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 NIJs 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 Universitys 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. nca/ncf