U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Dot gov

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Https

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

National Institute of Justice (NIJ)

Select Filters

NIJ's Law Enforcement Advancing Data and Science Academics Program

Notice

The 2019 application period has closed. 

The Law Enforcement Advancing Data and Science (LEADS) Academics program (currently in pilot) offers a unique opportunity for early-career academics to engage with NIJ LEADS Scholars, all of whom are mid-career police officers dedicated to advancing the police profession through science.

Applicant NEPA Process: Frequently Asked Questions

NEPA requires that prior to funding, authorizing, or implementing an action, federal agencies must consider the effects the proposed action may have on the environment, and the related social and economic effects. Under this legislation, Agencies are required to address each project, taking into account all consequences as well as the effect of cumulative impacts on the environment. Because NIJ must make a decision as to whether to fund your project, NEPA applies.

No. However, you are strongly encouraged to do so if the actions within your project are not Categorical Exclusions (CATEXs), especially if your project has required NEPA compliance documentation in the past or if it falls under any of the programs or project types that are within the scope of the Programmatic Environmental Assessment (PEA). See the NIJ CATEX page and the PEA page for more information.

Applicants are encouraged to submit their NIJ Grants Program Checklist with their project application package. If your project requires a NIJ Grants Program Checklist and you do not submit one with your application, the NIJ NEPA Coordinator or the Grant Manager assigned, will contact the POC listed on your application with a request to complete the checklist. Note, if the checklist is submitted later, it may hold up access to funds.

The POC listed on the application or a representative with knowledge of the project and approved by the POC.

The POC listed on the application or a representative with knowledge of the project and approved by the POC.

Depending on the work being outsourced, subcontractors/subrecipients must submit a NIJ Programmatic Cover Sheet and the NIJ Grants Program Checklist. This applies to any entity identified in the Budget Detail Worksheet that will be receiving funds through a sub-award or procurement contract. Ultimately, the completeness and accuracy of the subcontractor/subrecipient checklists is the responsibility of the prime.

If you believe that a question is not relevant to your particular project, respond “N/A” where appropriate. If you choose to respond “N/A” you are required to give an explanation in the comments section as to why the question is non-applicable to facilitate review of your response by the NIJ NEPA Team.

Special conditions are removed when the NIJ Grant Manager receives the final approved NIJ Grants Program Checklist, along with all necessary documentation required to comply with the DOJ Procedures for implementing NEPA found at 28 CFR Part 61 (Appendix D). This documentation is provided to the Grant Manager after it has been approved by the NIJ NEPA Coordinator. Once the Grant Manager and NIJ NEPA Coordinator have verified that the applicant has submitted all necessary documents and NEPA compliance is complete, then a Grant Adjustment Notice (GAN) will be issued removing the NEPA condition.

Yes, NIJ Grants Program Checklist are needed for each new award, not for each year of a multiple year award. If the project and activities have changed from the original application, then a new checklist may be required.

Project funds will be withheld until the NEPA requirement has been completed in full.

No, separate checklists are required for different projects/application numbers, even if they are being done by the same entity

NEPA is a federal law that applies to decisions NIJ makes about whether or not to fund a project. Therefore, the NIJ NEPA Coordinator makes the final decision on the appropriate level of NEPA compliance for your project and the determination of whether compliance with the requirements of NEPA has been achieved.

NIJ’s NEPA Coordinator and/or Grant Manager will be available to support the NEPA compliance process for your project.

The Evaluation of NIJ by the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences: NIJ's Response

June 2011

The National Academies conducted a comprehensive evaluation of the National Institute of Justice. This panel provides an overview of the evaluation and NIJ's response to it. NIJ has accepted many of the recommendations in the NRC report, and you will learn what the agency is doing to implement them. A few of the recommendations were challenging and created considerable debate within NIJ. Plans to address these thorny issues also are discussed.

Sexual Assault: Obtaining DNA From Evidence Collected up to a Week Later

June 2009

Technological advances have made it possible to detect male DNA in evidentiary samples collected several days after a sexual act has taken place. Panelists will present the research that has led to these findings, followed by a discussion of the potential impact of this work from the perspectives of the sexual assault nurse examiner (SANE) and the crime laboratory communities.

