Frequently-Asked Questions Related to Expired Solicitations

Fiscal year: 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013

Fiscal Year 2017 Solicitations


NIJ Evaluation of OVC’s Vision 21: Law Enforcement and the Communities They Serve: Supporting Collective Healing in the Wake of Harm Program

Download the solicitation (pdf, 35 pages)

Q-1: Are the six demonstration sites confirmed or should we estimate locations based on known need and variation in size of agency? Are all sites local law enforcement agencies?
A: Per page 6 of the solicitation, there will be up to six demonstration sites selected for this demonstration project. Those sites are still in the process of being selected, so estimations are sufficient for the application. Per page 5 of the application, the Collective Healing program “assist law enforcement agencies to develop and implement trauma- informed and evidence-based response strategies that promote community engagement and health, and (2) provide comprehensive, expert technical assistance to law enforcement and the communities they serve to promote trauma-informed culture, capacity building, and evidence-based practices to address the impact of trauma and community harm”. Thus all sites will include law enforcement agencies.
Q-2: Will the preventive and responsive trauma informed strategies be the same across demonstration sites? Will evidence-based interventions be adapted or developed to fit the demonstration site (i.e., will evidence-based models be the same?)?
A: It is expected that the strategies will be adapted across the demonstration sites.
Q-3: How many evidence-based models will be implemented? Can NIJ share what those models are and the populations that will receive the models?
A: At this time, without the selection of sites, it is unclear the number of evidence based models or the populations that will receive said models.
Q-4: Can NIJ confirm that the TTA assessment is strictly limited to the interventions with the demonstration sites and is exclusive to the rapid response team development support?
A: TTA is specific to the demonstration sites and the active participants.
Q-5: Can NIJ confirm if the preference is to conduct initial feasibility of programs/interventions that are promising or is NIJ anticipating that all demonstration sites will receive EAs?
A: Per page 6, NIJ anticipates that all demonstration sites will receive an EA.
Q-5: Can NIJ confirm if the design options are to be site specific evaluations and/or if NIJ prefers to receive cross-site program design options?
A: Per page 6, bullet 6: NIJ prefers multiple evaluation plans which include a variety of evaluation models: site specific and cross site design options.
Q-6: Can NIJ confirm if there are completed program/intervention outcomes defined by OVC for individual or all demonstration sites for this initiative? Can NIJ share anticipated program outcomes of this Vision 21 program or should we base our response on experience with Vision 21?
A: As this time, there are not defined intervention outcomes, but the goal of this solicitation, as stated on page 5, “inform potential evaluation options through a one-year planning process in consultation with NIJ and OVC…”.
Q-7: Can NIJ confirm if the reference to two site visits per demonstration site is inclusive of collaboration site visits referenced in the first bullet on page 6 of the solicitation?
A: Yes, the site visits mentioned on page 6, bullet 1 and bullet 8 are same expected site visits to occur.
Q-9: Does NIJ want an assessment of the delivery and outcomes of TTA (e.g., pre/post assessment of TTA such as change in participant knowledge and awareness, satisfaction with TTA)?
A: No.
Q-9: Is NIJ requesting a documentation of the nature, types, duration, participants engaged through TTA efforts?
A: Yes.
Q-10: Does NIJ want logic models of TTA created that are separate from program logic models requested in the 5th bullet on page 6? If so, can NIJ confirm that it seeks 6 logic models of TTA (per demonstration site) to articulate resources, populations, delivery, intended outcomes of the TTA (not of the demonstration site program)?
A: No, the logic models will be for the program only.

Postconviction Testing of DNA Evidence

Download the solicitation (pdf, 43 pages)

Q-1: Our State law does not define “violent felony offenses.” Is there any additional guidance on this requirement?
A: NIJ recognizes that offense definitions may vary from State to State, including as to whether certain offenses may constitute felony or misdemeanor violations of a State’s criminal laws. In order to determine whether a felony conviction under a particular State’s criminal laws was for an offense that may reasonably be considered to be a “violent felony” offense for the purpose of identifying cases that may be funded with NIJ grant funds under the Postconviction Testing of DNA Evidence program, an applicant may look to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program data and information for general guidance. For example, under the UCR Program, the FBI has generally listed the offenses of murder and nonnegligent manslaughter, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault, as a part of its “violent crime” category of crimes on which it collects statistics. Prospective applicants may also consider seeking the advice and assistance of counsel in the State from which cases proposed to be funded in the application are derived, if there are questions about whether a particular type of felony case may be reasonably comparable to a violent crime(s), such as under the UCR Program.

NIJ Research and Evaluation on Drugs and Crime

Download the solicitation (pdf, 41 pages)

On February 22, 2017, NIJ held a webinar to discuss this solicitation. The recording and transcript of that webinar include a question and answer period. View the video or read the transcript.

Q-1: Some elements of our proposed work have already been submitted to a different federal grant opportunity. May we still submit a proposal with some duplicate elements?
A: Submission of application under another federal grant opportunity does not prohibit you from applying.
Q-2: Are federal agencies, including Federally Funded Research and Development Centers (FFRDC) eligible to apply?
A: Federal agencies, unless otherwise specified in the solicitation, are not eligible to apply. Each individual FFRDC must determine whether its policies (or that of its federal sponsor) permit the FFRDC to accept funding from other federal agencies by way of a federal grant award. Should these governing policies permit the FFRDC in question to accept and administer grant funding from other agencies, as a recipient, the FFRDC may accordingly apply to this solicitation as its private sector entity type – as allowed under this solicitation – or can receive funds (as a subrecipient) through its private-sector administering entity – as allowed under this solicitation.

FY 2017 Comprehensive School Safety Initiative

Download the solicitation (pdf, 46 pages)

Q-1: The solicitation indicates that foreign entities are not eligible to apply. It also indicates that any other entities responsible for carrying out the reward must be subgrantees. Does the restriction on foreign entities applying pertain also pertain to subgrantees?
A: Foreign entities are eligible subrecipients under this program. Applicants are reminded that subrecipients are required to adhere to all applicable uniform (grant) administrative requirements, cost principles, and audit requirements set forth in 2 C.F.R. § 200 and other applicable law, as well as the Department of Justice Financial Guide and all conditions of the grant award. Any organization unable to meet these requirements should not be considered as an eligible subrecipient. Applicants must also note that as recipients, they must be familiar with and periodically monitor their subrecipients financial operations, records, systems, and procedures. Please review Section 3.14 of the Department of Justice Financial Guide for more information on subrecipient oversight and monitoring.
Q-2: If a grant applicant or a subgrantee licenses or purchases a program developed by a foreign entity is that an issue?
A: Generally-speaking, there would be no prohibition on using grant funds to license or purchase “a program developed by a foreign entity.” Please review Section 3.8 of the Department of Justice Financial Guide for how to conduct and manage procurements funded under OJP federal grants (and subawards (“subgrants”)).
Q-3: Per page 6 of the solicitation, “NIJ seeks applications that will lead to the development and implementation of trainings and/or tools that will significantly improve the work of SROs. NIJ is interested in research that will answer the following questions:..” Does an applicant need to address all the questions that are listed on pages 6-7?
A: The list of questions on pages 6-7 is provided to illustrate topics that NIJ views as important. It is not necessary for any individual project to address every question in the list. Furthermore, the list is not exhaustive of all of the questions that may be of interest to NIJ.
Q-4: Could you please clarify what 1/3 of the funding should go toward in the budget? Does 1/3 of the total funds requested need to be set up as a subaward that goes directly to the partner school?
A: Per page 10 of the solicitation, “Applicants for Categories 1-3 should: Dedicate up to 1/3 (one-third) of funding directly to research partners to develop and carry out a rigorous program of evaluation. No less than 2/3 (two-thirds) of funding should go towards the personnel, programs, equipment, materials, training, and other activities intended to advance school and student safety that will be subject to evaluation. A budget should be prepared for the full period of performance that clearly reflects the 1/3 and 2/3 split.” Please refer to the "What an Application Should Include" section of the solicitation for more details on expectations and requirements.
Q-5: In the grant instruction, I read, “NIJ is focused on K-12 public schools.” Does this mean that a research university seeking funding to study a particular aspect of school safety at a community college would not be funded?
A: That is correct. As stated on page 4 of the solicitation, “CSSI is focused on K-12 public schools (including public charter schools). The initiative is concerned with all forms of violence that occur on school property during or outside of school hours, on the way to-and-from school or school-sponsored events, on school-sponsored modes of transport, or during school-sponsored events.” Applicants are encouraged to review the Goals, Objectives, and Deliverables section of the solicitation prior to developing their application.

NIJ FY17 Visiting Fellows Program

Download the solicitation (pdf, 37 pages)

Based on queries related to the six-month residency requirement, NIJ will consider exceptions to the 6-month residency requirements in exceptional situations. Reasonable presence in Washington, DC, will be needed in all cases.


Understanding the Impacts of Policing Strategies and Practices (Beyond Crime Reduction)

Download the solicitation (pdf, 39 pages)

Footnote 8, the callout for which is on page 8, is missing in the solicitation. It should read:

Sue Rahr; Rice, S.k, From Warriors to Guardians: Recommitting American Police Culture to Democratic Ideals, New Perspectives in Policing, Washington, DC: U.S. Department National Institute of Justice, April 2014, NCJ 248654
Q-1: Does NIJ grant exceptions to the data archiving policy? My proposed project would not collect any data and instead rely on secondary data analysis of datasets. The use of these datasets for the proposed project is highly because of privacy protection and I would not be able to archive them.
A: NIJ understands that not all data necessarily needs to be, nor can be archived.

Investigator-Initiated Research and Evaluation on Firearms Violence

Download the solicitation (pdf, 38 pages)

Q-1:We would like to include research using data obtained through a paid subscription service and is considered private information. We would not be able to submit the data sets to NACJD. Would we be able to receive funding without submitting our data sets?
A:NIJ seeks to archive all data sets that are assembled or analyzed as part of NIJ-funded grants. The goal is to maximize the use of research data by other researchers for further analysis. NIJ requires grant applicants to submit a data archiving plan for depositing their analytic data at the conclusion of the project. The archiving requirement applies to the grantee and any sub-grantees if the application is funded.

The National Archive of Criminal Justice Data (NACJD), supported by NIJ, has vast expertise in efficiently archiving and protecting criminal justice research data while providing access to archived data to advance additional scientific research. NIJ requires grant applicants to make NACJD archiving a central aspect of their plan for data archiving.

Research and Evaluation in Safety, Health, and Wellness in the Criminal Justice System

Download the solicitation (pdf, 42 pages).

On February 21, 2017, NIJ held a webinar to discuss this solicitation. The recording and transcript of that webinar include a question and answer period. View the video or read the transcript.

Q-1: May we include a link to a video presentation of our organization as opposed to including the video an attachment?
A: Applicants should include supplementary information as an appendix to inform reviewers. Should an applicant include a hyperlink, there is no guarantee that the link will be reviewed.
Q-2: Is there a maximum budget or suggested budget range per project? Does that differ between the three categories?
A: There is no maximum budget request amount per category. There is no specified limit or a suggestive budget range per project. We suggest you review "Section B. Federal Award Information” in the solicitation document.
Q-3: Are 911 dispatchers included as law enforcement under category 1 for the above solicitation?
A: If they fit within the definition of “employee in law enforcement activities” as defined in Title 29 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Section 553.211 – Law Enforcement activities. 29 CFR 553.211 (a) defines an employee in law enforcement activities as “…any employee (1) who is a uniformed or plain clothed member of a body of officers and subordinates who are empowered by State statute or local ordinance to enforce laws designed to maintain public peace and order and to protect both life and property from accidental or willful injury, and to prevent and detect crimes, (2) who has the power to arrest, and (3) who is presently undergoing or has undergone or will undergo on-the-job training and/or a course of instruction and study which typically includes physical training, self-defense, firearm proficiency, criminal and civil law principles, investigative and law enforcement techniques, community relations, medical aid and ethics.”

29 CFR 553.211 (g) goes on to note, “Not included in the term “employee in law enforcement activities” are the so-called “civilian” employees of law enforcement agencies or correctional institutions who engage in such support activities as those performed by dispatcher, radio operators, …”
Q-4: Can an applicant partner with an agency in another state or jurisdiction?
A: NIJ does not prohibit an applicant from teaming with an entity in another state.
Q-5: Does NIJ issue or accept certificates of confidentiality in place of a privacy certificate?
A: No. NIJ does not issue or accept Certificates of Confidentiality issued by National Institutes of Health (NIH) or HHS. Grantees must provide an approved Privacy Certificate. Under the DOJ confidentiality statute (42 USC 3789g), this makes the identifiable data collected immune from any legal action. Neither the Privacy Certificate nor the informed consent documentation should contain language about Certificates of Confidentiality. The Privacy Certificate and consents should accurately describe that the identifiable data collected is immune from legal process because the researcher submitted a Privacy Certificate; it was approved by NIJ and is, therefore, covered by DOJ statute.

If funded, the applicant is required to submit a Privacy Certificate, compliant with 42 USC 3789g and 28 CFR Part 22. Once reviewed and accepted by NIJ Human Subject Protection Office, the Privacy Certificate will cover the police and correctional officer participants so that their biomarker and psychological data cannot be subpoenaed. The Privacy Certificate is available here: https://www.nij.gov/funding/humansubjects/documents/NIJ_pccr_fillable.pdf
Q-6: We are interested in assessing our evidence based and validated comprehensive commercial off-the-shelf wellness program using web-based and mobile devices, to help measure physiological stress levels before and after an intervention. Can you clarify as to whether an intervention to determine whether stress outcomes (not ours, specifically) is acceptable for this solicitation?
A: NIJ would suggest you carefully read the solicitation, with special attention to the “Program-Specific Information” section, as well as the “Goals, Objectives and Deliverables” section as well as the webinar related to this solicitation. This should assist you in assessing whether or not your concept for proposal is appropriate for submission to this solicitation. View the recording of the webinar, transcript, and slides.
Q-7: Does category one include causes of trauma? Although the category title includes the word, "causes," the text refers only to exposure and impact. Would a project examining ways to reduce causes of traumatic injuries be considered?
A: Category 1 may include a project related to the causes of trauma. NIJ would suggest you carefully read the solicitation, with special attention to the “Program-Specific Information” section, as well as the “Goals, Objectives and Deliverables” section. This should assist you in assessing whether or not your concept for proposal is appropriate for submission to this solicitation. Note also that if you propose looking at the causes of trauma, those traumatic injuries must have resulted from a crime (e.g., sexual assault) or in the commission of a crime (e.g., robbery).
Q-8: If we propose a three wave study using interviews with established measures, do we need to include the full interview questions?
A: Applications may include full or partial instruments as attachments, should you choose to include them.
Q-9: Are federal agencies, including Federally Funded Research and Development Centers (FFRDC) eligible to apply?
A: Federal agencies, unless otherwise specified in the solicitation, are not eligible to apply. Each individual FFRDC must determine whether its policies (or that of its federal sponsor) permit the FFRDC to accept funding from other federal agencies by way of a federal grant award. Should these governing policies permit the FFRDC in question to accept and administer grant funding from other agencies, as a recipient, the FFRDC may accordingly apply to this solicitation as its private sector entity type – as allowed under this solicitation – or can receive funds (as a subrecipient) through its private-sector administering entity – as allowed under this solicitation.

W.E.B. Du Bois Program of Research on Race and Crime FY 2017

Download the solicitation (pdf, 42 pages)

Q-1: Is there any limitation on paying and working with a co-principal investigator(s) for Category 2? Would they be considered a consultant and subject to the limit of $650 per day or $81.25 per hour? What is the distinction between personnel, consultant, and subrecipient?
A: Applicants may propose a co-Principal Investigator as personnel if they share the Principal Investigator’s organizational affiliation, as a contractor if they are affiliated with a different organization, or as an independent consultant.
Q-2: Under category 1, "W.E.B. Du Bois Scholars in Race and Crime Research," can the mentees appear on the grant and receive funding from the grant as well? Is there a particular way they need to be listed?
A: Category 1 applications must append a detailed plan for the Principal Investigator (PI) to mentor less experienced researchers on the grant; their research team positions and respective compensation is at the discretion of the applicant. Per the solicitation, “Scholars must propose a mentorship component to the study that goes beyond hiring graduate and undergraduate students as project staff” (p. 10). The proposed budget should indicate each researcher’s affiliation, position, level of effort and/or other basis for cost calculations.

