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Webinar Transcript: NIJ FY23 Community-Based Violence Intervention and Prevention Initiative (CVIPI) Research, Evaluation, and Associated Training & Technical Assistance Support

NIJ hosted a webinar on March 23, 2023, to discuss the solicitation "NIJ FY23 Community-Based Violence Intervention and Prevention Initiative (CVIPI) Research, Evaluation, and Associated Training & Technical Assistance Support".

Due dates for that solicitation are:

  • Grants.gov Deadline: May 22, 2023, 11:59 pm Eastern
  • Application JustGrants Deadline: June 5, 2023, 8:59 pm Eastern


STACY LEE: Good afternoon and welcome to the National Institute of Justice “Fiscal Year 2023 Community-Based Violence Intervention and Prevention Initiative” solicitation webinar.

At this time, it's my pleasure to introduce, Basia E. Lopez, Social Science Research Analyst with the National Institute of Justice. Basia?

BASIA E. LOPEZ: Good afternoon, everyone. And welcome. And, of course, thank you very much for joining today's webinar on the NIJ FY '23 Community-Based Violence Intervention and Prevention Initiative, Research, Evaluation, and Associated Training, and Technical Assistance Support solicitation. My name is Basia Lopez. And I am one of the Social Science Analysts here at NIJ, working on the CVIPI Research Portfolio. We are joined today by NIJ Director, Dr. Nancy La Vigne, and my NIJ colleague, also a Social Science Analyst here at NIJ, Dr. Jen Grotpeter. This solicitation was posted on March 7th and will close on June 5th. It should be noted that we will speak to some deadlines that are forthcoming in May. And we will go over what all of that means in just a few minutes.

The purpose of today's webinar is to go over the solicitation and the application, and review process, and also some specifics about the solicitation, and some frequently asked questions. Additionally, we will highlight key points for all four categories of funding, and very important tips and facts for ensuring application responsiveness to the solicitation. Now, before we dive into details, I want to welcome NIJ Director, Dr. Nancy La Vigne, who will provide some important remarks. Director La Vigne?

DR. NANCY LA VIGNE: Thank you, Basia. Welcome, everybody. I'm so excited to be launching off this webinar on the CVIPI solicitation. This is a very important initiative, not just for the Office of Justice programs, but for the Department of Justice and the Biden Administration. It's important that we invest in efforts to reduce violence that are community-based and community-led. And we are putting in tens of millions of dollars of resources into programs to support those community-based efforts. And, of course, this solicitation is around research and evaluation, and research-based training and technical assistance, in support of that initiative as well.

You'll be hearing a lot about the details of the solicitation from Basia and Jen. And I thank them for leading this webinar. But I thought it might be helpful for all of you to hear a little bit about my priorities as director, because they are embedded in the solicitation and all our other research solicitations that are coming out or are already on the street in FY '23. But I can think of no better solicitation than this one to list off the importance of my priorities. And when I say "my," I should really say "ours," because everyone at NIJ embraces these priorities. And we're really excited to see what kind of research applications come from our focus on five general areas.

The first is what I'm calling inclusive research. And what that means is to ensure that the research that we engage in and the research that we support through our grants is—the methodology is such that it engages with the people who are closest to the issue or problem under study. So as I said, we're talking about community-based violence intervention and prevention initiative, absolutely, the research should also be community-based. It should be done in partnership with people who are experiencing the violence, involved in addressing the violence, and importantly, the findings should be brought back to the people who helped generate them. And those folks should be engaged in ways to interpret the findings, to identify strategies for improving programs, so that's of critical importance.

We also talk a lot about how research should take a racial equity lens, but we know that any research in the criminal justice space has a lot of biased views baked into it. There might be biases, and the data that's collected has biases, and the research approaches that we engage in. But we invite proposals that are very mindful of those dynamics and take efforts to mitigate those biases and those harms. We also very much support research that is conducted by interdisciplinary research teams. We value all the disciplines, and they all bring different things to the table, and we think that the strongest teams really combine different disciplines, and different methodologies, and types of expertise.

