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New Investigator/Early Career Program in the Social and Behavioral Sciences Solicitation Webinar

Mary Jo Giovacchini; Howard Spivak; Maureen McGough

This webinar will explore NIJ's professional development opportunities for researchers, with a specific focus on the New Investigator solicitation. This funding opportunity aims to support non-tenured assistant professors from a wide variety of disciplines the opportunity to conduct applied research on criminal justice issues. Principle Investigators must have been awarded a terminal degree within 4 years prior to September 30, 2016, hold a non-tenured assistant professor position at an accredited institution of higher learning in the US, and must have not previously served ad a PI on an NIJ research grant or fellowship. Please note that those who have held graduate research fellowships with NIJ are eligible under this solicitation. NIJ encourages applications from diverse social and behavioral sciences including but not limited to criminal justice, criminology, economics, law, psychology, public health, and sociology.

Ms. Giovacchini: Good afternoon everyone and welcome to today's webinar, New Investigator Early Career Program in the Social and Behavioral Sciences, which is hosted by the National Institute of Justice. I would like to at this time to introduce you to Dr. Howard Spivak, Deputy Director/Chief of Staff at the National Institute of Justice.

Dr. Howard Spivak: Good afternoon everyone and welcome to this webinar. My name is Howard Spivak and I’m the deputy director and chief of staff at the National Institute of Justice and I also bring greetings from Nancy Rodriguez who is the director of NIJ. And I’m really pleased to be speaking with you today about one of NIJ newest efforts, the new Investigator and Early Career Program. But I want to put this in a context that we are as an agency beginning to invest more in a variety of activities that help advance careers for people interested in research in criminal justice. From internships for undergraduates to graduate fellowships to new investigator awards, such as this one, to expansion of our Du Bois program, and so on. So, this is one of the newer pieces of a really expanded agenda for NIJ and I think it’s an important one that will help expand and build the field in criminal justice research.

In speaking about this specific solicitation, our goal with this solicitation is to offer new investigators much-needed opportunities to build experience managing federal research grants. For most research solicitations, prior experience managing federal research is a seriously considered element when weighing an applicant’s qualifications. And NIJ has historically not offered new investigators sufficient opportunities to acquire such experience. This means that we’ve been losing an opportunity to work with individuals earlier in their careers who can bring fresh perspectives to pervasive crime problems.

In addition, applying for federal applications can be incredibly time-consuming and cumbersome. And our hope with this solicitation geared specifically to applicants early in their careers is to increase the likelihood of an applicant's efforts to apply will in fact result in funding. In this solicitation applicants are up against others with comparable experience rather than proposing research among a pool of applicants that are likely to have significantly more experience in managing grant proposals, managing grant projects, writing grant proposals, and so on. Finally, managing federal awards is a complex and time-intensive process so our hope with this program is that with additional technical assistance and guidance, NIJ will offer sufficient support to new PIs so that the process is less daunting and more manageable. Although I want to qualify all of what I’ve just said with this does not mean that we are in any way lessening the importance of the rigor of good science in this. So, while we are trying to create a new access point for, or entry point, for new investigators, it does not mean that we’re necessarily compromising the quality of the science that we are funding.

Just a few notes on the eligibility requirements. We’ve had quite a few questions about this so we’re hoping this will clarify it. But please ask questions if this isn’t clear. Applicants must have received their doctorate no more than four years prior to September 30, 2016. Applicants must be nontenured assistant professors in accredited institutions of higher education in the United States at the time of the application. So, unfortunately, applicants from research institutions that are not institutes of higher education cannot be considered at this point under this solicitation. Nor can individuals who work at institutes of higher learning but are not working as assistant professors. Please note that applicants are not required to be on a tenured track at the time of the application. Applicants must not have served as a principal investigator on previous NIJ awards. Applicants who served as PI on research grants not funded by NIJ are still eligible. And applicants who previously received funding from NIJ through fellowships such as the Du Bois or graduate research assistant fellowships are still eligible to apply for this funding.