New Investigator/Early Career Program in the Social and Behavioral Sciences

Download the solicitation (pdf, 36 pages)

NIJ has received a number of questions related to eligibility. The following clarifies the minimum requirement that must be met at the time of application. Applications must propose research led by a Principal Investigator (PI) who:

  • Was awarded a terminal degree in their field within the four (4) years prior to September 30, 2017 (October 1, 2013 – September 30, 2017).
  • Holds a non-tenured assistant professor position at an accredited institution of higher education in the United States
  • Has not previously served as PI on an NIJ research grant or fellowship. Individuals who have held Graduate Research Fellowships with NIJ or have served as a PI on an award under the “Data Resources Program” solicitation are not deemed “PIs” under that award and are eligible under this solicitation.
  • Applicants must be U.S. citizens.
Q-1: I am currently an assistant professor at a university but will be joining a different institution on September 1, 2017. Should my current or future institution submit my application?
A: The institution that applies for the award should be the institution that will manage the award for the duration of the project period. NIJ cannot guarantee that award transfers amongst recipients will be permissible in all situations.

Paul Coverdell Forensic Science Improvement Grants Program

Download the solicitations: Formula program (pdf, 46 pages) or Competitive (pdf, 50 pages)

On January 12, 2017, NIJ held a webinar to discuss this solicitation. The recording and transcript of that webinar include a question and answer period.

View the video or read the transcript.

Q-1: If an application is to include a sub-recipient, does the sub-recipient also have to submit the Certification as to Forensic Science Laboratory System Accreditation?
A:The certification is required to be submitted by the applicant, not the subrecipient. The applicant, in submitting the certification, will be certifying that any lab that will receive any portion of grant funds either is accredited or, if not, will be required in an enforceable and legally binding writing (such as subaward documentation) to use a portion of the grant funds to apply for accreditation within two years of the award date.

This accreditation certification, however, is not required to be provided as to any medical examiner’s or coroner’s office in the State that will receive any portion of the grant funds.
Q-2: I have a question regarding Certification No. 3 which requires forensic science laboratory accreditation. We are a County Police Department with a forensic fingerprint lab, a forensic computer analysis lab, and a lab that performs forensic analysis of electronic media, all within our Department. None of the labs are individually accredited, however our department as a whole has is accredited. Does our overall department accreditation cover the labs or does each lab have to be individually accredited or agree to becoming accredited within the two year period?
A: Per the language in the solicitation: “any forensic science laboratory system[…] in the State, including any laboratory operated by a unit of local government within the State, that will receive any portion of the grant amount is accredited by an accrediting body that is a signatory to an internationally recognized arrangement and that offers accreditation to forensic science conformity assessment bodies using an accreditation standard that is recognized by that internationally recognized arrangement." Therefore, the labs would need to attest that they would seek accreditation from an appropriate accrediting body if they do not currently comply.
Q-3: Can funds under this program be used to address a backlog of DNA evidence?
A: A backlog in DNA evidence is a permissible use of Coverdell funds. As described in the solicitation, the following language is not all inclusive: "To eliminate a backlog in the analysis of forensic science evidence, including, among other things, a backlog with respect to firearms examination, latent prints, impression evidence, toxicology, digital evidence, fire evidence, controlled substances, forensic pathology, questioned documents, and trace evidence."
Q-4: Is there a required standard for awarding funds to a sub-recipient? We have used UCR data to allocate funds but we have not found documentation that this is required.
A: The Coverdell Program does not have a required standard for sub-awards. The guidance provided by the Coverdell – Formula program: “States are expected to consider the needs of laboratories operated by units of local government as well as those operated by the State.” However, it is up to the State to determine how to distribute funds.
Q-5: If we are not a forensic science laboratory, how do we address the certifications regarding a plan for forensic science laboratories, laboratory practices, and accreditation?
A: All applicants must submit certifications as required by the Coverdell law (at 42 U.S.C. § 3797k). See section C, "Eligibility Information," in the solicitation.

Please note that funds will not be made available to applicant agencies that fail to provide the necessary information. Please also note that the accreditation certification is NOT required to be provided as to any medical examiner’s or coroner’s office in the State that will receive any portion of the grant funds.
Q-6: When the available funding states the “maximum amount a State or unit of local government may receive in competitive funds is $250,000”, does that mean that the total that all applicants from the State of Wisconsin could receive would be $250,000? Or could each unit of local government be awarded up to $250,000?
A: Per page 6 of the solicitation, “NIJ expects to make awards of up to $250,000, with an estimated total amount awarded of up to $2,875,000.” For FY 2017, the “maximum amount a State or unit of local government may receive in competitive funds is $250,000.” (emphasis added) Each applicant may be awarded up to $250,000.
Q-7: Our lab would like to purchase some new equipment that is available with extended warranty/maintenance contract of 3-5 years. If we include the cost for the extended contract in our budget would this be an allowable expense?
A: Equipment warranties and maintenance contracts are an allowable expense if the applicant accurately estimates that the year-over-year cost of the warranty or maintenance contract is expected to be less than that of equipment replacement during the warranty period and/or the cost of ad hoc equipment service requests. Grant funds cannot be applied to warranties or maintenance costs for existing equipment.

Research and Development in Forensic Science for Criminal Justice Purposes

Download the solicitation (pdf, 47 pages)

Webinar

On January 11, 2017, NIJ held a webinar to discuss this solicitation. The recording and transcript of that webinar include a question and answer period.

View the video or read the transcript.

Q-1:We are developing a proposal for this solicitation and are working with an international partner. Does NIJ limit the IDC rate for international partners to less than 10 percent, or should we have them use the de minimis rate of 10 percent?
A: As the direct recipient of Federal funding, you are responsible for approving indirect cost rates for your subrecipients. Such rates must be consistent with the requirements of 2 C.F.R. § 200. The Federal awarding agency will not approve indirect cost rates beyond the direct recipient level; however, subrecipients who are also direct recipients of Federal awards may already have a Federally approved indirect cost rate. If your subrecipient has negotiated an indirect cost rate with the Federal government, then that rate applies.
Q-2: Are Federal agencies, including Federally Funded Research and Development Centers, eligible to apply under this solicitation?
A: As stated on page one of the solicitation, “NIJ may also enter into interagency agreements with Federal entities in appropriate cases.” This includes Federally Funded Research and Development Center laboratories.
Q-3: If a Federally Funded Research and Development Center is selected for an award, will the award be funded though an Interagency Agreement between NIJ and the FFRDC's administering agency?
A: Yes,if the FFDRC is selected for an award, the award would be funded through an Interagency Agreement with NIJ and the administering agency.
Q-4: We will be submitting a revised proposal that was not funded last year. If the application is changed significantly, may I use a different title and should I submit as a "resubmission" or "new application?"
A: Yes, you may use a different title. The application should be labeled as “new application” on the SF-424.
Q-5: Regarding Purpose Area 1, Forensic Pathology Fellowships, does the grant period have to be 10/1/17-9/30/18 or could an agency apply for grant funding to cover a fellowship during the period of 7/1/2018-6/30/19?
A: Per the Federal Award Information section on page 7, it is recommended to submit a start date of January 1, 2018; however if an award is made it will take time to review and approve budgets and other related documents. Furthermore, it may take time to secure a fellow thus a start date of 1/1/2018 will permit your agency to find a suitable candidate. The award may be extended to permit the 1-year fellowship.
Q-6: On page 23, the solicitation is asking for documentation of "new investigator" status, if applicable. What documentation is required?
A: The solicitation (p. 9) states that: "To be considered a 'new investigator' for the purposes of this solicitation, one of the two sets of criteria below must be demonstrated, and the applicant should identify the principal investigator(s) and any co-investigators, as “new investigator(s)” on the title page of the proposal."

In order to be considered for new investigator status, in addition to identifying yourself as such on the program narrative title page, you should submit documentation demonstrating that you (and any co-investigators) meet one of the two criteria listed in the solicitation. For example, new faculty member(s) should include an appropriate attachment to verify that they meet the junior faculty criterion (e.g., an official appointment letter from the University, as well as a statement that they have never received research funding from NIJ, except as a graduate student). Senior faculty members should similarly include documentation from the University of a full-time faculty appointment, as well as a statement that they have not received NIJ research funding in the past 10 years.
Q-7: How do we indicate that content in our application is proprietary?
A: An applicant may include a brief statement with the program narrative or other attachments that they consider to contain proprietary information (or another marking method that they consider appropriate to designate this). All NIJ staff and peer reviewers who access the proposal will be bound by a non-disclosure agreement, but an additional statement or designation of proprietary information may also be included, at the applicant's discretion.

Please be aware that the abstracts of funded projects become public information.
Q-8: If we do not file as a new investigator project- does that protect the NI status of all personnel going forward? Or, if we are granted funds, regardless of NI status- personnel will most likely not be able to submit as NI going forward?
A: NIJ cannot speculate on any requirements that might be included in future solicitations. We urge all applicants to review the "New Investigator" requirements of the current solicitation and identify themselves as such, if applicable. Any determination regarding project staff members' potential "New Investigator" status under future solicitations should be made, at the applicant's discretion, based on the information given in the solicitation prevailing at that time.
Q-9: How does NIJ define a "collaborative researcher?"
A:Consultants could be considered "collaborative researchers," depending on the level of their involvement with the scientific direction of the project. See p. 22 of the solicitation under "Senior/Key Personnel Profile" (senior/key personnel may be considered functionally equivalent to "collaborative researchers):
Senior/key personnel are defined as all individuals who contribute in a substantive, meaningful way to the scientific development or execution of the project, whether or not salaries are requested. Consultants should be included if they meet this definition.
Q-10: If there is a PI and a co-PI, does this count as a multiple PI application?
A: Yes, a PI and Co-PI constitutes a multiple PI application and the applicant should describe the roles and planned activities of each member of the research team.

Research and Evaluation for the Testing and Interpretation of Physical Evidence in Publicly Funded Forensic Laboratories

Download the solicitation (pdf, 38 pages)

On January 12, 2017, NIJ held a webinar to discuss this solicitation. The recording and transcript of that webinar include a question and answer period.

View the video or read the transcript.


Strengthening the Medical Examiner-Coroner System Program

Download the solicitation (pdf, 42 pages)

Q-1: Does the pathology fellow have to be an employee of the applicant? Or can that fellow be an employee of an institution and the applicant funds their salary by contract? For example: The fellowship is ran by an institution of higher education and fellow is an employee of theirs, however, the work performed by the fellow is at our Coroner office and we provide money for their salary paid to the institution by contract.
A: The eligibility statement for Purpose Area 1 of the Strengthening the Medical Examiner – Coroner System Program reads as follows:
“Eligible applicants for Purpose Area 1, Forensic Pathology Fellowships, are limited to entities with programs that should meet or exceed the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME)1 or its international equivalent’s requirements.” Therefore, if the applicant entity/institution meets the accreditation standards set forth by the ACGME (or equivalent) then the applicant entity/institution is eligible to apply for funding under this solicitation.
Q-2: Regarding "Performance Measures for Purpose Area 2: Medical Examiner-Coroner Office Accreditation," what is the information requested in the "Data Recipient Provides" column for this objective?
A: ‘Data Recipient Provides’ denotes performance metrics that will be used to detail the impact or progress of the program. Performance measures are included as an alert that NIJ will require successful applicants to submit specific data as part of their reporting requirements. For this application, applicants should indicate an understanding of these requirements and discuss how they will gather the required data.
Q-3: What is the definition of an "analyst?" What is meant by "certified analyst?"
A:Analyst in this particular program is defined as either a coroner or medical examiner (or an employee/staff of the ME-Coroner office engaged in technical duties essential to the function of the ME-C office). A certified analyst is an individual that completes a recognized course or curriculum and passes an examination administered by an independent body that attests to their competence and abilities. For example, ABMDI (American Board of Medicolegal Death Investigators) “certifies individuals who have the proven knowledge and skills necessary to perform medicolegal death investigations.”
Q-4: Can you clarify what is meant by the "Number of analysts seeking certification with Strengthening the Medical Examiner?"
A: The number of analysts seeking certification with the Strengthening the Medical Examiner–Coroner System Program (ME-C Program) is the number of individual analysts, as defined previously, that are engaged in a recognized, appropriate certification program with the intention of successful completion as a result of the ME-C Program.

Research, Development, and Evaluation of Technologies to Improve School Safety

Download the solicitation (pdf, 38 pages)

Q-1: Are universities included in the definition of “schools”? In other words, would a proposal focusing on improving university/college campus safety (that could be extended to K-12) be appropriate for this solicitation?
A: This solicitation is intended to support school safety technology research and development with direct applicability to K-12 public schools (including public charter schools).

Research to Improve Officer Decision-making

Download the solicitation (pdf, 39 pages)

On February 14, 2017, NIJ held a webinar to discuss this solicitation. The recording and transcript of that webinar include a question and answer period. View the video or read the transcript.

Q-1: We are developing a project in which we would develop a training curriculum and then evaluate the effects of that training. Would the training curriculum development and training costs be applicable costs under this solicitation? Or would the funding available through this solicitation apply only to the research costs in this example?
A: Program costs may be applicable depending on what is proposed. They are not prohibited.
Q-2: The data we would use would be highly sensitive and shared with us by law enforcement agency partners only in a restricted capacity. We anticipate that we may not be able to submit the data sets to the National Archive of Criminal Justice Data as required in the solicitation, though we anticipate that we would be able to share our programming code as to allow future researchers who obtain the data through their own data sharing agreements to reproduce all constructed measures and the original data analysis. Would this be allowable?
A: It may be allowable depending on what is proposed.
Q-2: Can a sample cost-benefit-analysis be provided? If not, can NIJ delineate the necessary components of the cost-benefits analysis?
A: NIJ has not defined necessary components to encourage prospective applicants to propose their own.
Q-3: How many awards NIJ is anticipating to make, and in what amount?
A: Under this funding opportunity, NIJ anticipates to award up to $3 million dollars for one or more awards. Applicants should base their federal funding request and period of performance on the actual requirements of the research, and not necessarily on the funding anticipated being available in FY 2017 to support this solicitation nor to fit within a three-year period of performance. All awards are subject to the availability of appropriated funds, and to any modifications or additional requirements that may be imposed by law.
Q-4: Are Federally Funded Research and Development Centers (FFRDCs) eligible under this solicitation?
A: Yes. NIJ will accept applications from FFRDCs and National Laboratories.

Research on the Abuse, Neglect, and Exploitation of Elderly Individuals

Download the solicitation (pdf, 37 pages)

Q-1: For the purpose of this solicitation, what is the definition of an elderly individual?
A: Current awardees commonly use 60 or 65 as a benchmark. However, NIJ has no established age to be considered “elderly” and therefore applicants should specify the age range of those proposed, and include a justification.

FY 2017 DNA Capacity Enhancement and Backlog Reduction (CEBR) Program (Formula)

Download the solicitation (pdf, 39 pages)

On January 12, 2017, NIJ held a webinar to discuss this solicitation. The recording and transcript of that webinar include a question and answer period. View the video or read the transcript.

Q-1: Our lab would like to purchase a STaCS software tracking system to assist our lab in tracking the Sexual Assault Evidence Collection kits. Under which grant program would this purchase be allowed? of tracking software as an allowable cost – the DNA Capacity Enhancement and Backlog Reduction (CEBR) Program or the Forensic DNA Laboratory Efficiency Improvement and Capacity Enhancement Program. If Forensic DNA Laboratory Efficiency Improvement and Capacity Enhancement Program is appropriate, which of the four purposes would be the correct choice?
A: This purchase would be allowable under the Forensic DNA Laboratory Efficiency Improvement and Capacity Enhancement Program. Since this is a competitive solicitation, we cannot advise on which purpose area an applicant should apply under.

