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Research Assistantship Program (RAP)

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $58,101)

The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) Research Assistantship Program (RAP) is designed

to support research on crime, violence, and other criminal justice-related topics. It also

helps attract highly qualified students to accredited universities that support graduate study

leading to research-based doctoral degrees. NIJ invests in doctoral education by supporting

universities that sponsor students who demonstrate the potential to complete successfully

degree programs in disciplines relevant to the mission of NIJ.


Under the RAP, NIJ provides financial support to participating universities for certain costs

associated with research assistants enrolled in degree programs who then work at NIJ and

participate in NIJ’s research activities. Research activities performed by NIJ research

assistants include (among other things) summarizing, revising, or making use of complex,

technical, or specialized literature; extracting and compiling a range of data from written

sources, from individuals (questionnaires/interviews), and from one or several given

databases; assisting in research design strategies (e.g., developing and modifying program

of research proposals, procedures, or tools/instruments); processing and summarizing data

using scientific or statistical techniques; assisting in data interpretation and analyses;

formatting, storing, and filing data to generate reports/papers; conceptualizing and drafting

publications; drafting and presenting presentations at conferences (where funding permits

and the university approves); recording and compiling information related to research

programs; reporting on status of research activities; and assisting with coordination of

research activities.


Research assistants are full-time graduate students nominated by their universities and

approved by NIJ, who agree to work at NIJ on preapproved research activities over the

academic year (approximately 9.5 months), typically commencing at the start of an

academic year. When funding and University policy permits and with NIJ permission,

students may work up to 40 hours per week during the academic year school breaks (fall,

winter, spring), and up to 40 hours per week during the summer.


In general, for a full-time graduate research assistant, NIJ provides funds to the

participating university to pay research assistant salary and fringe benefits of health

insurance and tuition remission, all in accordance with the University’s standard practice

for similarly situated graduate research assistants whose work is performed at the

University. NIJ determines the number and type of research assistants it will support (if

any), and the duration of each research assistant position, based on the availability of funds

and various other factors. In general, NIJ makes its decision in the spring prior to the
beginning of an academic year.

Date Created: August 25, 2022