We're also really interested in evaluations that take what we call an action research approach. What we mean by that is, if you're evaluating something, you shouldn't just wait until the end and say a thumb's up or a thumb's down, this worked or it didn't work. Rather, it's very important, as part of any evaluation, to include an implementation evaluation component, whereby you can feed back information and as close to real-time as possible to help the program implementers know whether or not they're implementing their program with fidelity. Are they reaching the right population? Are they delivering the services as intended? And sharing this information in real-time can create for stronger programs that are more likely to detect an impact for the impact evaluation component of their work.

And then finally, the priority around what we call evidence to action. And that means we're really not interested in research proposals to just generate knowledge for the sake of generating knowledge. We want to see new evidence generated that has clear implications for policy and practice. And so part of that is encouraging proposals that are really thoughtful and intentional about how to disseminate the findings in ways that can benefit the field and promote changes on the ground that lead to safety for all. So with that, I will turn it back to Basia. I will remain on the webinar. I'm eager to hear your questions. And I look forward to many quality applications. Thank you.

BASIA E. LOPEZ: Thank you, Director La Vigne, very much. In the following section, we will talk about the solicitation and categories

But before we dive into this, I would like to provide you with a very brief overview of the OJP CVIPI background. So the initiative seeks to prevent and reduce violent crime in communities by supporting comprehensive, evidence-based violence intervention and prevention programs. These programs include efforts to address gang and gun violence, based on partnerships among community residents, local government agencies, victim service providers, community-based organizations, law enforcement, hospitals, research, and other community stakeholders. Although, I said to address gang and gun violence, other violence is also considered.

Now, the initiative is carried out with a collaborative approach of various OJP components and you have listed them here (Slide 3). NIJ works closely with these components as well. And while they focus on programmatic support, NIJ funds evaluations of those programs and also invests in research on community violence. We also aim to provide TTA support to program sites in evaluation capacity building, as well as providing opportunities for expanding research on community violence. So, FY '22 OJP solicitations. So there are two different solicitations, one belongs to OJP, which is the Programmatic, and one belongs to NIJ, which is the Research and Evaluation. So FY '22 OJP solicitation resulted in funding of almost 50 programs and few TTAs, while FY '22 NIJ CVIPI solicitation supported two evaluations of two of those programs funded by OJP.

The purpose and goals of this year's solicitation overall is to seek applications for funding to support the conduct of and carry out independent evaluations of community violence, and to conduct rigorous research on community violence with a goal to enhance CVI evaluation capacity and produce practical knowledge that can advance the prevention and reduction of violence crime in communities.

This year's solicitation includes four funding categories. Each category has varying expectations and requirements to carry out and also support research and evaluation of CVIPI. I would like to note here that applicants may apply under multiple categories, but if an applicant intends to submit proposals to multiple categories, each proposal should be submitted in a separate application and must specify which category is applicable on the cover page of the Program Narrative.

Under the first category, TTA to Support CVIPI Evaluation Capacity Building and Researcher and Practitioner Partnerships, NIJ anticipates providing funding of up to $5,000,000 to one successful applicant who will serve as a host of the NIJ Community Violence Intervention Research and Evaluation Training and Technical Assistance Center. This center will serve as a resource, so this successful applicant will provide resources and a training hub for OJP-funded CVIPI sites that were funded in '22, last year, but also, that will be selected for funding this year in FY '23. NIJ wants to ensure that the programmatic sites position themselves to implement programs with fidelity and build a strong base for future impact evaluations. We added an FAQ link on this solicitation's announcement page that lists OJP-funded CVIPI grantees that are eligible for receipt of TTA under Category 1 and when we will talk about the evaluation under Category 3 of the solicitation, so please be on the lookout for any updates on the solicitation or visit the announcement page at nij.gov. Now, Jen, will provide an overview of Categories 2 and 3. Jen?

DR. JEN GROTPETER: Thank you, Basia. Under Category 2, NIJ is seeking applications for funding of one TTA provider to support violent crime problem analyses of community-based organizations, or CBOs, or units of local government, ULGs. So CBOs and ULGs that were not funded under last year's Fiscal Year '22 or this year's Fiscal Year '23 OJP CVIPI solicitation. Up to $2,000,000 is available for this Cooperative Agreement award that will go to one successful applicant. There are two goals and objectives to result from the work in this training and technical assistance category. One is to enhance capacity for violent crime problem analyses, which would be done by providing TTA to collect and analyze data from criminal justice, public safety, public health, and other community sources, and to use that data to identify community criminal justice and public safety-related problems in the community or jurisdiction. And then to use that to inform development of a strategic plan.