It would not be allowable under the DNA Capacity Enhancement and Backlog Reduction (CEBR) Program. That program allows for the purchase of DNA modules to existing LIMS. It also defines a “module” as "A sample/case tracking component separate from the laboratory’s LIMS that functions only for the purposes of the forensic biology/DNA unit." NOTE: The module may be a product of the same, or a different, vendor as the laboratory’s current LIMS." It is our understanding that the STACS system for SAKs is for use in all aspects of tracking including the police agency, hospital, and prosecutor’s office thus tracking the life of the SAK from collection to case disposition.

In the coming weeks NIJ anticipates the release of the Sexual Assault Forensic Evidence – Inventory, Tracking, and Reporting (SAFE-ITR) Solicitation. The purchase would be allowable under this program. In the meantime, you may review last year’s version of the solicitation (pdf, 33 pages).
Q-2: Where can we can we locate the NDIS approved equipment list referenced in the solicitation?
A: NIJ does not have a “list” of equipment or supplies. All equipment and supplies used to generate CODIS eligible profiles must be validated and NDIS approved under the FBI’s Quality Assurance Standards for Forensic DNA Testing Laboratories.
Q-3: Can outsourcing DNA casework to a vendor laboratory be handled through a procurement contract or if it requires a sub-award based? More specifically:
  • Does NIJ consider a vendor laboratory to be providing “some of the services the recipient has committed (to OJP) to provide” under the CEBR program – and therefore a sub-recipient?
  • Or is a vendor laboratory deemed to be providing a support service to the grant recipient – whose staff must still review the vendor’s data, issue reports to requesting law enforcement agencies, and enter resulting profiles into CODIS in order to fulfill its commitment to OJP under the CEBR program – and therefore truly a vendor whose services can be obtained with a procurement contract?
A: Based on the information you provided, the services of the laboratory would be viewed as a contract through procurement and not a sub award.
Q-4: There are multiple laboratories in our state that are eligible for funding. A few of those laboratories process the majority of the DNA cases submitted state wide. May we set a minimum funding amount lower than the $150,000 referenced in the solicitation to better meet the needs of the laboratories processing the majority of the cases?
A:It is up to the discretion of your state and its eligible agencies within the state to determine the amount of funding each eligible agency receives from the total allocation in Appendix A and how to determine those amounts. The minimum amount is a suggestion and not a mandate.
Q-5: Can we use funds under this solicitation to sustain current contracted employees that have been paid in prior years out federal grant funds?
A: All staff funded must be clearly linked to a planned annual reduction in the backlog or measurable capacity enhancement. In addition, the applicant should review Section 2.3 (Supplanting) in the DOJ Grants Financial Guide to ensure they are compliant.
Q-6: Do the laboratories within our state have to come to agreement on funding levels for each lab? Who has the final say regarding the distribution of funds?
A: It is up to your state and its eligible agencies within the state to determine how much funding each eligible agency receives from the total allocation in Appendix A: (Estimated Aggregate Amounts Available for each State –FY 2017). The minimum is not a mandate, it is a suggestion. “NIJ expects applicants from States with multiple eligible applicants to coordinate among themselves to set a minimum level of funding for each applicant so that, if practicable, each eligible applicant within the State receives a minimum of $150,000, regardless of whether its proportion of available funding based on UCR Part 1 Violent Crimes, UCR Property Crimes, and population of the State reaches $150,000. No funding will be awarded unless an agreement is in place.

FY 2017 Forensic DNA Laboratory Efficiency Improvement and Capacity Enhancement Program

Regarding Purpose Areas

Since this is a competitive solicitation, we cannot advise under which of the four purpose areas you should apply.

Download the solicitation (pdf, 43 pages)

On January 12, 2017, NIJ held a webinar to discuss this solicitation. The recording and transcript of that webinar include a question and answer period. View the video or read the transcript.

Q-1: Our lab would like to purchase a STaCS software tracking system to assist our lab in tracking the Sexual Assault Evidence Collection kits. Under which grant program would this purchase be allowed? of tracking software as an allowable cost – the DNA Capacity Enhancement and Backlog Reduction (CEBR) Program or the Forensic DNA Laboratory Efficiency Improvement and Capacity Enhancement Program. If Forensic DNA Laboratory Efficiency Improvement and Capacity Enhancement Program is appropriate, which of the four purposes would be the correct choice?
A: This purchase would be allowable under the Forensic DNA Laboratory Efficiency Improvement and Capacity Enhancement Program. Since this is a competitive solicitation, we cannot advise on which purpose area an applicant should apply under.

It would not be allowable under the DNA Capacity Enhancement and Backlog Reduction (CEBR) Program. That program allows for the purchase of DNA modules to existing LIMS. It also defines a “module” as "A sample/case tracking component separate from the laboratory’s LIMS that functions only for the purposes of the forensic biology/DNA unit." NOTE: The module may be a product of the same, or a different, vendor as the laboratory’s current LIMS." It is our understanding that the STACS system for SAKs is for use in all aspects of tracking including the police agency, hospital, and prosecutor’s office thus tracking the life of the SAK from collection to case disposition.

In the coming weeks NIJ anticipates the release of the Sexual Assault Forensic Evidence – Inventory, Tracking, and Reporting (SAFE-ITR) Solicitation. The purchase would be allowable under this program. In the meantime, you may review last year’s version of the solicitation (pdf, 33 pages).
Q-2: Will funds awarded under this solicitation cover warranty, service, or maintenance for equipment during the course of this award (3 years)?
A: The costs are allowable for the duration of the project period. It is up to the applicant to determine which purpose area their project fits under. Since this is a competitive solicitation NIJ is not allowed to assist in that determination.
Q-3: The solicitation states that we are required to receive advance authorization from the grant-making agency to purchase an item with a noncompetitive procurement. Do we need approval prior to submitting an application?
A: NIJ cannot approve expenditures in advance of application receipt and review; however, NIJ encourages submission of the sole source justification with the application package to facilitate a faster review and approval (if appropriate) of the applicant’s proposed budget, by NIJ.

Applicants considering procurement of goods or services through a sole source contract, as defined by the Department of Justice Financial Guide (Financial Guide), must clearly identify the proposed procurement in the budget detail worksheet and budget narrative submitted with the application. The application package should also include an independent document that justifies why a sole source procurement is necessary. More information about sole source procurements and justification requirements is available in Section 3.8 of the Financial Guide. Only strong sole source justifications will be approved.
Q-4: Can this funding be utilized for RFID under Purpose Area 2?
A: RFID is an allowable technology under this program. The applicant will need to determine the appropriate purpose area for their proposed project.

Research and Evaluation on Trafficking in Persons

Download the solicitation (pdf, 38 pages)

Q-1:Would applying the same methodology as a prior funded award to a new population count be considered a "replication" study in context of the following statement from the solicitation:
"NIJ will take into consideration to what extent applicants demonstrate that their proposals do not replicate existing or published research on trafficking issues, and NIJ will coordinate with other federal agencies to ensure that an award does not substantially duplicate existing studies."
A: Applying a methodology that has been used in one population to a new population is not considered a replication. However, should other elements of the design replicate the initial study (e.g., sampling plan, instrument), NIJ will take into consideration to what extent the proposal is considered a replication.
Q-2: How is funding distributed? Our organization does not have floating capital so we usually require advanced funding for 90 days. Is this possible?
A: Grant recipients typically draw funds awarded under this program on a reimbursement basis; however, advance drawdowns are allowed and must be spent within 10 days of receipt. It is important to note that grant recipients may not expend, obligate, or draw funds until the legal conditions of the award are met, regardless of the project start date. While NIJ typically does not approve pre-award cost proposals, the applicant may include a proposal for pre-award costs in the application package. Please visit the DOJ Financial Guide for further information on how DOJ grant recipients must manage and account for pre-award costs and what a pre-award cost justification should include.
Q-3: Are FFRDC’s eligible to apply for funding under this program?
A: Each individual FFRDC must determine whether its policies (or that of its federal sponsor) permit the FFRDC to accept funding from other federal agencies by way of a federal grant award. Should these governing policies permit the FFRDC in question to accept and administer grant funding from other agencies, as a recipient, the FFRDC may accordingly apply to this solicitation as its private sector entity type – as allowed under this solicitation – or can receive funds (as a subrecipient) through its private-sector administering entity – as allowed under this solicitation.
Q-4: Are federal agencies eligible to apply for funding under this program?
A: No, applications from federal agencies will not be considered for funding under this solicitation.

Graduate Research Fellowship in Social and Behavioral Sciences

See also Q&As from two FY 17 funding webinars:

Download the solicitation (pdf, 35 pages)

Q-1: Do students have to have completed required coursework before applying?
A: No. However, the student must complete required coursework before an award can be made.
Q-2: Is the fellowship open to international students?
A: The official applicant to the GRF solicitation is a degree-granting academic institution in the United States and its territories. Universities may submit applications on behalf of international students. There is no requirement as to the citizenship of the student, but any student must be currently enrolled in a qualifying PhD program at a U.S. university at the time of application.

Applicants are encouraged to review the solicitation. Please note in particular, on page 4 of the solicitation that, “Applicant academic institutions sponsoring doctoral students are eligible to apply only if: 1. The doctoral student’s degree program is in a science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) discipline: and 2. The student’s proposed dissertation research has demonstrable implications for addressing the challenges of crime, and/or the fair and impartial administration of criminal justice in the United States.”
Q-3: The fellowship requires that the topic proposed for the grant be substantively the same as that approved and pursued for the student's dissertation. In my department, dissertations consider three separate studies that are all connected by a common theme. Thus, the project I would propose for a NIJ GRF would be one of those three. Would this be acceptable for the fellowship?
A: Yes.
Q-4: The data I will be using was collected by under a different PI (my chair) and that persons name is listed on the IRB paperwork. Can I still state in my application that I will be the PI of the study although the IRB paperwork does not list me as the PI?
A: The chair of the dissertation may be listed as the PI on the IRB paperwork.
Q-5: Is there a particular person to whom the letter from my chair should be addressed?
A: There is no set person to whom the letter should be addressed. You may use To Whom it May Concern” or “NIJ GRF Selection Committee.”
Q-6: The link to the form provided on page 16 of the solicitation does not seem like it fits with the information required in the solicitation. The student currently has a list of the dissertation committee and their contact information. Is it necessary that he puts in the form provided by the link in the solicitation?
A: The list is used for other solicitation so that is why it may not appear to be specifically tailored to the GRF. We understand that the form does not have all the necessary cells to capture the requested contact information of the committee members so we cast that applicants add these additional columns to the template.
Q-7: The solicitation indicates that no indirect cost or administrative fees are permitted. As we have a federally negotiated indirect cost rate, per the Uniform Guidance under 2 CFR § 200.414, for a federal agency not to apply an entity's federally negotiated indirect cost rate it must cite a statute or regulation which states that the agency cannot apply the federally negotiated indirect cost rate, or it cannot be applied for the particular program. As the solicitation does not include this information, I am reaching out to you for the reference. 
A: Thank you for your inquiry. NIJ’s grant funds under its Graduate Research Fellowship program to university-sponsors of doctoral candidate fellows to conduct criminal justice research, as stated in the published program solicitation, do not fund administrative expenses or indirect costs of the institutional applicant. (Individual awards under this program are for only up to $32,000 each for a project period of 12 months.) Consistent with the Part 200 Uniform Requirements (2 CFR Part 200, adopted with modifications as a DOJ regulation by 2 CFR 2800) as set out at 2 CFR § 200.306(c) and with NIJ’s applicable authority at 42 U.S.C. 3723, however, NIJ would consider requests from an applicant to treat unrecovered indirect costs, if any, as cost sharing or match under the award.

Graduate Research Fellowship in Program in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics

See also Q&As from two FY 17 funding webinars:

Download the solicitation (pdf, 34 pages)

Q-1: Is the fellowship open to international students?
A: The official applicant to the GRF solicitation is a degree-granting academic institution in the United States and its territories. Universities may submit applications on behalf of international students. There is no requirement as to the citizenship of the student, but any student must be currently enrolled in a qualifying PhD program at a U.S. university at the time of application.

Applicants are encouraged to review the solicitation. Please note in particular, on page 4 of the solicitation that, “Applicant academic institutions sponsoring doctoral students are eligible to apply only if: 1. The doctoral student’s degree program is in a science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) discipline: and 2. The student’s proposed dissertation research has demonstrable implications for addressing the challenges of crime, and/or the fair and impartial administration of criminal justice in the United States.”
Q-2 I currently have another fellowship but would like to apply for the Graduate Research Fellowship. Will this my existing fellowship count points against me in successfully winning the GRF?
A: All applications are reviewed on their merits based on the criteria identified in section E. Application Review of the solicitation (see the Selection Criteria, p. 27). Should you decide to submit an application, please note in particular the following requirements:
  • A list of other agencies, organizations, or funding sources to which this application has been submitted, including, but not limited to, other fellowships that the doctoral student has received and the dates during which those fellowships will be active (if applicable) (p. 16)
  • NIJ may take into consideration (p. 29) “… available funding… as well as the extent to which the budget detail worksheet and budget narrative accurately explain project costs that are reasonable, necessary, and otherwise allowable under federal law and applicable federal cost principles.” Applicants are encouraged to include in their budget all budget items that are necessary and allowable (up to the $35,000/$15,000 limits) to support themselves and their research during the fellowship term. Submitting a low fellowship budget request does not confer competitive advantage. If another fellowship is to be held concurrently, and NIJ determines that a reduction in NIJ support is appropriate, a revised budget may be requested at the time an award is offered.
Q-3: If I have other funding for my research, when constructing my budget should I ask for the full $35,000 amount or deduct the amount of my existing funding?
A: All applications are reviewed on their merits based on the criteria identified in section E. Application Review of the solicitation (see the Selection Criteria, p. 27). Should you decide to submit an application, please note in particular the following requirements:
  • A list of other agencies, organizations, or funding sources to which this application has been submitted, including, but not limited to, other fellowships that the doctoral student has received and the dates during which those fellowships will be active (if applicable) (p. 16)
  • NIJ may take into consideration (p. 29) “… available funding… as well as the extent to which the budget detail worksheet and budget narrative accurately explain project costs that are reasonable, necessary, and otherwise allowable under federal law and applicable federal cost principles.” Applicants are encouraged to include in their budget all budget items that are necessary and allowable (up to the $35,000/$15,000 limits) to support themselves and their research during the fellowship term. Submitting a low fellowship budget request does not confer competitive advantage. If another fellowship is to be held concurrently, and NIJ determines that a reduction in NIJ support is appropriate, a revised budget may be requested at the time an award is offered.
Q-4: If I plan on having the grant for two years should I make a budget for two years or for one? My narrative and research timeline are both for two years.
A: Per the solicitation, your budget narrative and budget detail worksheet should reflect the entire proposed project timeline of up to three years, in discrete 12-month increments. However, the Application for Federal Assistance (SF-424) should only reflect the first 12-months funding requirement.
Q-5: The budget form states that "Indirect costs are allowed if the applicant has a Federally approved indirect cost rate" while the solicitation states that "Indirect costs are not allowed under this solicitation"; are Indirect Costs allowed on this since we have a NICRA or not?
A: Direct or indirect administrative or management costs of the applicant university are not allowed under the GRF-STEM program.
Q-6: Can the applicant also include relocation expenses in this grant. For example, if the applicant cannot reside in the housing units provided by the University can they include their relocation and housing expenses along with monthly food budget in this grant?
A: According to the solicitation (p. 8): “Each year of support… includes a $35,000 allowance usable toward a salary/stipend for the student and related costs, and up to $15,000 to cover the student’s tuition and fees, research expenses, and related costs. The $35,000 allowance for salary/stipend and related costs may include fringe benefits (if applicable) and health insurance, at the applicant institution’s discretion. Under this solicitation, research expenses and related costs may include any combination of the doctoral student’s tuition, student fees, project costs, professional society membership fees, or conference travel, among other allowed expenses…”

