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NIJ's Fellowship Programs

NIJ sponsors fellowship programs to strengthen and broaden the pool of researchers looking at the issues of crime and justice by:

  • Providing talented researchers — who hold a terminal degree in any academic discipline and are early in their career — with an opportunity to elevate their independently generated research and ideas to the level of national discussion.  
  • Encouraging promising doctoral students in the application of critical and innovative thinking on pressing criminal justice problems.
  • Fostering the professional development of criminal justice researchers and professionals by providing them an opportunity to work full-time on research addressing criminal justice issues relevant to the work of NIJ and public policy.
  • Encouraging students from any academic discipline to propose original research that has direct implications for criminal justice in the United States.

Descriptions of Our Fellowship Programs

Graduate Research Fellowship

Our Graduate Research Fellowship program has supported research from doctoral students across the country for more than 40 years. In 2014, NIJ split the program into two tracks – one to support social and behavioral science research and one to support science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) research. Learn more about the Graduate Research Fellowship program, including how to apply, and learn about past fellows.

W.E.B. Du Bois Program

This W.E.B. Du Bois Program furthers the Department’s mission by advancing knowledge regarding the confluence of crime, justice, and culture in various societal contexts. This year NIJ is growing the W.E.B. Du Bois Program to fund both scholars who are advanced in their careers and seek to conduct research which advances the study of race and crime, as well as fellows who are early in their careers and seek the opportunity to elevate their research ideas to the level of national discussion. Learn more about the W.E.B. Du Bois fellowship program, including how to apply, and learn about past fellows.

Visiting Fellows Program

The Visiting Fellows Program brings leading researchers into residency at NIJ to make foundational contributions to criminology or criminal justice and give them an opportunity to work side-by-side with NIJ scientists to shape the direction of our research programs. NIJ accepts several types of fellows, including those who work mainly in academic or other research settings, policy fellows who focus mainly in a criminal justice policy or practice setting, and partnership fellows who cross multiple boundaries. Learn more about the Visiting Fellows Program, including how to apply, and view a list of past fellows.

Public Laboratory Research Fellowships

As part of our “Research and Evaluation for the Testing and Interpretation of Physical Evidence in Publicly Funded Forensic Laboratories” program, we encourage applicant laboratories to consider funding a postgraduate (master’s or doctorate) fellowship as part of their proposal. Learn more about Research and Evaluation in Publicly Funded Forensic Laboratories.

Forensic Pathology Fellowships

As part of our “Strengthening the Medical Examiner-Coroner System Program,” NIJ funds Forensic Pathology Fellowships. There is an extreme shortage of board-certified forensic pathologists in the United States, according to the  National Commission on Forensic Science Increasing the Number, Retention, and Quality of Board-Certified Forensic Pathologists. Through this program, NIJ provides ACGME-accredited forensic pathology fellowship programs funding to recruit quality candidates who have completed all necessary medical education and pathology residency requirements. 

American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Science and Technology Fellowships

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Science and Technology Fellowships, through a partnership with the National Science Foundation and AAAS, supports distinguished young scholars who are selected based on their significant contributions to science and research. Learn more about the AAAS Fellowships, including how to apply, on the AAAS Fellowship Application website.

Date Created: July 17, 2019