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NIJ's Law Enforcement Advancing Data and Science Civilians Program, Fiscal Year 2020

Closing Date
The Law Enforcement Advancing Data and Science (LEADS) Civilians program offers a unique opportunity for law enforcement civilians to partner with LEADS Scholars, Alumni, and Academics in an effort to use data-driven strategies and locally-tailored research to advance their agency’s mission. NIJ is piloting the addition of LEADS Civilians with the goal of strengthening the LEADS programs ability to advance evidence-based policing in the US. The most critical element of this program is that LEADS participants have the option of receiving technical assistance on projects (e.g., improving data collection and analysis, integrating existing research into policies and practices, designing research projects) of their own choosing. Participants are encouraged to pursue projects that directly respond to the priority needs of their agency. While in the program (a three-year commitment) LEADS participants will have access to researchers and program staff to support these efforts.

NIJ’s Law Enforcement Advancing Data and Science Scholars Program for Law Enforcement Officers, Fiscal Year 2020

Closing Date
The Law Enforcement Advancing Data and Science (LEADS) Scholars program supports the professional development and research capacity of mid-career, sworn law enforcement officers dedicated to advancing the police profession through science. The most critical element of this program is that LEADS participants have the option of receiving technical assistance on projects (e.g., improving data collection and analysis, integrating existing research into policies and practices, designing research projects) of their own choosing. Participants are encouraged to pursue projects that directly respond to the priority needs of their agency. While in the program (a three-year commitment) LEADS participants will have access to researchers and program staff to support these efforts.

NIJ Funded Software Tools, Apps and Databases

NIJ has funded a number of free or low cost software tools, apps and databases to assist with investigations or research. Find tools for:

Before Applying - Graduate Research Fellowship

Outside of the open solicitation period, email program questions to [email protected]. During the open solicitation period, please contact the National Criminal Justice Reference Service (NCJRS) Response Center: toll-free at 1-800-851-3420; via TTY at 301-240-6310 (hearing impaired only); email [email protected]; fax to 301-240-5830; or web chat at https://webcontact.ncjrs.gov/ncjchat/chat.jsp.

For technical assistance with submitting an application, call the Grants.gov Customer Support Hot Line at 800-518-4726.

The GRF program supports the development of young scientists engaged in research relevant to NIJ's criminal justice mission. The intent is to give these students the financial support to allow them to devote their full attention to completion of their dissertation research. GRF fellowships include: a student fellow salary; an allowance for tuition, fees, and administrative costs; and an allowance for research expenses. Up to three years of support may be requested.

A GRF solicitation for 2020 has not yet posted, but it is anticipated soon. In past years, the funding opportunity has typically posted in January and been open for at least 90 days. Potential applicants can register for updates at https://nij.ojp.gov/subscribe to be notified when the solicitation is released.

Students enrolled full-time in a PhD program in a science or engineering field and who propose a dissertation topic relevant to criminal justice are eligible. The applicant academic institution must be fully accredited by one of the regional institutional accreditation commissions recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education.

Failure to provide verification of current enrollment at the time of application will disqualify an applicant.

A student can apply for and be awarded a fellowship at any stage in their graduate program, if they are currently enrolled, but they will not begin to receive fellowship funding until:

  • A dissertation committee has been formed, and
  • The dissertation topic has been approved by the committee and is substantively similar to what was originally proposed in the fellowship application.

If the doctoral student has already passed these milestones at the time of application, then the dissertation committee chair should indicate this in the letter of support included with the application.

If the doctoral student has NOT accomplished these milestones at the time of application, then the student’s project timeline should indicate the dates by which these milestones are expected to be met. The letter of support from the student’s faculty advisor, department chair, departmental director of graduate studies or individual with similar responsibilities should also refer to the dates by which these requirements are expected to be met. Although an award may be made in such cases, access to award funds will be withheld until NIJ receives documentation that the student has met both milestones.

The earliest possible date that funds could become available is January 1 of the year following submission of an application. This is the official “start date” of the fellowship grant. But the practical availability of funds can in some cases be delayed until certain grant requirements are satisfied (e.g., human subjects approval from an Institutional Review Board; environmental protection checklist; dissertation topic approval). It is important that you work with your university Office of Sponsored Programs, or equivalent, to make sure all of these conditions are satisfied.

Successful institutional applicants must agree to comply with additional requirements prior to receiving grant funding. Learn more about these requirements (pdf, 23 pages).

No. The official applicant is the academic institution, not the student. Therefore, the student's citizenship does not affect eligibility. GRF awards are made only to degree-granting academic institutions in the U.S. and its territories. The sponsoring academic institution must be fully accredited by one of the regional institutional accreditation commissions recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education.

The GRF program funds dissertation research across a wide range of topics with relevance to criminal justice, including the forensic sciences. To apply, students must be enrolled in a doctoral program in the sciences or engineering. Successful applicants must demonstrate the relevance of their dissertation research to advancing criminal justice knowledge, practice or policy in the United States.

The GRF program has now integrated two previously separate solicitations: the Graduate Research Fellowship in the Social and Behavioral Sciences (GRF-SBS), and the Graduate Research Fellowship in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (GRF-STEM). Starting in 2020, all applicants are invited to apply to the same, single solicitation, regardless of their degree program.

Fighting the Opioid Crisis

Convening Police Leaders and Researchers to Learn Promising Practices and to Inform Research Agenda

Director Muhlhausen's prepared remarks at the NIJ-hosted Opioid Research Summit.

NIJ Director David B. Muhlhausen at the podium

NIJ Director Muhlhausen

Supporting Forensic Science Is a Priority at the National Institute of Justice

I have dedicated my life to understanding and preventing violence. From my training as a physician, working on violence prevention at the Centers for Disease Control, and now at NIJ, I have seen the contribution of science to our understanding of how to prevent and address violence and its consequences.

NIJ helped changed the landscape of forensic science through our support of research and development to advance the collection and analysis of forensic DNA. Now we are poised to do the same for other forensic disciplines.

Director’s Corner: How We Can Learn From Errors Within Criminal Justice

Every year, there are millions of interactions between the public and the criminal justice system. Most of those interactions result in a legitimate or just outcome. However, that is not always the case. In the relatively rare instances when the outcome is not legitimate or just, it can be devastating for individuals, families, communities, and criminal justice professionals.

As with any complex system of agencies, the criminal justice system is complex, has flaws, and requires mechanisms to understand these outcomes and prevent them from recurring.

Director’s Corner: Pushing the Edge on Evidence-Based Policing - Reflections on Research for the Real World

“Most of what we do has never been tested,” pointed out Dr. Angela Hawken, before going on to explain how her organization, BetaGov, is working to change that through hundreds of rapid-implementation randomized controlled trials (RCTs). BetaGov is an innovation hub out of New York University that supports public sector practitioners conducting evaluations of their programs. Dr. Hawken has a deep research background and is a longtime advocate of a grassroots model of practitioner-led research.

Prosecuting Cases of Elder Abuse

June 2010

This panel will feature NIJ-funded research that has direct, practical implications for the prosecution of elder abuse cases. Panelists will present findings from a study of prosecutors in three states that examined the factors that influenced their decisions to prosecute elder financial abuse cases. The panel will also provide the results from an evaluation of five innovative court-based models that target perpetrators of elder abuse.