The $35,000 student stipend allowance is intended for the financial support of the student during the fellowship term, in the manner of a salary. It may be used at the student’s discretion, provided the use conforms to university policy. The $15,000 research expenses portion is intended to directly facilitate the student’s research and academic/professional activities. Students are encouraged to work with their university to draft a budget that conforms to the requirements of the solicitation and university policy, while meeting the student’s personal and research-related needs.
Q-7: Can the student's tuition costs be divided up between the "Student Salary and Related Costs" and the "Tuition and Fees, Research Expenses and Related Costs"? Our students salary and fringe benefits equal just over $25k with tuition costs being just over $11k annually and we'd like to keep as much of the funds for the "Research Expenses and Related Costs" as possible for other project costs.
A: See the solicitation for allowable costs under the $35,000 and $15,000 budget allowances (p. 8): 
Each year of support… includes a $35,000 allowance usable toward a salary/stipend for the student and related costs, and up to $15,000 to cover the student’s tuition and fees, research expenses, and related costs. The $35,000 allowance for salary/stipend and related costs may include fringe benefits (if applicable) and health insurance, at the applicant institution’s discretion. Under this solicitation, research expenses and related costs may include any combination of the doctoral student’s tuition, student fees, project costs, professional society membership fees, or conference travel, among other allowed expenses during the award period of performance (see complete Budget Information, including “What will not be funded”).
The $35,000/$15,000 budget allowances are separate categories supporting separate costs which are generally mutually exclusive. The applicant may request allowable costs under each budget allowance up to the maximum amount of each allowance separately. Concerning the use of the $35,000 salary/stipend allowance, the solicitation (p. 17) also notes that:
Where possible in accordance with institutional policy, academic institutions should account for the full amount of $35,000 when justifying the personnel expenses of the doctoral student.
Q-8: The solicitation indicates that no indirect cost or administrative fees are permitted. As we have a federally negotiated indirect cost rate, per the Uniform Guidance under 2 CFR § 200.414, for a federal agency not to apply an entity's federally negotiated indirect cost rate it must cite a statute or regulation which states that the agency cannot apply the federally negotiated indirect cost rate, or it cannot be applied for the particular program. As the solicitation does not include this information, I am reaching out to you for the reference. 
A: Thank you for your inquiry. NIJ’s grant funds under its Graduate Research Fellowship program to university-sponsors of doctoral candidate fellows to conduct criminal justice research, as stated in the published program solicitation, do not fund administrative expenses or indirect costs of the institutional applicant. (Individual awards under this program are for only up to $32,000 each for a project period of 12 months.) Consistent with the Part 200 Uniform Requirements (2 CFR Part 200, adopted with modifications as a DOJ regulation by 2 CFR 2800) as set out at 2 CFR § 200.306(c) and with NIJ’s applicable authority at 42 U.S.C. 3723, however, NIJ would consider requests from an applicant to treat unrecovered indirect costs, if any, as cost sharing or match under the award.

Fiscal Year 2016 Solicitations


Research and Evaluation on Identity Theft and Services to Victims of Identity Theft

Download the solicitation Research and Evaluation on Identity Theft and Services to Victims of Identity Theft (pdf, 30 pages)

Q-1: Do the requirements for this solicitation prohibit an analysis of pertinent secondary data?
A: No. There is no prohibition on the use of secondary data.

W.E.B. Du Bois Program of Research on Race and Crime

Download the solicitation W.E.B. Du Bois Program of Research on Race and Crime (pdf, 33 pages)

Q-1: Is a JD considered a “terminal degree?”
A: The JD is considered a terminal degree and meets the eligibility criteria for the solicitation.
Q-2:If a potential Fellow plans to move to a different university than where they are at the time of the application, can the current university submit the applicant and then any potential award be transferred to the new university after the Fellow starts work there?
A: While it may be possible to transfer a grant once awarded, because there are no assurances that an award can be transferred NIJ discourages applications where the proposed Fellow will be moving positions before or during the award.

Evaluation of the Bureau of Justice Assistance Sexual Assault Kit Initiative

Download the solicitation Evaluation of the Bureau of Justice Assistance Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (pdf, 32 pages).

Q-1: Is the current Sexual Assault Kit Initiative training and technical assistance provider eligible to submit a response to this solicitation or is this considered to be a conflict of interest?
A: Yes, it would be a conflict of interest. Members of the proposed evaluation team must not have any role in the TTA, unless the applicant intends to recuse themselves from the training and technical assistance.
Q-2: Is a subrecipient (not the primary awardee) of a BJA 2015 SAKI program award eligible to apply for funding under this solicitation?
A: Yes, as long as the individuals on the proposal under this solicitation are not also on one of the SAKI grant awards, then they can apply and should note any potential conflicts in the Research Independence and Integrity statement.
Q-3: With reference to area of interest three, Assess proximal and immediate impact of 2015 SAKI Awards, does the offeror need to conduct some level of assessment or just propose evaluation components in the response to the solicitation?
A: Applicants should propose appropriate design and methods to address Area #3. Each area (1-3) under this solicitation is separate and distinct requiring individualized research design and methodological approaches.
Q-4: Since the solicitation specifies the award will be in the form of a cooperative agreement rather than a grant, will OMB clearance be required for data collection related to the 5-site process evaluation and the 20-site evaluability assessment? If so, is NIJ expecting the winning applicant to prepare a package for OMB submission?
A: It is possible that OMB clearance will be required for components of this projects. If so, then the winning applicant will be responsible for preparing and submitting such a package. Please consider this in your timeline.

Longitudinal Cohort Study of Interpersonal Violence Among College-Aged Women and Men: Planning Phase

Download the solicitation Longitudinal Cohort Study of Interpersonal Violence Among College-Aged Women and Men: Planning Phase (pdf, 31 pages)

Q-1: Is OMB approval needed in order to pilot a survey instrument and study protocols or is OMB approval required only for the administration of the larger survey after the two-year planning period?
A: OMB approval needs to obtained in order to pilot the instrument and study protocols.
Q-2:The solicitation states that “Initial funding under this solicitation will cover an initial 24-month planning phase. NIJ anticipates that additional funding will become available to support implementation of a longitudinal study involving the recruitment and retention of five waves of students over six years (4-5 years of college plus 1-2 years post-graduation) attending four-year residential colleges and universities.” Can NIJ clarify whether this means recruitment of the sample during freshman year and following that cohort over the 6 year period or does it mean recruitment of the baseline sample across several years of the college career (freshman-seniors) and following those individuals over the six years?
A: Recruitment of the college-based sample should occur prior to the start of freshman year and the same time-frame should be used for recruitment of the comparable community based/non-residential 4-year college sample.
Q-3: Does NIJ envision a cross sectional study design in which a sample of students and a comparison group are measured each year for a 6 year period?
A: This particular question should be answered as part of the planning phase. There are different design approaches that can be used that are not necessarily cross-sectional. NIJ is interested in each cohort (students and comparison) measured at minimum once per year, however, during the planning phase different approaches can be proposed and evaluated such as interviews more or less often over the course of the study.
Q-4: A comparison group of individuals not attending four-year residential colleges and universities should be included.” Can NIJ clarify what the ideal comparison group should look like?
A: The applicant can consider proposing an appropriate comparison sample, however, this will be refined during the planning phase.
Q-5: Per page 4 of the solicitation, "Initial funding under this solicitation should cover an initial 24-month planning phase in anticipation of additional funding becoming available to support the recruitment and retention of five waves (over six years) of college students and individuals not attending four-year residential colleges." Can these “waves” be assessment periods or do they have to be staggered cohorts?
A: Per the solicitation language, "NIJ anticipates that additional funding will become available to support implementation of a longitudinal study involving the recruitment and retention of five waves of students over six years (4-5 years of college plus 1-2 years post-graduation) attending four-year residential colleges and universities. A comparison group of individuals not attending four-year residential colleges and universities should be included." These should be separate cohorts recruited over 5 consecutive years. We anticipate that each cohort will be followed for 6 years.

Research and Evaluation on Domestic Radicalization to Violent Extremism: Prevention and Intervention Demonstration Programs

Download the solicitation Research and Evaluation on Domestic Radicalization to Violent Extremism: Prevention and Intervention Demonstration Programs (pdf, 33 pages)

Q-1: Will the government provide a definition of what is considered a program?
A: A: For the purposes of this solicitation, we choose to use the definition of program found on CrimeSolutions.gov: “A planned, coordinated group of activities and processes designed to achieve a specific purpose. A program should have specified procedures (e.g., a defined curriculum, an explicit number of treatment or service hours, and an optimal length of treatment) to ensure the program is implemented with fidelity to its model.”
Q-2: Are efforts to counter violent extremism via internet-based initiatives within the definition of a program?
A: Yes. Programs focused on the ways in which radicalization to violent extremism manifests itself online will be considered under this solicitation.
Q-3: May an offeror present an application to evaluate an existing program with a budget split closer to 50 percent design and partner collaboration, and 50 percent partner collaboration and implementation?
A: Yes. The 75/25 percent split found in the solicitation is not a hard and fast delimitation. NIJ wants applicants to craft the budget that best fits the needs of the proposed evaluation, and will evaluate the budget in the context of the identified need, proposed activities and potential impact of the evaluation.
Q-4: Approximately how many applications do you receive?
A: This is the fifth year of this specific call for proposals. In this time, NIJ has averaged between 25 and 35 applications per year.
Q-5: How many of those applications are denied immediately for not meeting basic requirements?
A: There have been very few applications denied outright in past years, and all of them were duplicate applications. In each case, NIJ worked with the applicants to identify which application was the intended one. It does not appear that NIJ has denied any applications due to lack of proper documentation.
Q-6: Can you explain the 75/25 percent split requirement?
A: NIJ expects that demonstration program applications will propose to support costs related to implementation and development of the program itself. That might include personnel, program expenses, equipment, materials, training and other activities intended to counter violent extremism. In the case of demonstration programs, NIJ is willing to fund up to 75 percent of the award toward those expenses. The other 25 percent would support essentially the action research element — that is, for the research partners to support activities related to data collection, analysis, direct personnel costs to develop reports, etc.
Q-7: The budge split is suggested for demonstration programs. Is there a suggested budget split for evaluation of existing programs?
A: With regard to the evaluation of existing programs, applicants may propose to split costs somewhat differently. For example, an applicant may choose to replicate an existing program in a new location. In this case, they can use the same 75/25 split as a demonstration project. There may also be applications that are looking to evaluate existing programs. In those cases, the existing program may already have funding, and there may be latitude in terms of how to split funding. These applicants may have a greater proportion of their proposed resources going toward the evaluation.
Q-8: Is there a list of organizations that are conducting work on violent extremism?
A: NIJ does not have such a list, though NIJ.gov does have a list of all prior NIJ awards. Some organizations can be found online, and you can search online for published studies that mention such programs.
Q-9: The focus of this webinar has been on intervention and prevention. Will any consideration be given to research focused on understanding radicalization (i.e., research with an eye toward developing intervention and prevention efforts, but with no specific plan to do so)?
A: NIJ will consider applications that are focused more research than evaluation. Research-focused applications would not be rejected and will receive a full review. However, NIJ’s emphasis this year is on evaluation and demonstration efforts. It is difficult to say before all applications have been reviewed whether there would be enough funding for research. It will depend on the number of high-quality applications that will help NIJ to look at promising practices as they pertain to prevention, intervention, engagement and disengagement efforts in the United States.
Q-10: Would research conducted by previous awards be available?
A: Final grant reports for completed projects are available at www.ncjrs.gov. You can also find a list of funded projects, including completed projects, with links to their final reports on NIJ.gov. Of the 23 projects in this area that NIJ has funded to date, only a handful have been completed. NIJ is in the process of reviewing a number of reports, and those will be published in the coming months. Keep an eye on NIJ’s website and Facebook page for news on when these reports are released.
Keep in mind, however, that this particular solicitation is somewhat different from years. There is a two-year project period on this solicitation. In years past, the projects were often three years or sometimes longer.
Q-11: Do all peer reviewers have backgrounds specifically in countering violent extremism?
A: Most of NIJ’s peer reviewers on the technical side will have backgrounds in violence prevention; this background may or may not be specific to violent extremism. NIJ normally looks for technical reviewers that have a sufficient depth of scientific knowledge to comment on the methodology and on the technical design and viability of the approach. Then, NIJ will team these reviewers with practitioners who are more familiar with violent extremism, so that they can comment on the approach and the impact. This ensures that results from the completed study will have the intended results for the field.
Q-12: What is the extent of evidence expected during proposal submissions pertaining to coordination with other stakeholders, communities and organizations?
A: NIJ request that applicants provide letters of support when proposing to partner with stakeholder agencies or organizations. Especially when talking about a program that will be evaluated, NIJ would like to see a letter of support stating that the program wants to participate in the evaluation. Likewise, the demonstrated history of collaboration with those stakeholder organizations or partners is also encouraged. There are organizations that cannot provide of these letters: law enforcement agencies, government agencies, U.S. attorney’s offices, and others that may have policies in place against providing those sorts of letters. It is okay to discuss in the application that you tried to make contact with those organizations.

Research and Evaluation on Victims of Crime

Download the solicitation Research and Evaluation on Victims of Crime (pdf, 32 pages)

Q-1: Does this grant opportunity fund international research or research on domestic issues only? We would be applying as a for-profit organization but our research would be on the topic of foreign government/organizations.
A: Like other NIJ grant programs, NIJ’s grants may support transnational research or research that is conducted (in full or in part) outside the United States. Keep in mind, however, that NIJ’s core mission is to support research that informs criminal justice policy and practice in the U.S. Any proposed transnational or international research will be evaluated in terms of its relevance and practical value to U.S. criminal justice policy and practice.

FY 2016 Comprehensive School Safety Initiative

Download FY 2016 Comprehensive School Safety Initiative (pdf, 40 pages)

Q-1: Would suicide prevention be considered a type of violence prevention under category 2 of the solicitation?
A: As stated on page 4 of the solicitation, “the CSSI initiative is concerned with all forms of interpersonal violence” that occur on school property, at school-sponsored events, and so on. Although suicide is certainly a safety concern for students, it is not a form of interpersonal violence.
Q-2: If an applicant applies under Category 4, Longitudinal Studies, can the cohort definition be applied to a cohort of schools or is that term solely reserved for cohorts of individual students?
A: The term cohort in this solicitation refers to a group of students.
Q-3: Can some of the funds for a category 3 proposal be used to support the programmatic activity, say in a pilot study?
A: Yes
Q-4: Under category 1, can the evaluation team be from the same organization as the demonstration team?
A: Yes, it is acceptable for the evaluator or evaluation team to be employed in the same organization as the program implementation team. However, applicants are reminded strongly encouraged to pay careful attention to section 8b of the solicitation under the heading of Research and Evaluation Independence and Integrity. As noted in this section of the solicitation, the applicant must propose a specific and robust mitigation plan to address potential conflicts of interest or any other factors that could affect the objectivity or integrity of the proposed research.
Q-5: Do subcontractors need to provide the following information (from page 23 of the solicitation) as well as the primary applicant? List (to the extent known) of all proposed project staff members, including those affiliated with the applicant organization or any proposed subrecipient organization(s), any proposed consultant(s) and contractors (whether individuals or organizations), and any proposed members of an advisory board for the project (if applicable). The list should include, for each individual and organization: name, title (if applicable), employer or other organizational affiliation, and roles and responsibilities proposed for the project.
A: Yes. Subcontractors are considered contractors or subrecipient organizations. The application is expected to include a list of proposed project staff members (to the extent known) from these entities as well as the applicant organization.
Q-6:For category 1, the solicitation calls for the budget to be split so up to 1/3 goes to the research partner for evaluation and no less than 2/3 goes towards program activities that will be subject to evaluation. If the research partner will perform some activities that directly benefit the program (e.g., faculty serving as a consultant), can that activity be included in the research partners budget but count toward program activities?
A: Yes, it would it be acceptable to keep these costs noted above in the university budget, as long as you clearly delineate which costs are for intervention vs. evaluation?

Sexual Assault Forensic Evidence- Inventory, Tracking, and Reporting Program (SAFE-ITR)

Download the solicitation Sexual Assault Forensic Evidence - Inventory, Tracking, and Reporting Program (SAFE-ITR) (pdf, 33 pages).