For this solicitation, priority will be given to research including, but not limited to, the Office of Research and Evaluation at NIJ’s interests; justice systems such as policing, courts, and corrections; violence and victimization; and crime control and prevention. At NIJ we encourage applicants from a broad range of disciplines to use innovative approaches to solving these complex crime problems so we are by no means limiting this to people who are getting criminal justice degrees, but any field that would have interest and overlap with criminal justice issues. Please note that this application is primarily targeted toward social and behavioral sciences. While we of course welcome applications from those in criminology and criminal justice fields, we also encourage applications from such disciplines as public health, sociology, psychology, economics, and law. We are, however, not able to support STEM or hard science applications through this solicitation. We do welcome applications from social science evaluations of technological operations, however.

In any NIJ research solicitation, there are a number of basic minimal requirements that must be met in order for an application to be considered. Failure to submit a complete application will result in your application being rejected prior to review. Please read the solicitation instructions and description of application materials very carefully. Your application will be reviewed based on the elements required in the application. So, it’s imperative that you are responsive to every section, particularly the description of the program narrative. On the final page of the solicitation there's a checklist, and it’s important that you review the checklist and ensure that your application contains all of the required materials. And it’s particularly helpful in the review process if you clearly name the documents you upload through the application system. For example, clearly name the project narrative, the program abstract and the key contacts documents as such.

Beginning on page 21 of the solicitation you will find detailed instructions for how to apply for NIJ funding. It may appear to be a bit daunting at first but the system is for the most part intuitive and includes very detailed instructions. All applications must be uploaded through grants.gov. There are several steps applicants must take prior to submitting their applications and I suggest you get started on these steps sooner rather than later to avoid any last-minute complications which have been known to happen. First you'll need to find out your institution’s nine digit DUNS number. It is very likely that your university already has one and your institution’s grant administrator or financial officer should be able to give you this information. In the unlikely event that your institution does not have a DUNS number, your institution’s chief financial officer will need to register to get such a number.

Applicants must register with the system for awards management. SAM, is a standard repository for information about applicants for funding. It is likely that your institution has a current registration in SAM. But it is best to check on this as early as possible. Updates can take as long as 10 days and you will not be able to submit to grants.gov without a current registration. Solicitation contains very detailed instructions on how to apply so I encourage you to review these instructions carefully and get started on the preliminary actions as soon as possible. Instructions begin again on page 21 and include helpful contact information should you have questions or need assistance in that process.

All applications will first be reviewed to ensure that they meet basic minimum requirements as outlined in the solicitation. Again, I encourage you to use the checklist at the end of the solicitation to ensure that you submitted all required documents. Applications that lack even one component from this checklist will not be reviewed. Applications will then be reviewed to ensure applicants meet their eligibility requirements mentioned earlier and ensure that the research proposed is responsive to the solicitation. Applications that make it through this initial screening process will then be reviewed by peer review panels. Peer reviewers are usually a mixture of researchers and criminal justice practitioners. They will score applications based on the requirements of the solicitation and make recommendations to NIJ as to which applications should be considered for future funding. For the new investigator program, the program manager will then make recommendations to the NIJ director based on the comments from the peer review panels as well as a variety of other factors as to which applicants should be funded taking into consideration program priorities, the recommendations of the peer reviewers, and funding of awards is entirely at the discretion, ultimately, of the NIJ director herself. All applicants will be notified of their status in early July.

The new investigator early career solicitation is just one of many opportunities for professional development that NIJ supports. I mentioned this earlier, but I want to highlight a couple of these. There are two funding opportunities currently open that may be also of interest to you. Please note that applicants may not submit the same research project for funding under the other NIJ fellowship opportunities, such as the Du Boisprogram, however, applicants are permitted to submit applications for funding of different research projects to multiple NIJ fellowship opportunities. Since the year 2000, NIJ has supported W.E.B. Du BoisFellows conducting research on race and crime in the United States. Recent research has included examination of racial discrimination and its impact on delinquency behavior by gender, analyzing characteristics of disputes that contribute to cycles of retaliatory violence, and using racial priming theory to test how exposure to radicalized views affects people’s support of justice reinvestment.

