The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) is the research, development, and evaluation agency of the U.S. Department of Justice. One of NIJ's primary objectives is to advance scientific work on a variety of crime and justice topics, and advocate for criminal justice research funding. In the article, Dr. Rodriguez provides detail on the core missions of NIJ, and outlines the organization's guiding principles: 1. Research can make a difference in individual lives. It can improve the safety of communities and create a more effective and fair justice system. 2. Government-funded research must adhere to fair and open competition guided by rigorous peer review. 3. Innovative and rigorous research methods can provide answers to basic questions as well as practical, applied solutions to crime. 4. Research must respond to the real-world needs of victims, communities, and criminal justice professionals. And, 5. Partnerships with other agencies and organizations, public and private, are essential to our success.