Q-1: Under this solicitation, can an application be submitted for a state-wide tracking program (involving multiple jurisdictions within the State) with a single (State) agency as the administrator, or can only a single jurisdiction (such as a unit of local government) apply?
A: As stated in the eligibility requirements on page 1 of the solicitation, a State, unit of local government, or federally recognized Indian tribe that collects, stores, maintains and/or sends forensic DNA evidence to an existing and accredited crime laboratory that complies with the DNA Quality Assurance Standards and participates in the National DNA Index System (NDIS) may apply.

NIJ would accept and consider for funding an application from an eligible State for a state-wide tracking program (involving multiple jurisdictions within the State) with a single (State) agency as the administrator. An example of this would be an application submitted by a “fiscal agent” such as a State Administering Agency, which would then provide federal award funds to multiple eligible jurisdictions (subrecipients) within the applicant State.

In this example, the applicant State (the “fiscal agent” submitting the application that would administer the grant, if funded) would be responsible for facilitating or otherwise coordinating efforts in the State with any units of local government that would be funded under a SAFE-ITR award to the State in order to gather information needed for the application, including any information regarding the inventory of unsubmitted SAKs. The applicant State would need to make a proper certification under the program. See page 5 of the solicitation, which has different certification requirements depending on the tasks for which funding would be requested.

It would not be necessary for the State fiscal agent submitting the application to have physical possession (or custody) of all SAKs to be covered under the State’s application. See page 7 of the solicitation for a definition of possession for purposes of this program. Under an application for a state-wide tracking program, however, all SAKs for which funding is requested under the program must be in the possession of the applicant State, whether by way of storage, custody, or control by an agency (or instrumentality) of the State; by an individual acting (as a legal matter) as an agent of the State; or by a political subdivision of a State that would receive funds as a subrecipient under the State’s application (if funded).

Speaking with regard to the certifying official (chief law enforcement officer of the applicant) for an applicant State’s SAFE-ITR inventory certification – again using the “fiscal agent” example described above – entities in the State that would receive funds requested under the State’s application would need to coordinate internally to provide any necessary documentation or information to the applicant State’s certifying official to support a proper (fully informed) certification under this program. Also note that on page 6, the solicitation states—
“The chief law enforcement officer of the applicant State, unit of local government, or Indian tribe must be the identified individual accountable for compliance and reporting within the applicant jurisdiction. The chief law enforcement officer can appoint a designee as long as the designee is not an employee of any governmental laboratory or vendor laboratory.”
Q-2: Do SAKs collected anonymously need to be included in our agencies inventory count? There could be circumstances when an anonymous SAKs are collected at our agency’s patrol office and kept as evidence but not sent to the crime lab to be tested. Therefore the crime lab (who maintains the database inventory) would not have those particular SAKs in their possession.
A: The intent of the program is to assist eligible States, units of local government, and tribal governments to inventory, track, and report all untested and unsubmitted SAKs and help these jurisdictions ensure accountability and transparency for the collection, processing and testing of SAKs. Per Task 1 on page 5 of the solicitation, “[a]pplicants must inventory all existing SAKs in the applicant’s possession,” where possession by a State or unit of local government includes the storage, control, or custody by an agency (or individual who is acting as an agent) of the State or unit of local government. Reporting is not required for SAKs that are not considered criminal evidence, such as a SAK collected anonymously from a victim who is unwilling to make a criminal complaint (see Exceptions from reporting on page 7). A secondary goal of the solicitation is to understand the movement of SAKs through the criminal justice system (see Additional goals on page 8), and therefore NIJ encourages applicants to identify all untested SAKs to gain a full understanding of all untested sexual assault kits.

Developing Improved Means to Collect Digital Evidence

Download the solicitation Developing Improved Means to Collect Digital Evidence (pdf, 34 pages).

Q-1: Who is eligible for NIJ awards?
A: Generally, NIJ provides funding to the following: educational institutions; public agencies; nonprofit organizations; faith-based organizations; individuals; for-profit organizations willing to waive their fees; federal agencies, unless specifically stated otherwise in the solicitation document; and Federally Funded Research and Development Centers (FFDRC). If the solicitation does not indicate that applications from “federal agencies” will be accepted, a FFRDC has the option of applying as its private-sector entity type, whatever that may be (for-profit, non-profit, etc.), and a grant or cooperative agreement could be awarded to the entity that administers the FFRDC.
Q-2: What size agency (or what size digital forensic investigation department) is the tool envisioned in the solicitation targeted towards? We are considering ways to address learning curve issues that could arise from infrequent use of a potentially complex and highly technical tool suite.
A: While this solicitation is competitive and we cannot have individual conversations concerning the solicitation with prospective applicants, should an applicant want to propose a technology for a particularly sized agency, they should articulate why and the impact that will have in advancing the goals and objectives of the solicitation.
Q-3: Is NIJ aware of any notable historical state and local law enforcement cases or canonical cases where such a tool could be useful?
A: We would expect that such examples, if deemed needful, would be offered by the applicant in their proposal.
Q-4: Would we maintain ownership over the intellectual property or would NIJ now have joint ownership of any new technology developed under this solicitation?
A: NIJ follows standard practice with regard to intellectual property. In general, this means that an awardee may retain the entire right, title, and interest throughout the world to each invention developed under an award with Federal funding, subject to the provisions of 35 U.S.C. 203. With respect to any such invention in which the awardee retains title, the Federal government shall have a nonexclusive, nontransferable, irrevocable, paid-up license to practice or have practiced for or on behalf of the United States the subject invention throughout the world.

The respective rights of the Federal government and the prospective awardee regarding intellectual property will be detailed in one or more award special conditions. If those conditions are not acceptable to the prospective awardee, it has the option of not accepting the award.


FY 2016 DNA Capacity Enhancement and Backlog Reduction (CEBR) Program

Download the solicitation FY 2016 DNA Capacity Enhancement and Backlog Reduction (CEBR) Program (pdf, 35 pages).

Q-1: In this year’s solicitation, there has been a change in the performance metrics from last year; that is, the phrase “by type” was added to the description of data required under the “Reduction in response time for requests” performance measure (p. 20). We have services in our LIMS system of serology, DNA, DNA/serology, and CODIS. Is that what is intended by the addition of “by type”?
A: The “by type” should be distinguished as either forensic biology analysis request or DNA analysis request.
Q-2: If there are multiple recipients in my state, how do I allocate the funds within my application?
A: If there is more than one public DNA laboratory within a State, funds generally are expected to be allocated among the eligible applicants on the basis of the UCR Part 1 Violent Crimes, UCR Property Crimes, and population of the State, in a fashion that ensures that the total funding requested by all applicant agencies from each State does not exceed the aggregate level listed for the State. The formula calculation for the DNA Capacity Enhancement and Backlog Reduction Program used by NIJ is an internal formula to determine the allocations per State. NIJ expects applicants from States with multiple eligible applicants to coordinate among themselves to set a minimum level of funding for each applicant so that, if practicable, each eligible applicant within the State receives a minimum of $150,000, regardless of whether its proportion of available funding based on UCR Part 1 Violent Crimes, UCR Property Crimes and population of the State reaches $150,000.
Q-3: In past years, my laboratory has applied for funds under a single application and then dispersed funds to sub-recipients within our state. This year, all sub-recipients will apply separately for funding. Is this the correct method to remove all sub-recipients from my laboratories award?
A: Yes, having former-sub-recipient apply separately is the correct method to remove them from any 2016 award to your laboratory. However, any open/active awards will remain the responsibility of the original applicant.
Q-4: How detailed does the timeline called for in the plan need to be? For example, can we simply state that we will be purchasing a piece of equipment in the first half of 2017, or do we need to state a particular month? Do we need to state each specific piece of equipment with a specific date or can we be more open as to when the purchase will be done?
A: The project design and implementation timeline should be an overview of the activities proposed in the application. This is an estimated timeline that should outline milestones throughout the project period. For example, purchase equipment May 2017, validation of equipment July of 2017 and equipment in use September 2017.
Q-5: What is meant by "significantly involved in substantive aspects?" Forensic science staff, administrative staff (directly involved in implementing the grant), administrative staff (indirectly involved in the payment of purchase orders, etc.) As a state organization, there are several layers of bureaucracy. How much is needed to address this requirement?
A: Individuals that are paid for by the grant, scientists need to be identified by their title, hourly rate (pay grade) and number of hours to be worked. Administrative staff should be identified by title, hourly rate (pay grade) and number of hours worked.
Q-6: There will be several dozen forensic scientists participating in overtime. Do we need to identify each forensic scientist by name and submit CVs for all of them? Or can we simply mention that there will be multiple forensic scientists working overtime and give a general description of their job qualifications and duties? Same question for travel to conferences. There will be multiple people going to these and we have not identified these individuals yet.
A: Individuals working participating in overtime should be identified by their title, hourly rate (pay grade) and number of hours to be worked. A general description of each pay grade should be provided. As for travel, the number of individuals traveling will suffice.
Q-7: Should fiscal staff be included in the project if their only involvement is in paying purchase orders and keeping track of our spending?
A: If the fiscal staff are using DNA funds as administrative costs, they should be identified by their title, hourly rate (pay grade) and number of hours to be worked.
Q-8: Is retention and continued funding of additional analysts who were hired using prior year grant funds an allowable expense for the current solicitation?
A: The use of DNA Capacity Enhancement and Backlog Reduction funds may be used to continue the salary of additional analysts hired under prior year awards. However, the program narrative should include a justification of the continuation of the personnel and a statement of a plan to retain the personnel using State or local funds. The budget detail worksheet and budget narrative should include the name of the full time personnel, their job title, pay grade and the estimated number of hours to be worked.
Q-9: The solicitation states that multiple eligible applicants within a state should coordinate among themselves to set a minimum level of funding for each applicant so that, if practicable, each eligible applicant within the State receives a minimum of $150,000. What does NIJ mean by "if practicable?"
A: By "if practicable" NIJ means that if total funding allows for that minimum to go to each laboratory. There may be a few cases where there are so many eligible labs in the state that the $150,000 can’t be given to every lab.
Q-10: If we do not apply for the full $150,000, do we need to include a letter stating that we would be willing to take a lesser amount?
A: Yes, you should include a letter with your application that states that you are willing to take a lesser amount and that this has been discussed and agreed upon with the other labs in the state.
Q-11: If a crime laboratory generates income by doing testing for other agencies, do we need to declare the potential to generate program income even if our fees are based only on the supplies used for testing and we do not use grant funding to pay for those supplies?
A: Yes. Applicants do need to declare the potential to generate program income and affirm the commitment to identify, report, and apply program income per the requirements of the DOJ Financial Guide. If necessary, successful applicants may seek training and technical assistance following award to determine how best to identify, report, and apply program income. For the purposes of completing the required Declaration of Program Income, please reference the definition of program income detailed on page 15 of the solicitation: “Program income means gross income earned by the non-federal entity that is directly generated by a supported activity or earned as a result of the federal award during the period of performance.”
Q-12:What type of training and technical assistance will be available following award to help grantees who are new to the concept of program income determine how to best identify, report, and apply these requirements?
A: Training and technical assistance will be available one-on-one to successful applicants upon award. NIJ encourages recipients to reach out to the assigned Grant Manger following award acceptance as needed to discuss how best to identify, report and apply program income. Note that NIJ does not prescribe or prohibit a method of applying program income for the CEBR Program, as long as the method is in keeping with applicable grant regulations and requirements.
Q-13: Are recipients allowed to spend any program income earned on additional capacity enhancement and backlog reduction activities above and beyond our full award total? Or will recipients be required to reduce the FY 2016 award by the amount of income earned and return an equivalent amount of grant funding to NIJ?
A: Program income earned during the award period may be expended only for permissible uses of funds specifically identified in the solicitation for the NIJ FY 2016 DNA Capacity Enhancement and Backlog Reduction Program. Program income earned during the award period may not be used to supplant State or local government funds, but instead may be used only to increase the amount of funds that would, in the absence of Federal funds or program income, be available from State or local government sources for the permissible uses of funds listed in the FY 2016 program solicitation.

Violence Against Women Research Consortium

Download the solicitation Violence Against Women Research Consortium (pdf, 32 pages).

NIJ also held a webinar to discuss this solicitation. Watch the recording.

Q-1: Does NIJ have a maximum rate for compensating consultants?
NIJ has a maximum rate of $650 per consultant. Anything above that rate needs to go through an approval process at NIJ and all rates must be adequately justified.
Q-2: Can consultants be hired who are located internationally?
A: International consultants are allowed.
Q-3: Is this a new consortium or does a grantee currently have funding for this consortium already?
A: This is a new consortium for NIJ, and NIJ has not had one similar to this in any of its violence against women work before. This is a new initiative.
Q-4: Because the tasks have not been determined ahead of time, can the consortium annually subcontract with an agency for statistical services rather than budgeting for statistical personnel?
A: If budgeting for statistical analysis services is what works within your infrastructure, then you can propose that. As with any aspect of your proposal that you think might seem to differ from what the solicitation requests, NIJ would want you to provide justification for why your proposal is different. Such differences might, for example, relate to infrastructure or your ability to meet certain tasks.
Q-5: What does NIJ hope to see in a budget if applicants cannot budget specific projects?
A: The budget should contain information on topics like the communication infrastructure, if there are going to be meetings or travel to different locations for meetings. It should also include time and effort for the key personnel and any subcontracts.
Q-6: Are co-project directors allowed?
A: Yes, co-project directors are allowed and they can be from different institutions. One of the project directors needs to be from the grantee or the applicant organization, but other co-directors can be subcontracted or from other organizations.
Q-7: If the scope of work will vary from year to year, how can applicants budget for core as well as adjunct faculty? It seems it is going to be difficult to anticipate the needs ahead of time.
A: NIJ understands that it will be difficult to anticipate the needs ahead of time, and in the initial budget review NIJ would like you to budget for the core faculty and potentially unnamed adjunct individuals. Then, at the meeting at the start of the project, NIJ and the grantee will work on budget modifications within the first few months of the program to address specific key areas moving forward.
Q-8: Who at NIJ will be working with the consortium?
A: The grantee will work with many different NIJ scientists. Bethany Backes will most likely be the primary point of contact for the consortium, along with Christine Crossland, Carrie Mulford, Dara Blachman-Demner and any other staff that might be working on related topics.
Q-9: What is the process timeline for identifying and assigning new projects over the course of the grant period?
A: NIJ will be establishing a more formal process both for the consortium to propose projects and for NIJ to assign projects. NIJ anticipates that at any given time there might be five to six ongoing projects, as dictated by federal-level priorities and some of the more long-term objectives. At the very start of the award, NIJ will sit down with the consortium to plan out the longer-term targeted research agenda to be addressed. Within that conversation, there might be room to discuss ad hoc activities.
Q-10: Does the consortium need to be housed at the university, since the solicitation uses the term “faculty”?
A: No, it does not have to be housed in an academic university, but NIJ is asking for the core faculty to be research staff.
Q-11: Should the core faculty be organized around content?
A: It is up to each applicant to propose how they want to organize the core faculty. There are several areas listed in the solicitation, in terms of subject matter expertise, methods, program evaluation, and statistical skills that need to be met. It will depends on who you have on your team and how you would like to organize that content expertise.
Q-12: Would it be possible to name core faculty and continue to build that core faculty once the research agenda is developed?
A: Yes, and NIJ expects that. NIJ is aware that a lot of unanticipated things can happen, so it expects some changeover of core faculty later in the project or as priorities change, as well as some addition of faculty as needed.
Q-13: Will only one consortium be funded, or is it possible that two consortia might be funded?
A: As of now, NIJ is only planning to fund one consortium from the solicitation.
Q-14: To clarify, the consortium needs to address all content areas and all areas of methodology expertise, correct?
A: Yes, that is correct.
Q-15: Could individuals be listed as core faculty on multiple proposals?
A: Yes, that is permitted.
Q-16: If faculty are listed on multiple proposals, should that be disclosed in the proposals?
A: No, that is not necessary because NIJ reviewers will see any duplication during the review process.
Q-17: If funding is $1 million per year, is that a hard cap?
A: The hard cap is $5 million inclusive of everything over four to five years. The consortium will need to have the flexibility to either staff up or staff down, potentially on an annual basis; so, some years the consortium may be spending a little more and some years a little less. If any needed projects arise that cannot fit into the current budget, there is a possibility of providing continuation or supplemental funds.
Q-18: Does the $5 million include overhead?
A: Yes, the $5 million is inclusive of everything, all direct and indirect costs.
Q-19: Does the Principle Investigator (P.I.) equal the center director equal the project director?
A: Yes. The P.I. or project director can also be a core faculty member. Indeed, it is expected that the directors would probably be core faculty members.
Q-20: Should the applicant propose a budget for four to five years, or could the budget be proposed for one year, with the other years being built after the research agenda is set?
A: Applicants should submit a budget representing the entire award period of 48-60 months.
Q-21: In the program narrative, should we include only a description of how we would form and manage the research consortium or should we include a description of a specific major research project and how we would form and manage the research consortium?
A: The Project Design section should layout how the Consortium will be structured and its ability to implement and conduct short and long-term research and evaluation tasks. This section should elaborate on the applicant’s ability to address the gaps or issues noted in the Statement of the Problem and its ability to perform a wide variety of tasks including dissemination and publication efforts.
Q-22: Regarding scholarly products resulting from an award under this solicitation, does this mean NIJ will review and approval tasks and activities assigned to the Consortium, or will NIJ will review and approve all scholarly products (e.g., journal articles)?
A: Because this is a cooperative agreement, products stemming from the work of the consortium will require review and approval by NIJ. The level of review may vary depending on the type of product and intended audience.
Q-23: Should the program narrative include a description of how we would form and manage the research consortium or a description of a specific major research project and how we would form and manage the research consortium?
A: The Project Design section should layout how the Consortium will be structured and its ability to implement and conduct short and long-term research and evaluation tasks. This section should elaborate on the applicant’s ability to address the gaps or issues noted in the Statement of the Problem and its ability to perform a wide variety of tasks including dissemination and publication efforts.

