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Term of the Month

Defining Criminal Justice Research

Welcome to NIJ’s Term of the Month. Each month we are featuring a term from our scientific research portfolios informing significant American justice system issues and solutions.

December 2023 - Implementation Science

Implementation science helps us learn how to bring effective solutions into real-world settings. When research studies reveal what works and what doesn’t, implementation science helps us understand what it takes to ensure that proven strategies are adopted, properly implemented, and sustained in various contexts. This field of study aims to bridge the gap between science and routine practice. Implementation science guides one of NIJ Director Nancy La Vigne’s priorities: “ensuring that research evidence is translated into actionable information to promote change in the field.”

In fiscal year 2024 NIJ anticipates releasing a solicitation on “Evaluating Strategies to Advance the Implementation of Evidence-Based Policies and Practices.” With it, NIJ will seek proposals for rigorous demonstration of and research projects to further the use and impact of existing crime and justice research evidence. Specifically, NIJ will seek to fund research that leverages implementation science knowledge and promotes evidence-based policy and practice — most directly by developing, supporting, and evaluating efforts to improve research evidence use by policymakers, agency leaders, intermediaries, and other decision-makers who shape justice outcomes.

Reading and Resources 

Date Created: January 28, 2021