Applicants must possess a terminal degree in their perspective field and not have been awarded tenure by December 30, 2016. I do want to note that the Du Bois fellowship has now been expanded to the Du Bois program and also includes opportunities for more senior researchers to apply for funding in this topic area as well. This is yet another example of how we expanded our support for research in this area.

This year NIJ is also reviving our Visiting Fellows program. Through this solicitation, we aim to bring leading researchers, practitioners and researcher-practitioner partnerships into residency at NIJ to make important scholarly and policy contributions with practical applications to the criminal justice field. Fellows will work closely with the NIJ director, science staff, and relevant NIJ stakeholders to help shape the direction of NIJ’s research program. During their fellowship, Visiting Fellows will work in a significant piece of scholarship or evidence-based initiative that has potential to significantly advance criminal research justice and practice. I just want to restate that this is an opportunity for researchers as well as practitioner scholars to have an opportunity to work at NIJ and work with our scientists and our agency leadership.

You'll now see on the screen some websites and I’m going to keep this on the screen so you can come back to this and write it down if you need to but it’s the website for the solicitation. It’s the website for frequently asked questions. It’s the website for grants.gov. And, it’s the podcast on developing strong research proposals.

We now open the webinar for questions and answers but I am going to go back to the previous slide so people can get this information down if they need it.

Ms. Giovacchini: Actually, before we start with the questions and answers, I do want to indicate that, in approximately one week from tomorrow the webinar, a transcript, and a copy of the FAQs will be posted to the NIJ website for your reference. You will receive an email letting you know that that has been done.

Maureen Ms. McGough: Hi everyone. Thanks so much for tuning in into this, this is Maureen McGough, I’m a Policy Advisor here at NIJ. We've had great questions come in and please don’t hesitate to keep them coming throughout the Q&A period.

First question is, does the same recency requirement of four years apply to a Juris Doctorate? And the answer to that would be yes. The four-year requirement is for all terminal degrees in any field.

Second, am I eligible to apply if my contract as a professor begins in the fall?

Unfortunately, no. You must be working as an assistant professor at the time of application.

Should we highlight our previous experiences as an RA on an NIJ grant?

Yes, please do. Absolutely. You’ll see in the breakdown that there's an opportunity for you to talk about qualifications, experience, capacity to conduct this type of research, and that would be a perfect time to highlight any relevant experience you have.

Are postdocs eligible or is it limited to nontenured assistant professors?

It is limited to nontenured assistance professors.

If research is not a program evaluation does it fit with the solicitation?

Yes, absolutely. I encourage you to read, I believe, it’s the first page of the general description of the solicitation. It will give you some idea of what we're looking for. This is very broad in terms of social science behavioral approaches to criminal justice problems and is not limited to program evaluation.

I am faculty in the architecture department, am I eligible as long as the research is relevant to the solicitation?

That is exciting to hear that we have someone from the architecture department on the line. You’re absolutely eligible to apply as long as you do apply with the relevant research in the social and behavioral sciences.

If there are multiple PIs on a project, do all PIs have to have less than four years of experience?

No, but I would caution you a little bit here and remember sort of the purpose of this solicitation. If it’s clear that someone with less than four years of experience is just brought on as a PI sort of as a front for other more established researchers to conduct their research that application would likely not get very far.

Dr. Spivak:  I would just like to add that. In general, most of our applications have a single PI.There may be co-PIs involved and the various contributions to the project need to be clearly defined in the narrative. In general, there is one person that we perceive and accept as being responsible for the project.

We will give you more time to come up with questions. This webinar can continue for a bit longer so if people need to think about more things they want to ask, please do.

Ms. McGough: We just got one question coming in here that I’m actually going to kick over to Howard. They mention that they plan on listening to podcast on developing a strong research proposal. So they ask if we could please speak to the items that would make a strong research proposal.