Research on "Sentinel Events" and Criminal Justice Errors

Download the solicitation Research on "Sentinel Events" and Criminal Justice Errors (pdf, 34 pages).

Q-1: Would an application for research on juvenile shootings and juveniles in the system be eligible for funding?
A: Though NIJ’s research solicitations typically adopts a very inclusive approach to studying crime and justice, NIJ research grants tend to focus on adult criminal justice processes and crimes involving adult perpetrators. Nevertheless, some research on juveniles and the juvenile justice system may provide important research findings that advance NIJ’s research mission, and NIJ has previously funded some studies dealing with or focusing on youthful offenders. Applicants to this highly competitive research solicitation should develop and submit proposals that provide compelling yet highly feasible research opportunities to advance our understanding of crime and justice and to further NIJ’s mission to provide research evidence in support of criminal justice practice and policy.

NIJ FY16 Data Resources Program: Funding for Analysis of Existing Data

Download the solicitation NIJ FY16 Data Resources Program: Funding for Analysis of Existing Data.


Q-1: The solicitation calls for "research using existing data available from the National Archive of Criminal Justice Data (NACJD) and other public sources." What is meant by "public sources?" Is data from a state agency allowed if it is obtained through a FOIA request?
A: The DRP program places a priority on supporting analysis of data held in the National Archive of Criminal Justice Data (NACJD) but will frequently fund research to analyze other data as well. Preferably, these other data will already be publicly archived and publicly available to the wide community of researchers and scholars. NIJ values the continued growth of the NACJD data holdings in order to support further research and analysis. Thus, when data proposed as part of a DRP grant application selected for funding are not already archived at NACJD, NIJ will expect that these data will be archived as a work product deliverable to NACJD at the conclusion of the project. This requirement would apply to data obtained for analysis from criminal justice agencies, other state agencies, or data obtained for research and analysis through a FOIA request. Even when the data being analyzed originated from NACJD, DRP grantees are required to submit a plan to archive their analyzed data set back at NACJD, particularly when these data comprise merged, modified, or concatenated data from several sources.
Q-2: Are applicants that are not listed as the main applicant required to follow the data archiving plan requirements (page 17 of the solicitation), specifically if the data is considered "state-owned"?
A: NIJ seeks to archive all data sets that are assembled or analyzed as part of NIJ-funded grants. The goal is to maximize the use of research data by other researchers for further analysis. NIJ requires Data Resources Program (DRP) grant applicants to submit a data archiving plan for depositing their analytic data at the conclusion of the project. The archiving requirement applies to the grantee and any sub-grantees if the application is funded.

The National Archive of Criminal Justice Data (NACJD), supported by NIJ, has vast expertise in efficiently archiving and protecting criminal justice research data while providing access to archived data to advance additional scientific research. NIJ requires grant applicants to make NACJD archiving a central aspect of their plan for data archiving.
Q-3: If sub-grantees are subject to the same requirements, does NACJD have mechanisms in place to restrict access to the data by the public?
A: Through the NACJD, NIJ places on each data set appropriate protections (including restricted access where applicable). In some cases, research data sets may be archived with minimal restrictions; for instance, when grant data are already in the public domain or contain no information identifiable to a private person. In other cases, including when public-use data are joined with other non-public data, NIJ and the NACJD may place additional appropriate restrictions on access to the data.
Q-4: The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS) is available via NACJD, but the data are restricted from general dissemination and require a Restricted Data Use Agreement application. Would NISVS data qualify for secondary analysis of data available through the NACJD even though those data are not immediately "publicly available"?
A: Like other data available through the NACJD, the NISVS data provide a meaningful context for secondary analysis. Grant applications proposing to conduct secondary analysis using NISVS data are appropriate to the DRP program and will be considered for funding. In every case, regardless of the data being analyzed, applicants to the DRP program should be attentive to all data use conditions and restrictions that govern use of the data.
Q-5: For this solicitation, the amount awarded will be up to $40,000 for a 12-month project period. Is the $40,000 limit direct costs only or total costs (direct + indirect costs)?
A: Total costs. A basic consideration in funding decisions is the expected yield relative to the total cost of the project, including indirect costs. Additional information on indirect costs can be found in the DOJ Financial Guide, Section 3.11 Indirect Costs.
Q-6: I am a 2014 recipient of a NIJ Graduate Research Fellowship (GRF), for which I was not required to archive my dissertation data with the NCJRS. However, the data I obtained for my dissertation was far greater than what I used in my dissertation and I am eager to run additional analyses with the data. Is it allowable to submit a proposal for the Data Resources Program (DRP) with this data if it has not been archived though the NCJRS because it was collected through the GRF?
A: The focus of the DRP program is to support secondary analysis on data archived at the NACJD and other public archive sources. NIJ will consider DRP grant proposals for analyzing data that are not archived at NACJD as long as these data are publicly available (e.g., through another public data archive). If the data proposed for DRP analysis are not publicly archived, the proposal will not be eligible for consideration under the DRP program.

As a separate but related point, NIJ will consider DRP grant proposals in which the DRP principal investigator is analyzing data they helped collect (e.g., in an earlier research project), as long as these data are already archived at NACJD or otherwise publicly available.

Research and Evaluation in Support of the Recommendations of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing

Download the solicitation Research and Evaluation in Support of the Recommendations of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing (pdf, 38 pages).

Q-1: May a single applicant be awarded more than one award under this opportunity?
A: Yes. Single applicants can be awarded more than one award under this solicitation. Applicants should review the criteria in the solicitation for additional restrictions.
Q-2: Can funds under this solicitation be used to support intervention components, such as an evidence-based comprehensive training program, which will then be evaluated with solicitation funds through a high-quality research design consistent with what is articulated in the solicitation?
A: Because solicitations are competitive, NIJ cannot comment on a prospective applicant's concepts. In this particular instance, the allowability of the costs will depend on how that particular activity relates to the responsiveness of the applicant’s proposal to the category area of interest.
Q-3: Under Focus II, the solicitation says, "NIJ will support research that involves the implementation, use, and evaluation of technology and social media by law enforcement agencies." Does this mean that funds can be used to design and implement technology (for example, software development) to be used and evaluated by law enforcement agencies (as opposed to evaluating an existing technology that is already in use)?
A: Per the solicitation, NIJ is interested in proposals seeking to evaluate the impact of various technologies on crime control outcomes as well as how the adoption of these technologies may impact existing police resources. Funding requests that focus primarily on the development and evaluation of the technology from a functional perspective would not be allowable under this solicitation.
Q-4: Is training an allowable cost under this solicitation?
A: Per the solicitation, NIJ is interested in research that will evaluate the impact of training on police use of force decision making or CIT training programs that are adopted, implemented and deployed in the field to resolve situations involving the police and the mentally ill. A budget may include costs for training as long as they are necessary to evaluate the impact of the training program on measurable outcomes. However, funding requests that are primarily focused on the provision of training are not allowable.
Q-5: Is January 1, 2017, required as the start date? Can I propose a start date after January 1 2017, and could the project continue for 3 years from the proposed start date?
A: Although applicants are encouraged to propose a start date on 01/01/2017, this is not required. The three-year project period would start at the date designated by the applicant. The three-year project period should be properly listed on the SF-424 and the start date can be delayed after January 1, 2017.
Q-6: Is NIJ interested in studies proposing understanding the state and nature of academy curriculum and field training across academies at a regional or national level would be okay (or even site visits within specific academies) or only causal studies on the impact of training on recruits?
A: NIJ will accept proposals that respond to either of the training focus areas highlighted in the solicitation. Applicants should submit proposals that include a level of rigor in their research designs that will examine the impact of training on police recruits. Additionally, applicants should be mindful that their research designs are appropriate to answer the question(s) being considered by the research, regardless of the scope of the question(s).

New Investigator/Early Career Program in the Social and Behavioral Sciences

Download the solicitation New Investigator/Early Career Program in the Social and Behavioral Sciences (pdf, 29 pages).

NIJ also hosted a webinar to discuss this solicitation. Watch the recording.

Q-1: The solicitation states that applicants must hold a non-tenured assistant professor position. Must an applicant hold such a position as of the proposal deadline?
A: Yes, applicants must hold the position at the time of application.
Q-2: Is the solicitation restricted to social and behavioral sciences or does it also include some the hard sciences from the STEM disciplines?
A: This opportunity is not intended for the STEM disciplines.
Q-2: The solicitation states that applicants must not have previously served as principal investigator on an NIJ research grant. Is someone who worked on a previous NIJ grant as a co-investigator or graduate student be eligible under this solicitation?
A: Most likely yes but the applicant's role in the previous grant should be clearly explained in the application.
Q-4: The solicitation states that applicants must hold a non-tenured assistant professor position. Does this mean applicants must be in tenure-track position? Or would, for example, a non-tenure track research assistant professor be eligible?
A: Applicants do no need to be in tenure-track positions to be eligible. They simply must be non-tenured assistant professors.
Q-5: Does the entire project needed to be complete within the 2-year time frame or can some activities, such follow-up data collection, occur after the 2-year time frame?
A: The period of performance is two years from project start to finish.
Q-6: Are lecturers eligible to apply?
A: An applicant who performs the duties of an assistant professor but whose academic institution uses different terminology for the position satisfies the “assistant professor” criterion.
Q-7: Does the same recency requirement of four years apply to a Juris Doctorate?
A: Yes. The four-year requirement is for all terminal degrees in any field.
Q-8: Am I eligible to apply if my contract as a professor begins in the fall?
A: No. You must be working as an assistant professor at the time of application.
Q-9: Should I highlight my previous experience as a research assistant on an NIJ grant?
A: Yes. There is an opportunity for you to talk about qualifications, experience and capacity to conduct this type of research, and that would be a perfect time to highlight any relevant experience you have.
Q-10: Are postdocs eligible?
A: No. Eligibility is limited to nontenured assistance professors.
Q-11: I am faculty in the architecture department. Am I eligible as long as the research is relevant to the solicitation?
A: Yes, as long as you apply with the relevant research in the social and behavioral sciences.
Q-12: If there are multiple Primary Investigators (PIs) on a project, do all PIs have to have less than four years of experience?
A: No, but do keep in mind the purpose of this solicitation. If it is clear that someone with less than four years of experience is just brought on as a PI as a front for other more established researchers to conduct their research, that application would likely not get very far. Also, in general, most applications have a single PI. There may be co-PIs involved, and the various contributions to the project need to be clearly defined in the narrative. In general, there is one person that NIJ perceives and accepts as being responsible for the project.
Q-13: Must the methodological design be random control trial or can the project be purely qualitative?
A: Yes, it can be purely qualitative. It is extremely important to note that NIJ is interested in a range of methodologies. We are not looking for single methodologies and we do not only fund random control trials. There is a spectrum of relevant and appropriate methodologies to apply to criminal justice research and you should be thinking about the entire spectrum and what methodology is most appropriate to answer the research questions that you are posing.
Q-14: I am an assistant professor at a medical school in which there is no tenure. Do I qualify?
A: Yes. The only qualification is that you are not currently a tenured professor. There is no requirement that you be on a tenured track as an assistant professor.
Q-15: If I have applied for another NIJ award recently. Is it too late to submit that research idea for this award too?
A: The answer depends on under what other solicitation the application was submitted. We ask that you not submit the same research proposals to this and to one of our fellowship opportunities. However, if it was submitted under one of our more general research solicitations, you are able to submit both proposals. Also, you are free to apply to multiple fellowship opportunities, but you cannot submit the same proposal.
Q-16: What topics or type of research will likely be funded?
A: This is a very broad solicitation. We are interested in a full spectrum of social and behavioral sciences and research questions that would be relevant to advancing the practice of criminal justice. Keep in mind that NIJ is an applied science agency; we are generally interested in research that helps advance practice. That does not mean that it has to be an evaluation of a practice, but it needs to be the kind of research that can help inform practice. We cannot answer specific questions about an individual research project but we do encourage people to think broadly and even outside of the box on this.
Q-17: Do consultants and co-PIs have be based in the current institution?
A: No, they do not have to be based in the current institution. Remember that any subgrantee relationships must be included in your budget. You also will need to include information about the qualifications of anyone you have on your research team in your research proposal.
Q-18: Does forensic anthropology fall into social and behavioral sciences?
A: Forensic anthropology is a social science, but for the purposes of this solicitation it depends on what the subject matter is within that field. We encourage you to look at our solicitation Graduate Research Fellowship in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics to get a clearer sense of what is included in that solicitation. If it is included in that solicitation, then it will not be included in this one. That is one of the clearest boundaries we are trying to set with this solicitation.
Q-19: What is NIJ’s definition of applied research?
A: Applied research refers to the fact that the research should have a clear link to advancing the practice of some area of the criminal justice system. It does not have to be specifically programmatic but it has to be research that can inform programs and that ultimately has some connection to practice.
Q-20: Will this solicitation be offered again next year?
A: That will depend on the appropriations that we receive and our budget. We encourage you to register to receive an e-mail whenever NIJ releases a solicitation. NIJ’s commitment to investing in the advancement of careers in criminal justice research is a very serious commitment. So, while we cannot speak to exactly what funding opportunities will exist from year to year, the general commitment to career development is a long-term commitment in the agency.
Q-21: Are you interested in replication studies? For example, replicating a dissertation at a national level?
A: Yes, but we would encourage you to pay close attention to the budgetary constraints around this solicitation. While the review of your budget does not necessarily impact your score, if it is determined that your project is not feasible with the budget you propose, it will not go forward for consideration.
Q-22: If I have a joint appointment with the research center and the school of criminal justice, am I eligible?
A: Yes. If you have an assistant professor appointment in an academic institution, then you are eligible.
Q-22: If data is collected a few months prior to the funding period, would that still be considered primary data collection?
A: In terms of is it primary data collection, yes. However, for the purposes of this solicitation, it is very important that you do not start work on this project until you have cleared the institutional review board and your budget is approved by our financial office. What you could do if you have data collection under a different mechanism is to make sure you make that clear in your proposal, that you are leveraging additional funding elsewhere to complete the preliminary process of your evaluation.
Q-23: Can we include a mentor or more senior researchers in our proposal as part of an advisory board or as nonpaid advisors on the project? Will this be reviewed favorably by the reviewers?
A: Yes, you may include a mentor or more senior researchers in your proposal. In terms of whether or not it will be viewed favorably by the reviewers, reviewers are going to be looking for the quality of your research proposal and whether or not the team that you have pulled together has the capacity to actually make that research happen. If you are including somebody who is in a mentoring or advisory role, their role needs to be explicitly clear.
Q-24: Are elements like summer support and course release eligible for funding?
A: No. This is a research proposal. It is not a proposal with an educational component. Your budget and your proposal need to be for the research itself and not other elements that might be advancing your education. Such elements are allowable in our Graduate Fellowship programs.
Q-25: How important are letters of cooperation from organizations who are proposing to work with us?
A: Letters of cooperation and commitment are extremely important. They will definitely factor into whether or not reviewers think that you can actually do the research you are proposing.
Q-25: Does the funding cap include direct and indirect costs?
A: That is generally the case with all of NIJ’s grants.
Q-26: Will NIJ review a one-page abstract of my research project before the deadline?
A: Because this solicitation is competitive, we cannot have individual conversations concerning the solicitation with prospective applicants.
Q-27: Per the solicitation, the PI must commit to a 20 percent, full-time equivalent minimum level of effort. Is this 20 percent FTE required consistently throughout the duration of the award or on average, e.g., 30 percent in the summer and 10 percent during the academic year?
A: It is on average but be sure you are committing 20 percent of your time over the duration of the funded project.
Q-28: Does NIJ view public opinion data as applied research?
A:Public opinion data can be one data source involved in a research project. You need to put it in the context of the rigor of your research.
Q-29: How much assistance does NIJ give once the project is funded, given that the researchers are new?
A: You will have the standard support set any NIJ grantee would receive. However, we are cognizant of the fact that this will be the first time that you are going through the federal grant process. Generally, on NIJ grants, there are two people who are your points of contact for support. One is a program manager who will help you with substantive development, survey design, etc. The other is the grant manager, who you will be leaning on very heavily in terms of fulfilling federal grant requirements. Also, we often have the ability to fund research projects as grants or as cooperative agreements. Sometimes we will fund a project as a cooperative agreement if we think that it will be particularly helpful to have a more interactive process around the implementation and the science of the project itself. So the degree to which there is support around the science may vary on how the funding is ultimately awarded. But, our grant management staff are extremely helpful and available around the logistical elements of actually managing the grant process.
Q-30: Is an applicant eligible if he/she has accepted a position as an assistant professor but the start date is after the due date for the solicitation?
A: The applicant only meets the assistant professor eligibility requirement if the job from which they are transferring (which they hold at the time of application) is also as an assistant professor.
Q-31: Can primary data include the collection of information from a state agency?
A: Unless otherwise specified in a solicitation, NIJ is open to data being collected from a variety of sources for research. Applicants must demonstrate the rationale for selecting data sources, as well as confirming data availability in their submission. In addition, applicants should submit appropriate letters of support, if obtaining data will require third-parties.