The other is to enhance the capacity for strategic plan development, which would be done by providing TTA to use data to develop or enhance the CVIPI program, evidence-based strategy planning techniques, how to communicate findings to diverse audiences, and to develop real-time products and resources for strategic decision-making. More information on this category can be found in the solicitation itself.

Now, moving on to Category 3. NIJ, for this category, is seeking applications for funding of rigorous evaluation projects to produce evidence about programs that aim to prevent and reduce violence in the community. So specifically, NIJ is seeking to fund proposals for rigorous evaluations of last year's FY22 and this year's FY23 OJP-funded—site-based projects. Up to $5,000,000 total is available for up to six awards that we would expect to make as grants. So we will accept proposals for funding of this rigorous, independent formative or process evaluation, and for evaluations of the outcomes and impacts of projects. Outcome and impact evaluations are also expected to examine questions regarding program implementation, like a process evaluation. These projects could either have been funded under last year's Fiscal Year 2022 solicitation or—and those would be those that were funded under Categories 1 through 4, or the applications that are submitted this year in tandem with applications requesting programmatic funding under the Fiscal Year '23 OJP CVIPI solicitation. I will add that if you are submitting under this category, Category 3, we ask you to please identify on the cover page of the Proposal Narrative the collaborating CVIPI organization, the title and location of the Fiscal Year '23 OJP CVIPI application to be evaluated to help us link those proposals together, which will be very helpful to us.

If you are a program site listening to this webinar, we really encourage you to locate an evaluation partner that you'd like to collaborate with, and then that evaluation partner would submit an application to conduct an independent evaluation. If you're an evaluator, we encourage you to reach out to program representatives to secure a partnership. On this slide (Slide 9), we present links that you can use to identify sites from the last year in the fiscal year '22. That first link is a map. It just shows where the grantees are located just to give you a sense of it all, but it doesn't link to information on specifically funded programs.

The second link on the slide (Slide 9) lists all program awards made under the OJP fiscal year 2022 solicitation. However, I will note that that list includes six awards that are not program sites, they include training and technical assistance organizations, and the third link lists two awards that are not eligible for Category 1 and 3 this year because they are already being evaluated independently under NIJ's funding last year for evaluations. And as Basia just said, we have added an addendum to the solicitation as an answer to Frequently Asked Questions that identify specifically the 45 program sites funded in 2022 that are eligible to be evaluated. I hope that that map and these other listings will also provide you good information. And these links, I believe, will be posted in the chat to help give you access to them. And finally, I'll add that all qualifying CVI programs applying in fiscal year 2023 to the OJP application solicitation  are eligible. And now, I will hand the floor back to Basia for Category 4 and more.

BASIA E. LOPEZ: Yes. Thank you, Jen. So under this category, the Category 4, NIJ anticipates up to five awards. We have a total available funding up to $3,000,000. This category provides an opportunity for those who want to do research on community violence but also those who want to evaluate CVI programs that are not funded by OJP. So you see two focus topics under this category in the solicitation, one on research, one on evaluation. Keep in mind that with the research, we really will be looking for research that will help develop or refine community intervention or prevention programs and practices to reduce community violence. And as for the evaluation, there is an option also for evaluating other programs, but keep in mind, they must be very closely related to community violence intervention.

Now that we wrapped up all four categories, I want to come back to the whole solicitation again and provide you with some additional information here on the New Investigator. As you may well know, NIJ is interested in supporting researchers who are early in their careers, and new to NIJ's research grant portfolios. But under this solicitation, only applicants applying under Category 4 are eligible for this Early Career Opportunity. You may also have noted in the solicitation that there are two priority areas. One supports an executive order on advancing racial equity and support for underserved communities through the federal government. This priority breaks into A and B, and the first one addresses inequities and barriers to equal opportunity and/or contributes to greater access to service for underserved and historically marginalized population. This 1A applies only to Category 4. All other priorities (1B and priority 2) apply to all categories in the solicitation. So, that was a brief wrap-up of the solicitation and categories. In the next section, I'd like to go over some important reminders and some new updates about how to submit applications in response to this year's solicitation. And thank you.