Dr. Spivak: I think this is very basic. It’s very important that you actually look at the material on submitting a strong proposal but I want to reinforce something I said very early on in this podcast which is that, or in this webinar, which is that the quality and rigor of the research being presented is extremely important. Clarity is extremely important. Your proposals will be judged based on what you submit. There are not opportunities to add additional information afterwards so it’s very important that you write a clear, complete proposal, that you pay great attention to the rigor and quality of the research that you are proposing. That you answer all of the questions in the solicitation, that you write a reasonable response in each of the sections. Again, as clearly and simply as possible. And it’s often a good idea to have somebody who isn't involved in the research project to review your application because they may actually identify components of the application that are less clear than they could be and give you good feedback on that. I would also strongly encourage people to have colleagues and peers review their applications and get feedback. It’s better to hear the critiques from your friends than to ultimately get them from strangers who don't know you and therefore are going to be more blunt in their comments to you.

Ms. McGough: All right we’ve gotten a few more.

Must the methodological design be random control trial or can the project be purely qualitative?

 Yes it can be purely qualitative.

Dr. Spivak: I’d actually like to speak to that. It is extremely important that we are interested in a range of methodologies. That we are not looking for single methodologies. That we do not only fund random control trials. That there is a spectrum of relevant and appropriate methodologies to apply to criminal justice research and you should be thinking about the entire spectrum and what methodology is most appropriate to answer the questions, the research questions, that you’re posing.

Ms. McGough: Let’s see. We got a few more

Can someone who is a co-PI on a previous NIJ grant apply? That’s a little bit tricky, but the answer is yes, but it’s really important that in your application you make clear what your role was versus the PI. We don’t want you to unnecessarily be disqualified on eligibility so make sure you spend some time on it in there and help us understand that you were the co-PI and not the PI.

I'm at a medical school in which there isn’t tenure, but I am assistant professor, do I qualify?

The answer is yes. So the only qualification is that you are not currently a tenured professor. There is no requirement that you be on a tenured track as an assistant professor.

If I'm eligible for this award, and I’ve applied for another NIJ award recently, is it too late to submit that research idea for this award too?

So the answer to that is yes and no depending on what the other application was. We do ask that you don't summit the same research proposals to this and our fellowship opportunities that Howard mentioned at the end slide show. But it’s for one of her more general research solicitations, you are able to submit both proposals. I should clarify, the same person is free to apply to multiple fellowship opportunities. You just can’t submit the same proposal.

Could you say more about the topics or the type of research that will likely be funded? Is that something that Howard would want to get into?

Dr. Spivak: Yes, this is a very broad solicitation. And so, I encourage you to think very broadly about what the options are here. We are interested in a full spectrum of social and behavioral sciences and research questions that would be relevant to advancing the practice of criminal justice. Keep in mind that NIJ is an applied science agency so we are generally interested in research that helps advance practice. That doesn't mean again that it has to be an evaluation of a practice, but it needs to be the kind of research that can help inform practice. I would encourage you to think broadly about this. It’s hard to be clearer than this because we're trying to cast a pretty wide net in this, and we're trying to encourage people who have not necessarily typically applied for criminal justice research grants to consider this as a potential opportunity. We are extremely interested in this as a way of encouraging people who are in social and behavioral sciences who never thought about criminology as a direction to actually think about that. So, I would think extremely broadly about this. I would encourage you, if you're not sure, to go to the website, the NIJ website and look through the various web pages on that site. We list all of the grants that we funded under various categories so you can get a sense of what we funded in the past. That doesn't mean we're not interested in new subject matter by any means. So, I wish I could be clear about that. We can't answer specific questions about an individual research project. But, I would encourage people to think broadly and even outside of the box on this.

Ms. McGough: We have got quite a few were coming. Thank you so much for getting those into us. We've gotten a few requests for clarifications. So just to go back to that point on assistant professorship, you must be working as an assistant professor at the time you apply. So if you have a contract that is starting in the fall, unfortunately you won’t be eligible this year but we look forward to getting your application next year.

Just to reiterate, we do encourage qualitative research under the solicitation.

Here’s a question. How do the consultants and co-PIs factor into the review process? Should they be based in the current institution?

The short answer is no they don't have to be based in the current institution. A lot of our research projects actually are comprised of pretty expansive teams so depending on the research question that you’re looking at you might need some statistical support or that type of thing. And you are welcome to include whoever you want. Just remember, you are required to submit a very detailed budget. So if you are going to be doing any sort of sub grantee relationships under your current proposal that will all need be in your budget explanation. And you’ll also need to include information about the qualifications of anyone you have on your research team in your research proposal.

