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Production of Criminological Experiments Revisited: The Nature and Extent of Federal Support for Experimental Designs, 2001–2013

NCJ Number
Date Published
January 2015
23 pages
This study assessed the nature and extent of funding for randomized experiments in criminology and criminal justice from the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) since 2000.
The findings document a marked increase in NIJ funding for experiments in recent years compared to the 1991–2000 period, when just 21 awards were made for experimental work. These findings suggest that NIJ has responded to a series of critiques regarding the methodological quality of funded projects by placing a greater emphasis on high-quality social science research. Although the bulk of NIJ funding goes to forensic science and technology support, among the 800 social science awards the study found a total of 99 awards for experiments. Support for the use of experimental designs increased during this 13-year period and was substantially greater than the support for the use of experimental designs in the 1990s. The awards for experiments between 2001 and 2013 went to a variety of researchers and research organizations and addressed a wide array of criminal justice program areas. The study was based on data from official records of grant awards made by NIJ between fiscal years 2001 and 2013. Awards were categorized based on whether they were for randomized experiments, non-experimental evaluation research, non-evaluation social science research, social science program support, forensic science and technology research, or forensic science and technology support. (Publisher abstract modified)

Date Published: January 1, 2015