There are certain elements of the application that have to be received in order for your application to be considered, and to move it to peer review. If even one of these is missing, your application will not move onto the review process. The Proposal Narrative, Budget Worksheet, and Budget Narrative, which is now on a web-based form, CVs and/or resumes of key personnel, meaning principal investigator and any and all co-PI's and key project staff, must be included in the application submission for an application to meet the Basic Minimum Requirement, which is the BMR, to advance to peer review. Additionally, every applicant is required to fill out these two forms that you see on the screen, SF-424 and SF-LLL. The first one is the application for federal assistance, the second one is a disclosure of lobbying activities, and without which, the application cannot be completed.

So this part is very important. All parts are really important, but this one is also very important, especially if you've applied for an NIJ solicitation in the past under a different system. In the last few years, NIJ transitioned to a new grants management and application submission system called JustGrants. Because of this, applications are to be submitted in a new two-step process, each with its own deadline. I hope you have a notebook and please note that this first, you will need to submit SF-424 and SF-LLL forms in Grants.gov. And, again, the deadline to submit these two forms is May 22 by 11:59 p.m. Next, you will have to submit the full application, including all applicable attachments, which we will talk about shortly, in JustGrants by June 5th, by 8:59 p.m. So again, the two forms, SF-424 and SF-LLL, these have to be submitted in JustGrants by May 22nd, and then everything else that goes with your application by the application deadline, it must be submitted in JustGrants on June 5th by 8:59 p.m.

So again, there are two deadlines. It should be noted that applicants must register first with Grants.gov. This is like an additional step. First, the registration with Grants.gov, but also with JustGrants, before you start submitting anything. Processing delays up to several weeks can sometimes occur when registering, so please, if you are thinking about applying, go to Grants.gov, and to JustGrants, and register as soon as possible. Even if you are not ready to submit your application package or you don't have the forms, please register early.

Additionally, for when you are submitting your applications, we are urging all applicants to submit applications at least 72 hours prior to the application due date to allow time for the applicants to receive validation messages or rejection notification from Grants.gov and correct them in timely manner, if there are any problems or anything that may have caused the rejection notification. Lastly, to make things easier for processing, please be sure to label your documents and attachments appropriately. If you are submitting a Program Narrative, you must submit Program Narrative, please make sure that the words Program Narrative are in your document title, and so on. If you don't submit your forms in Grants.gov by these deadlines, the rest of your application in JustGrants will not be accepted. So, pay attention to the Grants.gov deadline. Please be sure to carefully read their How To Apply section in the OJP Grant Application Resource Guide that I will provide you the link at the end, but also, you have it referenced in the solicitation. So, again, please submit your application early to avoid any potential technical issues, and always feel free to reach out to OJP’s hotline that operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, except on federal holiday. Now, Jen will talk about the peer review process.

JEN GROTPETER: Thank you, Basia. Once the solicitation is closed, all applications are screened for Basic Minimum Requirements, or BMR, like Basia just described. So in addition to those critical application elements and the required forms, we also assess the applications just to make sure it's responsive to the solicitation, that you're proposing a research project that responds to at least one of the categories. And then being submitted by an eligible applicant, like a university or a research organization, and there's a whole list in the solicitation of eligible applicant types.

Once we complete BMR, this moves on to the external peer review process. The external peer review panels are made up of researchers and practitioners in community violence, and then they score the application and discuss them, providing NIJ with both the merits and the concerns of the proposed research or the project. Then NIJ conducts its own internal review of the application. Internal reviewers include science staff and leadership at NIJ in addition to consultations with other relevant federal experts such as subject matter experts who work at our sister offices and bureaus who may be able to weigh in on the merits of the application. So after reviewing the applications themselves and taking into consideration the scores and comments provided by the external peer review panels as well as the budget, NIJ science staff then make funding recommendations to present to the NIJ Director, and the NIJ Director then decides which applications will be awarded funding. All final funding decisions are made at the discretion of the NIJ Director.