Research and Evaluation for the Testing and Interpretation of Physical Evidence in Publicly Funded Forensic Laboratories

Download the solicitation Research and Evaluation for the Testing and Interpretation of Physical Evidence in Publicly Funded Forensic Laboratories (pdf, 30 pages).

Watch a recording or read the transcript of a webinar held to discuss this solicitation.

Q-1: Although the solicitation recommends the use of test samples from actual casework, can an applicant use a test set of fingerprints generated from a past NIJ-funded research where the ground truth is known and the difficulty of the samples has already been determined in a prior study?
A: There is no provision in this solicitation that excludes an applicant from using data generated under a previous NIJ award. However, applicants should review the regulatory requirements for human subjects protection and privacy on NIJ’s Human Subjects and Privacy Protection webpage. The page also contains links to guidance, necessary forms, and FAQs. In order to ensure fair and open competition, NIJ staff does not comment on project design or scope; therefore, we cannot address the merit of using these samples as opposed to casework samples.
Q-2: Is the purchase of instruments allowable?
A: Yes but only if the instrument is necessary to conduct the research proposed.
Q-3: Is there a limit on the cost of any allowable purchase of instruments?
A: No.
Q-4: How many proposals will be funded?
A: There is no set number of awards that will be made. That will be based on the available funding and the strength of the proposals received.
Q-5: Are the results of or methods developed in previously funded proposals under this solicitation available?
A: Not yet. We will disseminate the results of those projects as they become available.
Q-6: What is the timeline for this project?
A: It depends upon the projects. We typically fund projects that are in the 1- to 3-year range. We typically do not fund research beyond five years.
Q-7: Are there resources that can connect a public laboratory with post doc candidates?
A: NIJ does not maintain any but there may be with professional organizations or universities and other research institutes near you.
Q-8: Understanding that a dedicated researcher is preferred, what advice can you offer for utilizing current laboratory personnel on a research and development project to avoid supplanting?
A: Context is important when determining whether supplanting has occurred.  We refer the applicant to the DOJ Financial Guide for explanation and an example.
Q-9: Will proposals be looked upon more favorably there is collaboration with other accredited laboratories or university education program?
A: Not necessarily.
Q-10: Can both recipients and subrecipients research partners build indirect costs into their proposal?
A: There is no cap on indirect cost but they must follow the section about indirect cost rate within the solicitation.
Q-11: If the project is done in phases, what are the reporting requirement of each phase?
A: Reporting requirements are always the same. There will be a semi-annual progress reports as well as a final deliverable report.
Q-12: Will NIJ fund a multi-year grant all at once or over several fiscal years?
A:  Funding is released all at once in terms but can be drawn down over multiple fiscal years.
Q-13: Is it acceptable to use the 2016 Federal Government’s Senior Executive Service (SES) table as a reference point, rather than the 2015 table referenced in the solicitation?
A: Yes, it is acceptable to use Salary Table No. 2016-ES.
Q-14: For employees who charge only a portion of their time to an award, is the allowable amount based on a percentage of their time multiplied by the SES maximum or by the maximum salary limit (110 percent of SES salary)?
A: Please review the requirements for “Compensation for Personal Services” on pages 69-70 in the DOJ Financial Guide. Per the guidance provided, “[f]or employees who charge only a portion of their time to an award, the allowable amount to be charged to that award is equal to the percentage of time worked on the grant times the maximum salary limit (110 percent of SES salary).”
Q-15: Would the cost of hiring staff be allowable under this solicitation?
A: Yes. Hiring of staff and personnel is not disallowed under this solicitation. The applicant should carefully consider the status of the hired personnel and the requirement that personnel hired with grant funding are required to dedicate 100 percent of their time to the grant project. For additional clarification pertaining to examples of allowable and unallowable costs, see the DOJ Financial Guide. The applicant should also carefully consider the issue of supplanting versus supplementing.

Paul Coverdell Forensic Science Improvement Grants Program

Download the solicitation Paul Coverdell Forensic Science Improvement Grants Program (pdf, 46 pages)

Q-1:Is it permissible to use of Coverdell funds to renovate a rented space?
A: The use of Coverdell funds for renovation may be allowable. However, justification in the program narrative and a breakdown of costs in the budget detail worksheet and budget narrative would need to be sufficient enough to warrant the renovation of a rental space.
Q-2: Is it permissible for a single agency to submit multiple applications for different projects under the competitive grant program, or must an agency only submit one application that contains everything the agency is seeking funding for that year?
A: An agency may submit multiple applications; however, based on the guidance on page 19: “No more than one application for competitive funds per unit of local government will be funded.”
Q-3:The project period stated in the solicitation — January 1, 2017, to December 31, 2017 — is a change from all previous grant time periods for this program, which were October 1 to September 30. Is the time period in the solicitation correct?
A: The time periods in the solicitation are correct. As stated on page 12 of the solicitation under Federal Award Information, "Coverdell grants generally are limited to a 12-month period. Applicants are asked to establish a project period of January 1, 2017, to December 31, 2017. Applicants should be aware that the total period of an award, including one that receives a project period extension, ordinarily will not exceed three years."
Q-4:We have subgrantees who use funding under this program for personnel or overtime. The change in grant period will result in a 3-month gap in grant funding for these agencies. Are we allowed to keep the grant period October 1, 2016, to September 30, 2017, so that there will be no break in services?
A: No, as stated on page 13 of the solicitation, "Applicants are asked to establish a project period of January 1, 2017, to December 31, 2017."
Q-5:There is the possibility that multiple state agencies will apply for competitive funds through the SAA's application for base funds this year. If I have three different state agencies that wish to apply for competitive funding, do I need to submit three applications? If I understood his instruction correctly, I include all of the information for my state's base funds in each of the applications (all attachments for our base funds and the base funds information on the SF-424), but include all of the information (attachments) for one of the competitive requests in each separate application. Is this correct?
A: Yes, three separate applications would need to be submitted. Please include all of the information for your state's base funds in each of the applications (all attachments for our base funds and the base funds information on the SF-424), clearly labeled formula, and include all of the information (attachments) for one of the competitive requests, clearly labeled competitive, in each of the three separate GMS applications.

Each application’s SF-424 should include the amount of the full request, formula plus competitive.
Q-6: Given the potential gap in funding between past awards and a new award as a result of the change in the federal grant period of this program, how do I request pre-agreement cost approval?
A: Pre-agreement costs are costs that applicants incur prior to OJP making an award, or prior to the first day of the official grant period specified in the award, in this case, prior to January 1 of the specified year. OJP does not typically approve pre-agreement costs. If approved, pre-agreement costs could be paid from grant funds consistent with a grantee’s approved budget, and under applicable cost standards. Pre-agreement costs will only be considered if the applicant can demonstrate, in writing, why the project must start on a particular date. The applicant must specifically identify the costs in the application and justify the costs necessary to meet the goals of the Coverdell program to improve the quality and timeliness of forensic science and medical examiner/coroner office services. Such costs are allowable only to the extent that they: (1) would have been allowable if incurred during the grant period, (2) are included in the award budget, and (3) receive OCFO prior approval. OJP advises applicants that a request to incur pre-agreement costs should be received by the appropriate grant manager at OJP at least 90 calendar days prior to the anticipated start date of the project period.
Q-7: We would like clarification as to the use of funds for outsourcing DNA samples from sex assault kits for this current solicitation. On p. 11 of the solicitation, under Grant Purposes, it states that we can use funds to eliminate a backlog.
A: Outsourcing DNA samples from SAKs may be allowable under the Paul Coverdell Forensic Science Improvement Grants Program. However, NIJ encourages applicants to review programs specifically developed to address such a backlog: the DNA Capacity Enhancement and Backlog Reduction Program; the NIJ-FBI Sexual Assault Partnership, which allows law enforcement agencies to send sexual assault kits to the FBI Laboratory for free testing; and the Bureau of Justice Assistance National Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI) grant solicitation.
Q-8: Can applicants use an award granted through the Paul Coverdell Forensic Science Improvement Grants Program to replace a portable morgue trailer?
A: The use of Coverdell funds may be allowable for the purchase of a morgue trailer. Please note, Coverdell funds do not allow for the purchase of vehicles.
Q-9: We are working towards accreditation in the digital forensic discipline but have not yet been accredited. Could I apply for funding for the digital forensic unit?
A: Accreditation is not an eligibility requirement for the Paul Coverdell Forensic Science Improvement Grants Program. NIJ encourages non-accredited applicants to use Coverdell funding for accreditation.
Q-10 Is there a cap on the cost of renovations similar to the cap on costs for new construction?
A: There is not a cap for the cost of renovations and an applicant may apply for up to the maximum, $250,000 for such costs.
Q-11:If our authorized signing official is unavailable, can we have our Chief Financial Officer, sign on his behalf?
A: The certifications must be signed by an individual with the authority to certify to the requirements. If it is determined the Chief Financial Officer has the authority he/she may be appropriate.
Q-12: Can we use Coverdell funds on crime scene equipment to collect forensic science evidence, blood spatter images, improve documenting, reconstruction of the crime scene, etc.?
A: The use of Coverdell funds may be used for the purchase of crime scene equipment to collect forensic evidence.

Forensic Technology Center of Excellence

Download Forensic Technology Center of Excellence (pdf, 32 pages)

Q-1: Is digital forensic technology covered by this solicitation?
A: No, the activities describe in this solicitation do not include digital forensic technology.

Elder Abuse Prevention Demonstration Project: Planning Phase

Download Elder Abuse Prevention Demonstration Project: Planning Phase (pdf, 30 pages).

Q-1:Can you please define "integrated healthcare system" for us and give us a few examples?
A:The World Health Organization’s (WHO) definition of an integrated health care delivery system includes: “The management and delivery of health services so that the clients receive a continuum of preventive and curative services, according to their needs over time and across different levels of the health system.” Other similar definitions are available on the Internet. Applicants are not required to use the WHO definition, but they should specify the definition(s) used in the application.
Q-2: Are applicants required to include participation from an integrated healthcare system in the proposal?
A: While applicants are encouraged to include an integrated healthcare system partner, this is not a requirement of an application.
Q-3: Is there a cap on the number of applications from 1) each organization and 2) each co-Principal Investigator (PI)?
A: There is no cap. You can submit as many applications as you would like or be listed as PI on as many applications as you would like. For this solicitation, NIJ will only fund up to two awards.
Q-4: The solicitation says that the project is a cooperative agreement. Can you explain how this is different from other types of grants?
A: There are three ways that NIJ typically provides funding. One is through a contract, the second is a grant, and the third is a cooperative agreement. The level of involvement by the government dictates the funding arrangement. In a contract, the government directs the work and provides specific tasks to the funded organization or individual. In a grant, the grantee organization proposes the ideas and the methods to complete the work. With a cooperative agreement, the government is a partner in the work and has the ability to provide substantive input.

In terms of how the funding actually gets to you, a cooperative agreement is very similar to a grant. Specific distinctions between grants and cooperative agreements can be found in the DOJ Financial Guide.
Q-5: To what extent should the intervention be one already in development by a practitioner as opposed to something newly designed?
A: Applicants should propose the most appropriate intervention, yet clearly explain the rationale behind selecting the intervention. NIJ expect that the intervention or the intervention components will have been empirically tested in other fields if they haven't been used in elder abuse, so there should be some research that supports the use of that particular intervention for preventing elder abuse.
Q-6: Is financial elder abuse eligible?
A: Yes. However, NIJ has typically placed a lower priority on research that has an exclusive focus on consumer financial fraud (e.g., fake magazine subscriptions, lottery scams).
Q-7: Does the research team budgeted in Phase 1 need to include all the listed roles or can some of those roles be brought into the budget only in later phases?
A: NIJ expects you to identify people who will be serving in those roles, and we expect these people to have some involvement in the planning phase. That involvement may vary (e.g., advisory board member, subject matter expert); however, the level of involvement should be clearly articulated in the management plan and the budget narrative.
Q-8: Is there a specific number of participants in the pilot that NIJ is looking for or considering?
A: No. The number of participants will depend on an individual project and design.
Q-9: How important is the financial exploitation and fraud of the elderly for this solicitation?
A: Financial exploitation is considered to be quite important. NIJ is particularly interested in financial exploitation by a family member or a caregiver.
Q-10: Would self-neglect be considered a form of elder mistreatment for the purposes of this solicitation?
A: No. Self-neglect is outside the scope of the solicitation.
Q-11: When NIJ says it is looking for research that is grounded in theory, does that refer specifically to established theories or generally to articulating a hypothesis about the relationship between measured variables?
A: Applicants should articulate the expected outcomes associated to the research questions proposed. If that fits a known theory, applicants should include it with an explanation.

