American Indian and Alaska Native Student Travel Scholarship Program
To enhance diversity in the field of criminal justice, NIJ will support 15 American Indian and Alaska Native students to attend criminal justice-related conferences. NIJ’s Dr. Angela Moore discusses who is eligible to participate in this program, application requirements, the conferences students may choose to attend, and how they can expect to benefit from taking part I this program.
My name is Angela Moore and I'm a Senior Science Advisor at the National Institute of Justice within the Office of Research, Evaluation, and Technology. I am the Program Manager for the American Indian, Alaska Native Travel Scholars Program.
The American Indian and Alaska Native Travel Scholarship Program is designed to provide opportunities for students to get exposure to the criminal justice field through one mechanism by providing them that opportunity to attend a variety of criminal justice conferences.
The Travel Scholars Program is critical to NIJ. Our goal is to be able to enhance the representation of American Indian and Alaska Native people within law enforcement, within academia, within policy, throughout the criminal justice field. And this is one way that we can do it. By working with students who are early in their career and giving them exposure to these conferences, they have an opportunity to see where their work can fit into the criminal justice field and how they can use this to potentially enhance the work of their tribal communities.
The eligibility requirements for the AI/AN Tribal Scholarship program can be found on the NIJ website. These include, you have to be 18 years or older, you have to self-identify as American Indian or Alaska Native and be affiliated with a tribe or enrolled in a tribe, and you have not previously received a travel scholarship from NIJ. Students who apply can either be in the Social and Behavioral Sciences or Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, also known as STEM. Preference will be given to STEM students. Undergraduate and graduate students can apply, but preference will be given to graduate students.
To apply for the program, you have to submit an application and that application form will be downloaded from the NIJ website. In addition, you have to submit transcripts of your academic career that includes undergrad and graduate. You also must receive a recommendation from someone who can attest to your credentials and your capabilities. You also have to submit a statement of interest, and last but not least, you have to provide a resume or CV.
Through the Travel Scholars Program, students have an opportunity to attend criminal justice conferences. Examples of conferences students can attend include the American Society of Criminology, the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, and the National Missing and Unidentified Persons Conference. The benefits for students attending one of these conferences, one, they get to learn more about criminal justice from the perspective of practitioners, researchers, scholars, policymakers who all attend these conferences. They also get to network with individuals in the field and explore different career opportunities and they get to have fun, and last but not least, they have an opportunity to interact with NIJ staff, as well as NIJ leadership.
Although the program is still relatively new, we are seeing some early successes with it. So we are looking to expand and we're just excited about students taking what they've learned and not only applying it in criminal justice, but also to issues facing their tribal communities.
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