NIJ receives hundreds of applications every year. And within those applications, we're able to see common shortcomings that are brought up by the external peer reviewers, or during internal review, or both, that we would like to share with you as potential applicants so you may be mindful of them. In the Statement of the Problem section, we'll often find it fails to identify gaps in the current literature or fails to demonstrate an understanding of the current research. Sometimes, it's because the literature review is insufficient or dated. Or sometimes, even after a reasonable literature review, the scope of the proposed research is extremely limited or maybe too ambitious. Common critiques that are raised under the Research Design section are that the overall strategy is not well-articulated or that design or methods—the approaches don't logically flow or they're unclear. You don't want to make the reviewers have to work too hard to figure out what you're actually planning to do. Other common critiques are that the proposed sample size isn't supported by a power analysis, or that the project itself just does not seem feasible. Maybe there aren't letters of support indicating that you will be able to access the data that you need to be able to access.

Additional common critiques in other categories are Capabilities and Competencies. A common critique is that the proposed staff doesn't demonstrate familiarity or proficiency with the proposed methods, there aren't subject matter experts, there may be not voices represented from the community and maybe—and/or in cases of studies of victimization, of survivors. So those are important pieces to include in Capabilities and Competencies. Finally, in Potential Impact, a lot of times, the critique is that the dissemination plan maybe lacks specificity or isn't innovative. And that there's not a plan for reaching non-academic audiences in plain language so that it can be readily disseminated to people who need the information but may not be able to spend the time wading through a long technical report.

Moving on to some general tips. Overall, I think that one of the key takeaways from these critiques is that reviewers at NIJ want to see research projects that are well-written, that are feasible, impactful, timely, innovative, and clearly written. Projects should show an understanding of community violence, the existing literature, and the work that NIJ's already funded. The application itself should be easy to read and explicit with no mystery around what's being proposed or how it will be achieved. The research design should be as rigorous as possible. And the sampling strategy should be backed with demonstrated relationship through Letters of Support that will make it attainable. And ideally, secondary mitigation plans should be in place and fully articulated in the application.

Project Developers and Directors should consider and address limitations listed for evaluating their own projects, and provide a clear justification and discuss strategy mitigating the pitfalls related to research and evaluation independence. Really the best solution is to invite and partner with an external evaluator. Then finally getting into some of the frequently asked questions that we received for this solicitation. Award amount and period of performance. So, this will really depend on the quality and quantity of the applications that we receive. For Categories 1 and 2, it's a little clear, the number of potential awards and available funding are clear because it's 1. This year, we have a total funding of 15 million which is the divided among the four categories. So, we really want to reiterate that the budget proposed should just be in line with the research activities that are proposed in the application. The period of performance, it depends on the project proposed. So they're generally two to five years. We also get questions about whether or not you can apply to more than one funding category. And Basia already addressed this but I'll just add applicant organizations may submit the same applications to more than one category. And if they do, they must clearly delineate which categories each is applying to. And again, for Category 3 please place information about the companion existing program or programmatic application on the cover page.

Another question we frequently get is about degree requirements. Are PhD Students or those not holding PhDs eligible to serve as PI's or co-PI's? There's no specific degree requirement to serve as a PI or a co-PI. However, applicants should review the solicitation Merit Review Criteria. Capabilities and competencies is 15% of the peer review score. We also receive a lot of more general questions around submitting the forms and what constitutes a new investigator. Another question is related to privacy and human subjects concerns. For all of these, I'd encourage you to please submit the questions through the [OJP Response Center] method listed on the solicitation and on one of the next slides (Slide 20). Your question will be routed to the appropriate person who can answer that question.

Regarding Selecting Sites, we would refer you to the previous discussion and links of lists of eligible sites that were funded in fiscal year 2022 and partnering with those that are assigned for fiscal year 2023 funding. We're not providing a benchmark for an appropriate number of sites for providing training and technical assistance in those first categories. Applicants should consider the available budget. It's pretty clearly stated. And propose a feasible and efficient method to identify sites that makes clear your selection criteria in your proposal. And I will now hand it back to Basia for concluding slides and Q&A.

BASIA E. LOPEZ: Thank you, Jen. So in order to prevent some of the issues that we just discussed from arising, such as for example of potential issues and hiccups during the two-step application process, applicants are strongly encouraged to contact OJP Response Center, Grants.gov, or JustGrants.gov. And here, you have a list of the email address and the telephone numbers, or you can just type in Grants.gov in your web search engine JustGrants and you'll be able to access this website and other important information. Now, also this information is listed in the solicitation.

