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What Has Being an NIJ Research Assistant Meant to You?


The NIJ Research Assistantship Program offers highly qualified doctoral students the opportunity to bring their expertise to NIJ to work across offices and program areas to obtain a practical and applied research experience. In the slideshow below, learn how participating in the program has impacted the careers of past and present associates.

What Did Being an NIJ Research Assistant Mean to You?

Jaclyn Smith Research Assistantship Quote

"My favorite project was the Program of Research on Violence Against American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) Women. I enjoyed the challenge of addressing the complexities of this broad program of research. It was also personally rewarding in knowing my contributions were advancing the field to help address the critical issue of victimization in AI/AN communities."

Dr. Jaclyn Smith, Research and Evaluation Manager, ICF

Former NIJ Research Assistant 

Jocelyn Fontaine

"My assistantship at NIJ provided a wonderful jumping off point for my career in justice policy research. I got to work with and learn from top scholars--many of whom I am still connected to today--I learned about emerging issues in criminology and criminal justice, and deepened my understanding of research methods and how they are applied in funded research projects. My time there was invaluable."
NIJ Research Assistant: Jocelyn Fontaine, Director of Criminal Justice Research, Arnold Ventures

Kadee Atkinson Research Assistantship Quote

"The RAP experience is what you make of it. There are a plethora of valuable opportunities afforded to doctoral students including opportunities to collaborate with scientists in a variety of areas of interests, to publish research findings, to present at conferences, to participate in the solicitation process, and to collaborate with different agencies within DOJ."

Kadee Atkinson, Drug Abuse Treatment Specialist, Department of Justice

Former NIJ Research Assistant

George Fachner

"Working at NIJ through RAP strengthened my proposal writing skills, which came in handy as a research scientist as a non-profit organization. In fact, years later I wrote a winning proposal to NIJ, which was the first my organization received after several unsuccessful years prior."

Dr. George Fachner, Federal Program Manager, U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Community Oriented Policing Services

Former NIJ Research Assistant 

Danielle Crimmins Research Assistantship Quote

"An incredible benefit of NIJ’s RA Program was learning how to apply what I learned in my graduate studies to the real world. The RA program also provided me the opportunity to meet and foster relationships with great mentors."

Danielle Crimmins

NIJ Research Assistant 

Kenneth Sebastián León Research Assistantship Quote

"The RAP was an invaluable experience for many reasons. I was able to learn from some of the most inspiring career professionals of DOJ-OJP, and see the benefits and positive ripple effects of investing in science, evidence-based practices, and both basic and applied research."

Kenneth Sebastián León, Assistant Professor of Latino & Caribbean Studies and Criminal Justice, Rutgers University

Former NIJ Research Assistant 

Jessica Norton

“I applied for NIJ’s RAP to explore a non-academic career in justice policy research. Here I have the opportunity to observe and participate in government research efforts which has expanded my knowledge of career possibilities outside of academia. “

Jessica Norton

NIJ Research Assistant 

Carolyn Naoroz Research Assistantship Quote

"The RAP is the perfect way to gain insight into federal level research funding and programming, to network, and to open doors to a wide variety of career paths in criminal justice. The NIJ staff is welcoming and ready to get their RAs involved in projects. It is once in a lifetime hands on experience."

Carolyn Naoroz, Ph.D., Body-Worn Camera Management Analyst, Richmond (VA) Police Department

Former NIJ Research Assistant

Shannon Magnuson Research Assistantship Quote

"The knowledge and scholarship at NIJ is so powerful. The amount of people with varying perspectives, interests, and ideas is so invigorating. Working alongside individuals who were thinking differently, writing differently, and approaching problems differently helped to hone both my theoretical, but importantly, policy and practical ideas."

Shannon Magnuson, Research Associate, Justice System Partners

Former NIJ Research Assistant