Ms. McGough: We have a question here. Does forensic anthropology fall into social and behavioral sciences?

Dr. Spivak: That’s a great question. I think it may depend on what the subject matter is within that field. But, forensic anthropology is a social science. I think I would encourage you to look at our solicitation for STEM grant fellowship awards which will give you a clearer sense of what’s included in that solicitation. If it’s included in that solicitation, then it will not be included in this one. That’s really one of the clearest boundaries we're trying to set with this solicitation. But, in some ways, anthropological work in more basic sciences does bridge with social science and so it’s certainly worth considering and it’s worth a try. I would just, again, refer you to the STEM solicitation just to make sure that the research questions you’re considering are not covered in that solicitation.

Ms. McGough: Howard here’s another one for you. The application asked for applied research. What is NIJ’s definition of applied research?

Dr. Spivak: Applied research refers to the fact that the research should have a clear link to advancing the practice of some area of the criminal justice system. It doesn't, again, have to be specifically programmatic but it has to be research that can inform programs, that has ultimately some connection to practice. So, again, we generally don't fund a great deal of basic science. We’re not the National Institute of Health. We are the National Institute of Justice and our primary goal is funding research that advances the practice of criminal justice. I think in your application, either how you frame the research question you're asking, or how you discuss the relevance of the research you're doing to practice is an important thing to be clear about in the application as you write it up.

Ms. McGough: Will the Early Career Program grant be offered again next year as well?

Unfortunately we can’t answer that. As with all things with federal funding a lot of it depends on the appropriations that we receive and our budget, and unfortunately we cannot speak to what will be offering in the next fiscal year. I would encourage you to sign up though on NIJ.gov. You can receive regular alerts for when we issue new solicitations. So we’re in the thick of our solicitation season right now but it’s definitely not too late to be notified about any funding opportunities that we have coming down the pike.

Dr. Spivak: I would just add to that that the commitment to investing in the advancement of careers in criminal justice research is a very serious commitment. So, while we can't speak to exactly what funding opportunities will exist from year to year, the general commitment to career development is a long-term commitment in the agency.

Ms. McGough: We have a question here. Are you interested in replication studies, i.e. replicating a dissertation at a national level?

While we would certainly be interested in that, I would encourage you to pay close attention to the budgetary constraints around this solicitation. While the review of your budget doesn’t necessarily impact your score, if it’s termed that your project is not feasible with the budget you propose, it won’t go forward for consideration.

We have a question. Someone here says I have a joint appointment with the research center and the school of criminal justice. Am I eligible?

Dr. Spivak: Yes. If you have an assistant professor appointment in an academic institution, then you are eligible.

Ms. McGough: If the PI is proposing a project in which the data is collected a few months prior to the funding period, would that still be considered primary data collection?

Yes, in terms of fact that it is primary data collection but no for the purposes of this project. It’s very important that you don't actually start working on this project until you’ve cleared IRB, until you had your budget approved by our folks here on our finance side. So what you could do, if you have data collection under different mechanism is make sure you make that clear in your proposal that you are leveraging additional funding elsewhere to complete the preliminary process of your evaluation or what have you.

Formatting wise, should all components and attachments be paginated and included in a table of contents? So that’s a question that will probably make more sense to you once you’re actually in grants.gov and uploading. Actually each different element of the application is going to be a separate document. So you just need to make sure that you are very clearly naming the different components of your application. So, project abstract, for example. Program narrative. Budget. That kind of thing.

Dr. Spivak: I think this question really refers back to the point I made very early which is, please read and follow directions very carefully. It’s incredibly unfortunate when we see an interesting proposal that has been formatted improperly or where even a minor piece of the solicitation requirements is missing because we cannot go outside of the standard basic requirements of the solicitation requirements.

Ms. McGough: We have a couple questions here that are related. We will go ahead and address them at the same time. We had one question earlier about whether or not it’s prudent to get a mentor for the project and we have another question here, can we include more senior researchers in our proposal as part of an advisory board or as non-paid advisors on the project? If so, is this likely to be reviewed favorably by the reviewers under the solicitation?