And to ensure a cost is allowable and for how many years can you apply within your budget, for example, we strongly encourage applicants to review the Funding Resource Center for additional information and helpful guidance. We also encourage you to review the Department’s Grant Financial Guide and take the online training. This is a very good training which is a requirement for all funded grantees. So if you get funding, you will still have to take that training. Before you start budgeting for your application, please consider that opportunity. Finally, all the project descriptions and review of the portfolio are available on the OJP website. During this presentation in the chat box, we posted several links. I hope you had an opportunity to select them or copy them and—you can use them to review all additional material later on.

So, just before we go into questions, the Q&A session, I want to emphasize one thing, that this solicitation is competitive. And therefore, NIJ staff cannot have individual conversations with prospective applicants, or discuss particulars of an application or proposed project. Any questions concerning the solicitation should be submitted to the National Criminal Justice Reference Service at 1-800-851-3420 or email [email protected] and also see the NIJ/OJP.gov solicitations FAQ page. We strongly encourage you to utilize the resources. If you have any questions at all, they will be triaged and sent to the appropriate person for response. So the resource page that I provided you just a moment ago, the last couple of slides, that's where you should direct all the questions. At this point, I would like to open the remainder of our time to any questions that you may have.

STACY LEE: "Could we know the two projects that were funded in FY 2022?" I believe that was also answered in the chat. Somebody is asking if an email list of the panelists will be provided after the webinar for subsequent questions concerning our application, I think Basia went over that, the contact information for the OJP Response Center was put in the chat, it's on the slides. And you will also receive a copy of that information in an email after the webinar. The next question I have, "Is the funding value listed for each category the total for the entire proposed project period of the performance or year one?"


BASIA E. LOPEZ: In the first pages of the solicitation, there is a table breakout that the budget value is up to so many solicitations by category and up to so much. Depending on the scope of your proposal and on the scope of the project to be evaluated, if you need multiple years, you have to submit the multiple years. We allow 16 months of up to five years for a Project Performance Period. The value of the proposed budget matched the breakdown on annual basis. The total value is not per year. It's per the entire project period.

STACY LEE: Next question for Category 2, "How would the TTA provider identify CBOs and ULGs to work with? And then —will NIJ provide referrals?

BASIA E. LOPEZ: This is a very good question. And there is actually a clause in our solicitation that speaks to it. We are asking Category 2 applicants to propose a strategy of identifying, and marketing, and soliciting potential participants. And obviously, the most feasible and most efficient strategy will be considered. But the strategy is not set in stone. Please note, Category 2 is a cooperative agreement, which means that NIJ reserves the right to reviewing proposed strategy or start discussing any adjustments to that strategy and such.

STACY LEE: Okay. Thank you. And we have our next question. "Does site selection refer to the test site for our initiative?"

BASIA E. LOPEZ: So the site selection refers to—depending on the category, of course, so for Category 1 and 3, the site selection pertains to the projects funded by OJP in FY '22 and the project that will be funded in FY '23. For Category 2, the site selection refers to the community-based organization and units of local government, that we ask the applicants to propose a strategy as to which sides they will select.

STACY LEE: "BJA's NTTAC has provided some TA on CVIPI. Is the current organization who is implementing NTTAC eligible for applying under Category 1?"

BASIA E. LOPEZ: There is no limitation on this listed in the solicitation.

STACY LEE: "For Category 2, are external SME's a requirement that will be scored?

BASIA E. LOPEZ: This is a component listed in the solicitation, so it definitely will be taken into consideration when we will be making funding decisions.

STACY LEE: "Can you please say more about the selection of these sites for number one, the evaluation capacity TTA? Is the expectation that all sites will receive evaluation, capacity training, and technical assistance, or just the subset sites?"

BASIA E. LOPEZ: So it depends on what strategy you propose.We leave this at the discretion of the applicant to make that decision.

STACY LEE: "How many new CVIPI sites will be selected in FY '23?"

BASIA E. LOPEZ: I don't have that number, but last year, we had 47. So for details on funding and site selection for the FY '23, I strongly encourage you to go to the FY '23 OJP CVIPI solicitation site. I believe we had the link here somewhere at some point. And definitely there is a link in our solicitation to that OJP solicitation.

