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American Indian & Alaska Native Student Travel Scholarship: Connecting Science to Crime and Justice

Program Notice

NIJ did not be accepting applications under this program for the 2022-2023 academic year.

Are you an American Indian or Alaska Native student who is enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program AND are you interested in issues related to public safety, crime, and justice?

Would you like to learn how your education can be used to solve complex issues in these fields?

If so, the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) would like to help you explore science in criminal justice and public safety through conference scholarships!

To enhance diversity in the field of criminal justice, NIJ supports 15 American Indian and Alaska Native students to attend criminal justice-related conferences. Students will explore how their educational backgrounds apply to issues of crime and justice. They will meet researchers and practitioners engaged in similar work. Conferences will expose students to innovative and evidence-based scientific and technological solutions to justice issues.

Funding and Logistics

Funding will cover the costs of conference registration, round-trip airfare, lodging, ground transportation, baggage, meals, and incidental expenses. Scholarship recipients are expected to attend the entirety of the .conference.


Conference scholarships will be available to individuals who:

  • Self-identify as an American Indian or Alaska Native person and are enrolled in, affiliated with, or a descendant of a federally recognized tribe.
  • Are at least 18 years of age at the time of application submission.
  • Are enrolled at an eligible academic institution (including public and private colleges and universities, tribal colleges, community colleges, and vocational and technical schools) at the time of receipt of the scholarship.
  • Are an undergraduate or graduate student (priority will be given to graduate students) interested in research or evaluation in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), or a social and behavioral science field, (priority will be given to STEM students).
  • Have not previously received a travel scholarship from NIJ under this program.

Application Requirements

When open, to apply for NIJ’s scholarship opportunity, submit the following items to [email protected]

  • A completed application form.
  • Official verification of current school enrollment and standing.
  • Undergraduate and graduate transcripts (unofficial accepted).
  • Résumé or Curriculum Vitae describing:
    • Educational training and background.
    • Work experience (paid and unpaid).
    • Professional and academic accomplishments and honors.
    • Organizational participation, qualifications, skills, and interests.
  • Letter of support from an academic professional, which MUST:
    • Define their relationship with the student.
    • Describe the student’s status in their current program of study.
    • Evaluate the student’s progress in their course of study.
    • Discuss the student’s characteristics, skills, and capabilities.
    • Highlight the student’s outstanding work, accomplishments, and experiences, academic or otherwise.
  • Statement of interest (no more than two single-spaced pages). The statement should address how the applicant’s current field of study could be applied to issues affecting crime and justice. Questions to consider include, but are not limited to:
    • How would you apply your area of study to criminal justice, public safety, and/or tribal justice?
    • How attending the conference(s) you have selected relates to exploring the application of your educational background to crime and justice? Applicants must discuss each selected conference separately in the statement of interest.
    • Are you interested in a practical or academic future in tribal and/or criminal justice and public safety?
    • What are your future aspirations and goals?
    • Why are you interested in attending your selected conference(s)?

The above application elements are required. Incomplete or late applications will not be accepted.

Selection Process

All complete applications will be reviewed by an internal Department of Justice panel. All application materials will factor into selection, with particular emphasis on the statement of interest. NIJ may also consider other factors, such as geographic location and current academic status to ensure broad representation among selected students.

While applications from all academic disciplines (i.e. Social and Behavioral Sciences) will be accepted, priority will be given to students in STEM including (but not limited to):

  • Anthropology (Physical)
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Neuroscience
  • Mathematics
  • Pathology
  • Physics
  • Engineering

Applications will be assessed based upon the following criteria:

  • Personal Statement
    • Student is interested in exploring criminal justice, public safety, or tribal justice.
    • Application clearly connects student’s current field of study to criminal justice, public safety, or tribal justice.
    • Student is interested in a future career in criminal justice, public safety, or tribal justice.
    • Future aspirations and goals are clearly outlined.
    • Student has demonstrated interest in attend conference(s), and articulated why the conference experience would be beneficial to future endeavors.
  • Transcript
    • Grade point average above or below 3.00.
  • Academic Professional’s Statement
    • Explains how the writer knows the student and the duration of the relationship.
    • Describes the student’s current status in the program of study and evaluates their progress.
    • Evaluates the student’s characteristics, skills, capabilities, and ethics.
    • Highlights the student’s outstanding work, accomplishments and experiences, academic or otherwise.
  • STEM Background
    • Student does/does not major in a STEM field.

Frequently Asked Questions

Date Published: June 30, 2022