The short answer is yes, absolutely. In terms of whether or not it will be viewed favorably by the reviews, reviewers are going to be looking for the quality of your research proposal and also whether or not the team that you have pulled together has a capacity to actually make that research happen. If you think that an advisory board will help you get that capacity a little bit better, than absolutely, please go that route.

Dr. Spivak: I would also add, just as a piece of advice, if you are including somebody who is in a mentoring role, their role in the project needs to be explicitly clear. Simply including somebody’s name because you think it will make the proposal look better is less advisable than including somebody who adds some depth to the research team and has a real role in the project. And is not simply there for color.

Ms. McGough: This is an interesting question.

If there are many different directions that can go with the research plan related to violence and victimizations should I choose one based on what has the potential to reduce the most violence or the one that is most innovative?

So, the quick answer to that is, we are not going to give you an answer to that question because that gets into defining the scope of your project. But I will say that’s a balance that NIJ strikes with a lot of our research. Our priority is to have relevant research that is actually going to make a difference in terms of policy and practice in the U.S. So if you for a research idea that gets at that, that’s obviously very good to propose to us. But also, the innovation angle is key because we don't want to be funding the same methodology for the same pervasive crime problems if they are not getting us anywhere. So, I would encourage you to reflect what is going to have the greatest impact and go from there.

We received a question. If a non-U.S. citizen is eligible for funding.

Unfortunately under our current stream of funding, non-U.S. citizens are not eligible to apply.

Are elements like summer support and course release eligible for funding?

Dr. Spivak: In our Graduate Fellowship programs that is fundable. This is a research proposal. It is not a proposal with an educational component, so your budget and your proposal need to be for the research itself. Not other elements that might be advancing your education, specifically.

Ms. McGough: How imperative are letters of cooperation from organizations who are proposing to work with us?

Dr. Spivak: Letters of cooperation and commitment are extremely important.

Ms. McGough: That will definitely factor into whether or not reviewers think that you can actually do the research you are proposing.

Dr. Spivak: There’s a question about whether the funding cap includes direct and indirect costs. That is generally the case with all of NIJ’s grants.

Ms. McGough: We have a question. Will you review a one-page abstract of my research project before the deadline?

Unfortunately we cannot. But again, we do encourage you to reach out to people who are in your network who have experience with this type of funding and encouraging them to give you feedback there.

Ms. McGough: Here we have, the PI must commit to a 20 percent full-time equivalent minimum level of effort. Is this 20 percent FTE required consistently throughout the duration of the award or on average, i.e., 30 percent in the summer and 10 percent during the academic year?

It is on average.

Dr. Spivak: But keep in mind that the academic year is a lot longer than the summer. So you need to essentially be committing 20 percent of your time over the duration of the funded project.

Ms. McGough: This is interesting. Does the NIJ view public opinion data as applied research?

Dr. Spivak: Public opinion data can be one data source involved in a research project. Again, you need to put it in the context of the rigor of your research. So, there’s lots of ways of collecting public opinion data. Some of which are more rigorous than others. So I think again you need to…I can't advise you about any specific data source, as much as you need to be able to make a good case that you're using solid, rigorous data and that you’re applying it to an important and applied research question.

Ms. McGough: Can you speak a bit about the data in the applications, i.e., the number of applicants receiving feedback on applications post-submission and resubmission.

Well the data on applicants, this is a brand-new solicitation so we unfortunately cannot give you a count of how many people will be applying. We can say this webinar was well attended, which we are thrilled about. In terms of receiving feedback on you application post submissions, assuming you make it past the BMR process, you'll receive copies of all the peer reviewers comments on your application. We actually encourage resubmission in future funding years. There will be specific instructions on how you do that. You basically go in and you explain at the beginning of your program narrative how you incorporated peer-reviewer comments and make your proposal all the better.

Dr. Spivak: I do want to point out on any potential re-submission, that while we can’t guarantee that the eligibility requirements will be the same from year to year, that, the timeframe, post your degree, will obviously be influenced if you resubmit a proposal a year or two afterwards. You may need to take that into consideration as a potential for resubmitting or not.

