FAQs for the Solicitation "Evaluating the Impact of the Body Armor Program"

The questions and answers on this page pertain to the fiscal year 2012 solicitation Evaluating the Impact of the NIJ Body Armor Program (pdf, 19 pages).

Q: There is some discussion about structuring the scope of work into multiple phases and budgeting each phase accordingly. However, on page 5, a single award amount of $400,000 and expected completion within 2 years for that award is also stated. Could you please clarify whether multiple phases in excess of $400,000 will be considered in a proposal submission?
A: As noted in the solicitation, NIJ anticipates that it will make $400,000 available to support this solicitation in FY2012. Also noted in the solicitation, supplemental funding for subsequent project periods, if any, will depend on, among other things, the quality of the deliverable at the end of the first period, strategic priorities, and the availability of funds. All awards are subject to the availability of appropriated funds and to any modifications or additional requirements that may be imposed by law.
Q: In the scope of work NIJ states that it expects an examination of IACP's Survivors' Club metrics. Has NIJ secured permission from IACP for access to these data? If not, then the FBI's LEOKA incidents seem like a reasonable approach and the incident level data are in fact in the public domain. However, the question is still important, since both sets of data would permit a look at both sides of the coin (survival as well as specifics of non-survival encounters).
A: The metric referred to in the solicitation is lives saved. The IACP Survivors' Club is one source of data for that metric. NIJ has not secured access to that data nor does it plan to do so at this time. NIJ would expect the successful applicant to be able to secure access to the data required to implement its program design. The solicitation provides an appendix for letters of cooperation/support.
Q: The solicitation has a very strong message on the aspect of social science associated with policies. Does it mean the current policy is insufficient needing stronger enhancement in policing policies and practices?
A: The solicitation should not be read as taking any position with respect to the sufficiency or insufficiency of current policy or practice.
Q: What risk (situational or technical) assessment are you looking for?
A: Risk assessment is provided in the solicitation as one example of how the NIJ body armor program may have changed policing policy, practices or strategies. As noted in the solicitation, at the conclusion of this research NIJ expects the successful applicant to answer the question of how, or if, the NIJ body armor program has changed policing policy, practices or strategies.
Q: As to the impact of NIJ body armor program on the armor industry, are you pointing to the financial aspects or capability in manufacturing?
A: NIJ is not pointing at any particular impact. As noted in the solicitation, at the conclusion of this research NIJ expects the successful applicant to answer the question of what impact, if any, the NIJ body armor program has had on the body armor industry and the subsequent design, quality and consistency of armor sold to law enforcement agencies.
Q: Are you looking for approaches to reinforce the existing NIJ body armor standards such that you will have "mission assurance" whenever the armor is used?
A: As noted in the solicitation, at the conclusion of the research NIJ expects the successful applicant to deliver a final report that details their findings and conclusions regarding the impact of NIJ's body armor program on law enforcement policy and practice in the United States. The solicitation further notes that among the questions that NIJ is interested in this research addressing are:
  • How has the NIJ body armor program changed policing policy, practices or strategies?
  • What impact has the NIJ body armor program had on the body armor industry and the subsequent design, quality and consistency of armor sold to law enforcement agencies?
Q: Are you aiming at the low end of the funding level of $400,000 for a 2-year research effort?
A: As noted in the solicitation, the selection criteria that an applicant's proposal will be evaluated against include:
  • Total cost of the project relative to the perceived benefit (cost-effectiveness).
  • Appropriateness of the budget relative to the level of effort.
  • Use of existing resources to conserve costs.
Q: Is there suggestion to use social scientist from universities as preferred team members?
A: As noted in the solicitation, the selection criteria that an applicant's proposal will be evaluated against include the demonstrated ability of proposed staff and organization to manage the effort. NIJ expects that the successful application will include staff with the demonstrated ability needed to implement the applicant's proposed program design.
Q: Are the strategies mentioned in solicitation referring to social elements, technology advancement or both? 
A: As noted in the solicitation, among the questions that NIJ is interested in this research addressing are how, or if, the NIJ body armor program changed policing policy, practices or strategies. At the conclusion of this research, NIJ expects the successful applicant to answer the question of how, or if, the NIJ body armor program has changed policing strategies.