant smuggling, opioid trafficking, and/or child pornography. NIJ is most interested in proposals that apply AI technology to combatting:

-Street gang violence and victimization.
-Human trafficking.
-Migrant smuggling.
-Opioid trafficking.
-Child pornography.

This solicitation supports five United States Department of Justice priorities:
-Reducing violent crime.
-Reducing victimization, specifically with respect to human trafficking.
-Addressing the opioid epidemic.
-Enhancing investigations and prosecution.
-Enforcing the nation’s immigration laws.

NIJ may consider strong applications outside of the five areas of most interest, but which still address some aspect of the United States Department of Justice’s priorities cited above. Proposals’ descriptive titles must clearly identify the focus areas of the proposed projects.

Program-Specific Information:

The National Artificial Intelligence Research and Development Strategic Plan (the Plan) observes, “Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a transformative technology that holds promise for tremendous societal and economic benefit.” The Plan goes on to note the potential for AI technology, particularly as it deals with the recognition of patterns in data to enhancing security and law enforcement. With this solicitation, NIJ seeks proposals for R&D projects to exploit that potential within the following two topic areas.

Topic 1: Combating Gang Violence and Victimization, Migrant Smuggling, and Human and Opioid Trafficking

Crimes such as gang violence, migrant smuggling, and human and opioid trafficking generate volumes of data resulting from the use of various communications and social media technologies by gang members, traffickers, smugglers; and financial transactions related to illicit activities. Additional data sources include news media reports of crimes, epidemiological data, and criminal justice administrative records, among other sources. With this solicitation, NIJ seeks proposals for R&D projects that bring advances in AI technologies to bear on the analysis of these data, in order to provide investigative leads to enable law enforcement agencies in the United States to prevent and better respond to gang violence and victimization, as well as to disrupt migrant smuggling networks, and to disrupt human and opioid trafficking networks.

Topic 2: Combating Child Pornography

Encryption poses a major challenge to law enforcement in its efforts to combat child pornography. According to the 2016 United States Department of Justice’s National Strategy for Child Exploitation Prevention and Interdiction, “[r]eadily available, easy-to-use, often built-in encryption thwarts the collection and analysis of critical evidence in child sexual exploitation cases. Even with proper legal process, law enforcement often is unable to obtain the evidence on an encrypted device, allowing an offender to escape justice.”

With this solicitation, NIJ seeks proposals for R&D projects that examine the potential for developing technologies that can distinguish a contraband file through its encrypted container — without breaking encryption — with a sufficient degree of certainty to support probable cause for a court order to unlock the device, based on the encryption pattern of a particular file type.

Additional Instructions:

Applicants are strongly encouraged to consider the benefit of collaborating with law enforcement agencies to provide a fuller understanding of the challenges and operational context within which these technologies would be employed. Among other topics, the applicant’s proposal should explain the use case for the proposed technology application / how it will enhance current law enforcement practice (e.g., investigation, prevention, response, etc.). Proposals should also address the cost of training implications of the proposed tools.

NIJ expects that the R&D awards funded under this solicitation will result in a prototype technology that will be delivered to NIJ for third-party evaluation. Among other topics, the applicant’s proposal should explain how it would introduce the proposed tools into practice. For example, would it be sold as a commercial product? If so, how would it be commercialized?

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 U.S. or an equivalent full-time staff scientist position at a research institution.
-Have completed their terminal degree or post-graduate clinical training within the ten (10) years prior to September 30, 2018.
-Have never received NIJ funding previously as a PI on a research project, with the exception of Graduate Research Fellows or Data Resources Program grantees.

Note that NIJ grant awards are made to the applicant institution and do not transfer with the proposed PI to other institutions; the institution that applies for the award should be the institution that will manage the award for the duration of the project period. The applicant should identify that this is a New Investigator/Early Career proposal on the title page of their application.

The ultimate goal of this solicitation is twofold:
-To support innovative early-stage research relevant to criminal justice application by introducing the rapidly evolving artificial intelligence research community to criminal justice challenges.
-To support development of innovative, new AI-based tools for criminal justice agencies - particularly at the State and local level.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 183230

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Number of Grants:

NIJ expects to make one or more awards.

Term of Contract:

Awards will normally not exceed a three-year period of performance.

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)
  • Nonprofits having 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 that perform law enforcement functions (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.

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

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

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”).

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.

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 that are not responsive to this specific solicitation.

Pre-Application Information:

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 April 30, 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.

View this opportunity on

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
Web Chat:

CFDA Number:


Funding or Pin Number:


URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming

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