Domestic Violence Shelters: The Experience of the Survivor

June 2009

Panelists will present findings from a comprehensive study of domestic violence shelters in eight states. Data were collected from 3,410 residents in 215 domestic violence shelters — 81 percent of the shelters. The first of its kind, this descriptive study seeks to fill a gap in current knowledge about the needs and experiences of domestic violence survivors who turn to shelters for help and the type of help they receive. Implications for policy and programming will also be addressed.

The State of the Police Field: A New Professionalism in Policing?

June 2010

Panelists debate the premise of a Harvard Executive Session working paper that suggests police organizations are striving for a "new" professionalism. Leaders are endeavoring for stricter standards of efficiency and conduct, while also increasing their legitimacy to the public and encouraging innovation. Is this new? Will this idea lead to prematurely discarding community policing as a guiding philosophy?

"Sentinel Event" Review in the Criminal Justice System

January 2014

Listen to James Doyle discuss the basics of a "sentinel event" review in the criminal justice system. This learning-from-error approach borrows from principles that medicine, aviation and other high-risk enterprises have successfully used. Former NIJ Fellow Doyle offers the basics to understand this innovative idea that takes a system-wide perspective of error, bringing all stakeholders together in a non-blaming, forward-looking way after a bad outcome, such as a wrongful conviction, occurs.

Homicide in the United States

June 2009

The 2009 NIJ Conference kicked off with a blue-ribbon panel of leaders with expertise in urban issues as they relate to homicide. These experts will discuss promising approaches that have resulted in reduced violence and community empowerment.

Backlogs and Their Impact on the Criminal Justice System

June 2010

Evidence backlogs have been known to be an issue in crime laboratories. A recent study published by NIJ has shown that backlogs of untested evidence are also an issue in law enforcement evidence storage. This panel will discuss the issues and present preliminary findings from a study of the Los Angeles Police Department's and Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department's experience with clearing out a large backlog of unanalyzed rape kits.

Alternative Sentencing Policies for Drug Offenders

June 2009

The panel presentations from the 2009 NIJ Conference are based on an NIJ-sponsored evaluation of the effectiveness of Kansas Senate Bill 123, which mandates community-based drug abuse treatment for drug possession by nonviolent offenders in lieu of prison. 

A View From the Street: Police Leaders Share Their Perspectives on Urgent Policy and Research Issues

June 2010

Sponsored by the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) and its Research Advisory Committee (RAC), this panel unites law enforcement leaders from across the country to discuss their policy and research concerns. Charles Wellford, IACP RAC co-chair and University of Maryland professor, will facilitate the panel. Presenters will discuss urgent policing issues that merit ongoing research, law enforcement and academic research partnerships, and how research can and does affect agency policy and operations.

Cell Phones in Prison

June 2010

Criminals are using cell phones illegally in prisons and jails to conduct their business and intimidate witnesses. Although technology solutions to this problem are available, they can create new challenges, such as legal and implementation issues associated with cell phone use in correctional facilities. Panelists will discuss various aspects to consider from how prisoners use cell phones, to day-to-day and operational aspects, to legal and regulatory concerns.

Elder Abuse: How Much Occurs and How Do We Measure It?

June 2009

NIJ Conference Panel
Panelists will present NIJ research on elder mistreatment in noninstitutionalized adults as well as tools for measuring the financial exploitation and psychological abuse of the elderly. A recently completed telephone survey of more than 6,500 older adults living in the community provides the most accurate estimates of the prevalence and incidence of physical, sexual, financial and emotional elder abuse. A second study used state-of-the-art science methods to develop a tool that measures the financial and psychological abuse of elders.

Familial DNA Searching: Issues and Answers

June 2011

Familial DNA searching is the practice of creating new investigative leads in cases where DNA evidence found at the scene of a crime strongly resembles that of an existing DNA profile but is not an exact match. Panelists will explain how the technology works, provide examples of successful convictions obtained through familial searches, and discuss the various misconceptions and concerns regarding this practice.

Gang Membership Prevention

June 2010

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and NIJ collaborated on a book that focuses on promising principles for gang membership prevention. This NIJ Conference Panel discusses the risk and protective factors that influence gang membership as well as efforts to reduce such factors. Panelists also explored the direction of gang research for the future.