Ms. McGough: There is a question here. How much assistance does NIJ give once the project is funded given the researchers are new?

That’s a great question and that is something we are still working through but I will say this. We are very cognizant of the fact that this will be the first time that someone is going through the federal process. Generally on NIJ grants, there are two people who are your point of contact for support. One is a program manager and they’re going to help you with substantive development, survey design, that type of thing. And then you will have a grant manager. Your grant manager is really going to be the person that you'll be leaning on very heavily in terms of fulfilling federal grant requirements. So you’ll have the standard support set any NIJ grantee would receive but we will be sure that we think mindfully about what it is that you need on the front end and then throughout the award to make sure that you are not overwhelmed or unaware of requirements or the time constraints that are on you.

Dr. Spivak: I would also add that we often have the ability to fund research projects as grants or as cooperative agreements. Sometimes we’ll fund a project as a cooperative agreement if we think that it will be particularly helpful to have a more interactive process around the implementation and the science of the project itself. So the degree to which there is support around the science may vary on how the funding is ultimately awarded. But, our grant management staff are extremely helpful and available around the logistical elements of actually managing the grant process.

Ms. McGough: We’re getting a few sort of repeat questions here. We just want to let you know that, if it turns out you missed an answer to a question you asked, as they mentioned earlier we will have a Q&A document that are public and then you can also go back and listen to the answers we had so far.

We have another question about designation as associate professors versus assistant professors. And they come from and institution where they are automatically designated as an associate professor. That would not disqualify you. The only qualification is that you not be tenured.

Dr. Spivak: And that you be no more than four years past your degree. If entry-level is considered an associate professor and it’s not a tenured status, it is essentially the equivalent of an assistant professor in another institution.

It seems that that is all of your questions. I am going to give another minute or two of silence to give anyone a chance to add a question. If you still have questions, after which we will end the webinar. I do want to make one other comment and that is that we are also looking to expand the pool of people we use as peer reviewers to review grants. And one of the ways, quite frankly, that people can get better at writing proposals is being part of the peer review process and learning from what they see other people do and what tends to be well reviewed versus what tends not to be well reviewed. I would also encourage you to look at the NIJ website, NIJ.gov, and specifically, look at the information we have about signing up to be a peer reviewer. We are very extremely interested in broadening the diversity and the size of the pool of people we have access to to help us in reviewing proposals and advising our director.

I just realized there was one additional slide I didn’t show which is contact information so I just put that up on the screen now. So that has the phone number and contact information for the National Criminal Justice Reference Service, which is actually the entity that manages our grant process. So they are the ones that essentially manage all of the logistics of the submission and review process. It has the email address for that agency, NCJRS. And, there’s also a chat site for NCJRS where you can ask questions through live chat.

Ms. McGough: We have a very important question here. Peer reviewer positions are paid, is that correct?

Yes they are.

Dr. Spivak: They are paid, but not a lot.

Ms. McGough: Before we finish up, if you submitted a question using chat, please resubmit it using the Q&A tab. We do not always have the ability to look at the chat box. So as we are finishing up if you have something important please resubmit it using Q&A.

Dr. Spivak: I am going to leave the contact information on for another minute and then go back to the slide that had the websites, just again in case people need that.

You have the slide that has the various websites for the solicitation. There’s a follow-up question with respect to course release. I think that could potentially qualify under the PI salary element of this. So if some of the salary request is actually for course release, that would probably be acceptable.

We’ve gone through all the questions we believe we answered. We've raised in answered all of the questions we are able to answer. There were some questions we were unable to answer and there were a number of questions that were redundant of questions we received. I am just going to restate that you need to be a U.S. citizen. So not having citizenship status be it with a green card or whatever else does not allow you to apply for this funding at this point. I don't see, at least at this time, that that eligibility requirement is going to change. On that note, I am going to end the webinar. I really thank all of you for joining us. I hope many of you apply for this solicitation. We’re extremely excited about it and we do hope it becomes yet another entry point into careers for research into criminal justice. Thank you all.

Date Created: August 19, 2019