STACY LEE: “For Category 4, is suicide prevention that could involve a firearm responsive to this solicitation?"

BASIA E. LOPEZ: Well, if the suicide prevention affects the community safety that can be potentially addressed. But I don't know if know if any of my colleagues would like to chime in, Jen or Ben?

BENJAMIN ADAMS: I would say just add that we can't speak to any specific perspective idea or concept with regard to a strategy that is being considered by a potential applicant. We can get back if there is a more general question that you'd like to provide offline through the Response Center and we'd be happy to get back with the response.

BASIA E. LOPEZ: Thank you, Ben. And what I was going to say that the CVIPI definition we provided is pretty much what the CVIPI supports at the very beginning of this webinar, so that's another consideration for you. So next question.

STACY LEE: “Say we apply in FY 2023 to be a CVIPI site, can you also propose an evaluation for that same project Category 3, I believe?"

BASIA E. LOPEZ: Yes. So that is an issue of if you have a program and you apply as an Evaluator, that will be an issue of research and evaluation independence. So, we strongly encourage program sites to partner with external evaluators.

STACY LEE: Okay. Next question, "For Category 1, is it required that the principal investigator commit 100% FTE to running the training and technical assistance center?"

BASIA E. LOPEZ: No, that is not a requirement, but a reasonable amount of time has to be committed to this for the application to be considered.

STACY LEE: "Can you confirm that the application scoring criteria will be the same across all four categories?"

BASIA E. LOPEZ: Correct. We have scoring criteria for four categories and obviously for the TTA, we have TTA experts on the external peer review panel. And they will look into the nuances associated with the variation of the TTA applications versus research or evaluation applications.

STACY LEE: For "Categories 1 and 2, should in-person training conference be planned and budgeted?"

BASIA E. LOPEZ: "So, should in-person training conferences be planned and budgeted?" Correct.

STACY LEE: And then it's a follow-up. "What cost would be incurred by the TTA provider versus the grantees, versus NIJ?”

BASIA E. LOPEZ: So, again, for this, I would suggest going to the Financial Guide as I'm not qualified to answer such a question.

STACY LEE: "For Category 4, will NIJ fund community violence research that is descriptive in nature, assuming the research is actionable and aligns with the Director's strategic priorities?"

BASIA E. LOPEZ: We can't provide you with that detailed information for all the requirements on the Category 4 as to what type of research we will look for. Please refer to the solicitation.

STACY LEE: "When will the questions previously submitted be responded to? Do we have a projected date for receipt of responses?"

BENJAMIN ADAMS: If that is referring to responses submitted through the OJP Response Center, those are distributed to the appropriate subject matter expert and responded to within a matter of business days. So if there's follow-up needed, please let us know and we will respond.

STACY LEE: Next question. It says, "Category 4, for our gun violence prevention initiative, are we allowed to choose where the testing will occur?"

BASIA E. LOPEZ: I have to leave it to the discretion of the applicant, and I refer to the solicitation, and I cannot provide any additional information in fairness to other applicants.

STACY LEE: "To clarify for Category 1 and 2, the TTA providers would need to fund individual sites to attend an NIJ grantee conference?"

BASIA E. LOPEZ: The programmatic grantees are required to secure costs for attending conferences. For that specific purpose, that's obviously a no. But the TTA will be responsible for providing training and other assistance for other conferences, unless the conference is required by OJP, then the grantee will have to secure some funding for that. And again, please refer to the Financial Guide.

STACY LEE: It's "For Category 4, is the minimum period of performance two years?"

BENJAMIN ADAMS: I don't believe that we specified a minimum period of performance in the solicitation.

BENJAMIN ADAMS: Oh, again, budgets and performance periods should be commensurate with the scope of the work as proposed.

BASIA E. LOPEZ: I also want to make an announcement, for the programmatic solicitation that is out from OJP, the OJP CVIPI solicitation. They will provide programmatic support, that solicitation is available. And also there is a solicitation webinar for those who are interested in our programmatic support, not evaluation or TTA support with regards to NIJ research and evaluation solicitation. That webinar will take place the next week on Tuesday.

STACY LEE: On behalf of the National Institute of Justice and our panelists, thank you for joining today's webinar. This will end today's presentation.

BASIA E. LOPEZ: Thank you.

Date Published: April 12, 2023