Note: NIJ hosted a meeting in June of 2014 on using theory in elder abuse research. Applicants are encouraged to review the meeting documents.
Q-12: Can part of the funds be used to support practitioner implementation of the intervention?
A: Yes.
Q-13: The solicitation says applications should include a plan for incorporating feedback from an external panel of experts and NIJ. Can NIJ provide more information about the external panel of expert? Are applicants expected to assemble the panel of experts or will NIJ?
A: Applications should include a plan regarding the external panel of experts. This plan can include proposing to work with NIJ to assemble the panel. Applicants should also propose a strategy for convening the external experts.
Q-14: Does it matter whether applicants target incidence or prevalence? For example, individuals who have not experienced abuse but may be at risk as indicated by risk factor profiles, or individuals who may already be experiencing or have experienced abuse?
A: The focus of the solicitation is on prevention, so NIJ would prioritize studies that focus on at-risk individuals rather than individuals with a history of abuse.
Q-15: Is there a focus on the prevention model versus interventions that attempt to address the adjudication of perpetrators, or could both be included?
A: The solicitation does not deal with adjudication of perpetrators. As discussed in the previous question, NIJ want applicants to focus on primary or secondary prevention – either preventing abuse among at-risk elders or universal prevention for all elders.
Q-16: Could the elder abuse expert on the multidisciplinary team be someone other than a Ph.D. researcher (e.g., a lawyer), if the other members of the team have expertise in intervention, evaluation, violence prevention, etc.?
A: It is not required that every person on your team has a Ph.D., though applicants should offer a rationale for each member of the team.
Q-17: Should the pilot be exclusive or can it be inclusive of other interventions such as those that focus on mental health and quality of life improvements (e.g., respite care)?
A: NIJ is looking for applicants to design an intervention to prevent elder abuse. Other interventions can be included if the applicant offers a good theoretical rationale for inclusion, such as why that intervention could be expected to prevent elder abuse and empirical evidence that supports the intervention for the prevention of violence.
Q-18: Are outcomes that are thought to be on the causal path between exposure and abuse acceptable as targets for the pilot intervention, or is the pilot expected to target abuse per se?
A: Yes. Outcomes that are thought to be on the causal path between exposure and abuse are exactly what NIJ wants to see in the pilot intervention. While there will not be time in a pilot to look at long-term effects, NIJ wants to know if there is some hope that this intervention could ultimately prevent elder abuse.
Q-19: Are efforts to reduce social isolation considered an appropriate intervention?
A: Yes. Efforts to reduce social isolation could be a component of an intervention; however, applicants need to incorporate them into the theoretical framework in their proposal. 
Q-20: How important is it that applicants have previously received NIJ funding?
A: It is not important at all. In no way will NIJ discriminate against anyone who has not received NIJ funding in the past. In fact, NIJ seeks diversity and welcomes PIs from other fields, whether or not they have received prior NIJ funding.
Q-21: In terms of scope, would a multistate group focusing on rural residents be appropriate for the solicitation?
A: Yes. Such a focus would be appropriate as long as it fits all the other solicitation criteria.
Q-22: How important is it for applicants to identify a practitioner partner committed to the intervention?
A: The importance of a practitioner partner depends on the sort of intervention being proposed. When such partnerships are proposed, NIJ expects solicitations to include letters of support from agencies stating that they want to be involved in the project at this stage. Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) will not be required until later on.
Q-23: Is there a goal for the size of the target population? For instance, would an at-risk population of 2-5 percent of elders in the United States be appropriate?
A: It could be. A smaller population size would be appropriate if an applicant wants to target a specific at-risk population (e.g., a cultural group or Alzheimer's patients).

NIJ FY16 Visiting Fellows Program

Download NIJ FY16 Visiting Fellows Program (pdf, 32 pages).

Q-1: Will the residency program be paid while at NIJ? Will NIJ pay for housing or is that to be included in an applicant's proposed program costs? Is transportation to be paid for by the applicant?
A: Applicants may include such anticipated residency costs as housing, per diem, and transportation in their budget and budget narrative. As with all proposed costs, NIJ is seeking the best value for the government.
Q-2: May a portion of the proposed work be conducted at our research facility?
A: In most cases, only a portion of the total time period of the fellowship is expected to be spent in residency at NIJ. As the solicitation states, the ideal period of residency will be 6–12 months in length. The total period of the research project proposed may be longer and will typically involve research activities at the fellow’s home institution or agency in addition to the period of residency at NIJ.
Q-3: Does the period of residency need to be completed continuously or can we propose segmented periods of residency that would cumulatively meet the 6-18 months residency requirement?
A: In most cases, only a portion of the total time period of the fellowship is expected to be spent in residency at NIJ. As the solicitation states, the ideal period of residency will be 6–12 months in length. The total period of the research project proposed may be longer and will typically involve research activities at the fellow’s home institution or agency in addition to the period of residency at NIJ. Applicants may propose a period of residency that is segmented (e.g., 6 months at the outset and 3 months at the conclusion of a 2-year project). The application should state how the proposed timing and organization of the residency period (including any segmenting of the residency) are consistent with and supportive of the overall research goals of the fellowship.
Q-4: Does an individual applicant need to be a United States Citizen? The solicitation states, “Foreign governments, foreign organizations, and foreign institutions of higher education are not eligible to apply.”
A: NIJ’s fellowship grants are governed by the agency’s standard eligibility requirements. (See section C. Eligibility Information).
Q-5: Are individuals required to hold a particular position at a university to be eligible?
A: Applicants need not hold a position at a university in order to be considered for a fellowship.
Q-6: Can the program accommodate research of transnational type? Can some of the research be conducted abroad?
A: Like other NIJ grant programs, NIJ’s fellowship grants may support transnational research or research that is conducted (in full or in part) outside the United States. Keep in mind, however, that NIJ’s core mission is to support research that informs criminal justice policy and practice in the U.S. Any proposed transnational or international research will be evaluated in terms of its relevance and practical value to U.S. criminal justice policy and practice.

NIJ FY16 Research and Evaluation on Institutional Corrections

Download NIJ FY16 Research and Evaluation on Institutional Corrections (pdf, 31 pages).

Q-1: Regarding the category "Understanding the use of restrictive housing," is NIJ interested only in mental health outcomes of restrictive housing?
A: Applicants are encouraged to include a diverse array of outcome measures to assess the effectiveness of restrictive housing including, but not limited to, mental health outcomes.
Q-2: Will these awards be made only for projects that are national in scope, or will projects focused on a single state be considered?
A: All applications that meet the basic minimum requirements set forth in the solicitation will be considered. Preference may be given to applications whose research designs are national in scope.
Q-3: Please clarify the term "policy-based organizations." Does it mean, for example, government entities such as a state department of corrections or a county jail?
A: Policy-based organizations are those organizations involved in the advocacy and/or development of legislation or other policy changes that work toward a fair and effective U.S. criminal justice system.
Q-4: In the solicitation, it states that "Depending on findings from this assessment, NIJ may decide to fund an evaluation of a subset of step-down programs to determine their efficacy." Would NIJ may fund an evaluation of a specific step-down programs under the current solicitation?
A: No. Under the current solicitation, NIJ is seeking a comprehensive assessment of step-down programs used in restrictive housing environments in U.S. prisons and jail environments. Dependent on NIJ priorities, funding availability, and results from an assessment of step-down programs used in restrictive housing, NIJ may support an evaluation of step-down programs under a future solicitation.
Q-5: May we submit a proposal under Category 2 that encompasses both subcategories (A and B), or must we submit a separate application for each subcategory?
A: Research proposals submitted for the Research and Evaluation on Institutional Corrections solicitation may address one or more subareas under a specific category; for example, applicants may address both subcategories under Category 2 with a single application. The proposal must fully address how each subcategory will be examined, because the proposal will be reviewed in its entirety. However, research proposals should not include two category areas (for example, Categories 1 and 2). Applications that are not responsive to the specific category being applied for will be removed from competition (see page 4 of the solicitation).
Q-6: My agency will be the applicant organization, but the study will have two co-Principal Investigators (PI). I am an employee of the applicant organization and one of the two primary researchers/investigators. The other primary researcher/investigator (who has his own LLC) will be a sub-recipient. Must the first co-investigator listed on the Privacy Certificate and any other forms (or the PI listed if only one signature is required) be an employee of the applicant organization?
A: Applicants should review each required form and provide the appropriate required signatures. At the least, if one signature is required from a PI, the signatory should be from the primary applicant.
Q-7: Can the same PI be proposed in multiple solicitations from different institutions?
A: It is allowable for a single PI to be proposed on multiple applications. When putting forward an application, proposed key staff (including the PI), should carefully consider whether or not s/he can execute the proposed work if all applications are funded. Upon review, NIJ will consider the percentage of time that the PI will work on the project, and the feasibility of executing the work, given existing project commitments.
Q-8: Can a proposed PI be an unpaid consultant to the entity submitting the application?
A: Yes. All project consultants (paid or unpaid) who are expected to do work on the project must be listed in the proposal and other relevant documents. Applications with proposed consultants and subcontractors should submit letters of support that indicate commitment to work on the project(s).
Q-9: Is there a formal procedure for requesting a waiver of the archiving requirement?
A: Upon award, NIJ will work with the grantee to ensure data protections prior to archiving.

Research and Evaluation on Drugs and Crime

Download Research and Evaluation on Drugs and Crime (pdf, 37 pages).

Q-1: The solicitation indicates an area of interest is diversion of prescription drugs. Does NIJ’s definition/interest include counterfeit pharmaceuticals or just specifically when authentic pharmaceuticals are sold in unintended markets?
A: Yes, NIJ will consider applications for research on drugs including counterfeit pharmaceuticals ― medicines deliberately and fraudulently mislabeled with respect to identity and/or source (including products with the correct ingredients but imitation or false packaging, with the wrong ingredients, etc.) ― given their infiltration into both legitimate and illegal drug markets. 
Q-2: On page 5 of the solicitation, it states that "Researchers may submit a separate application to study a second activity." May applicants submit two separate applications for the same criminal justice activity, but with a separate drug priority focus in each application; or, must the second application propose research under a different criminal justice activity?
A: Under a given category of criminal justice activity, applicants may submit: a single application that addresses one or more drug priorities identified in the solicitation, or two unique applications that each address a single drug priority. For example, one application may propose research on drug intelligence and community surveillance specific to marijuana and cannabis products, and another may propose research on drug intelligence and community surveillance specific to heroin and other opioids or novel psychoactive substances.
Q-3: May some of the work be completed outside the United States. The solicitation only specifies that foreign governments, foreign organizations, and foreign institutions of higher education are not eligible to apply.
A: NIJ grants may support transnational research or research that is conducted (in full or in part) outside the United States. Keep in mind, however, that NIJ’s core mission is to support research that informs criminal justice policy and practice in the U.S. Any proposed transnational or international research will be evaluated in terms of its relevance and practical value to U.S. criminal justice policy and practice.
Q-4: Are there issues with test subjects giving consent while under the influence of marijuana?
A: All proposals will require that the applicant comply with 28 CFR §46.102, Protection of Human Subjects. Research involving human subjects will likely require the approval of an Institutional Review Board, which may be able to provide guidance regarding project design.

NIJ Graduate Research Fellowship Program in the Social and Behavioral Sciences

Download NIJ Graduate Research Fellowship Program in the Social and Behavioral Sciences (pdf, 32 page).

Q-1:What period of time should the applicant’s budget narrative and budget detail worksheet address?
A: The budget narrative and budget detail worksheet should reflect the entire proposed project timeline of up to three years, in discrete 12-month increments. But, the SF-424 should only reflect the first 12-months funding requirement.
Q-2: May an accredited academic institution apply on behalf of student who is enrolled in a qualifying doctoral program part-time at the time of submission but who will be enrolled full-time beginning the academic term in which fellowship activity was proposed to begin?
A: Yes. Under such circumstances, in additional to all other requirements, the institution must submit an official letter stating that it expects that the student will be enrolled full-time in the doctoral degree program beginning the academic term in which fellowship activity is proposed to begin. Be aware that under these circumstances, if an award is made, NIJ will place a condition on the award withholding funds until full-time enrollment is demonstrated for the academic term in which fellowship activity is proposed to begin.

NIJ Graduate Research Fellowship Program in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics

Download NIJ Graduate Research Fellowship Program in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (pdf, 32 page).

Q-1: May an accredited academic institution apply on behalf of student who is enrolled in a qualifying doctoral program part-time at the time of submission but who will be enrolled full-time beginning the academic term in which fellowship activity was proposed to begin?
A: Yes. Under such circumstances, in additional to all other requirements, the institution must submit an official letter stating that it expects that the student will be enrolled full-time in the doctoral degree program beginning the academic term in which fellowship activity is proposed to begin. Be aware that under these circumstances, if an award is made, NIJ will place a condition on the award withholding funds until full-time enrollment is demonstrated for the academic term in which fellowship activity is proposed to begin.

Fiscal Year 2015 Solicitations

Comprehensive School Safety Initiative

Q-1: Can we submit applications in more than one category?
A: Yes.
Q-2: Can my local or state education agency (LEA or SEA) use this grant to purchase a school safety service or product? 
A: Yes, but the purpose of this funding is not simply to purchase school safety services or products. As stated on page 12 of the solicitation, “The goal of this CSSI solicitation is to fund rigorous research that produces practical knowledge that can improve the safety of schools and students across the nation.”  On page 6, “Every award made under CSSI must include a carefully developed research strategy with clear potential for producing findings that have practical benefits for schools, students and communities at large.”  
Q-3: My business or organization provides school safety services or products to local education agencies. Can I tell local education agencies to apply for funding under this initiative to pay for my service or product? 
A: Yes. However, the purpose of this funding is not simply to purchase school safety services or products (see the answer to Q-2 above).  Also, developers, service providers, and manufacturers should understand that NIJ is seeking diversity in funded projects.  NIJ is very unlikely to make multiple awards to examine the exact same service or product.  From page 5 of the solicitation, “While studies looking at similar topics will be considered, NIJ may give priority in award decisions to well-designed research that expands the range of issues and strategies beyond this current pool of funded projects.”
Q-4: Does the application have to be submitted by a research entity?
A: No. However, NIJ strongly recommends that the research entity serve as the applicant in cases where local or state education agencies are partnering with a researcher. (see page 6 of the solicitation for further discussion). All applicants are encouraged to carefully consider the capabilities and competencies of all proposed project staff and make provisions to ensure research and evaluation independence and integrity (see pages 26-27 of the solicitation). 
Q-5: In Category 1, must applicants propose to study efficacy, effectiveness, and cost/benefit?
A: No. Individual applicants are not required to address efficacy, effectiveness, and cost/benefit. An individual applicant may propose to address one or more of these. 
Q-6: Is funding under categories 2 and 3 restricted to only research, or can an applicant include funding for school safety activity costs under these categories?
A: No. .  Applicants may propose expenses in these areas if such expenses advance the purposes of the proposed research. The solicitation does not specify a mandatory portion of the budget be applied to school safety personnel, programs, equipment, materials, or activities.
Q-7: If two or three awards will be made in Category 4, how is it intended to produce “a single comprehensive school safety framework?”
A: Awards under Category 4 will be cooperative agreements that involve a higher degree of coordination between NIJ and the grant recipients. Each applicant to Category 4 is expected to propose an initial framework and those that receive awards will further develop and test that framework during the award period.  NIJ anticipates peer-to-peer sharing of information between projects funded under this category. NIJ will work with funded projects to seek a single evidence-based framework. The final outcome may be a single unified framework, a single framework with variations, or multiple related frameworks that apply in different circumstances.   
Q-8: Is there a program officer at NIJ with whom I may speak directly about my proposal idea?
A: All inquiries for this solicitation should be submitted to NIJschoolsafety@usdoj.gov. In order to maintain fair and open competition, NIJ staff does not provide guidance on research scope and design. Other inquiries will be responded to via email. 
Q-9: Will NIJ help connect interested local education agencies with research entities?
A: No.

Collecting Digital Evidence from Large-Scale Computer Systems and Networks

Q-1: What do you define as a large-scale computer system?
A: For the purposes of this solicitation, a large-scale computer system is a large network – not to include the cloud. The best way to picture this is an instance where a crime scene (e.g., a business) has a large onsite network that may contain evidence of whatever crime is in question (e.g., theft of trade secrets, embezzlement, child pornography).
Q-2: Is this solicitation specifically targeting digital forensic research on high performance computing clusters, enterprise level networks comprised of individual desktop/servers, or some other type of system?
A: The solicitation is targeting an enterprise network comprised of individual desktop/servers configuration.
Q-3: What is meant by focusing on the collection of evidence regarding criminal intent and criminal activity not necessarily affecting the network?
A: The objective of the solicitation is the collection of evidence where the network may be used to commit the crime (e.g., embezzlement, theft) or conceal the crime (e.g., child pornography). This solicitation is not directed at the collection of evidence where the network itself is the target (e.g., botnets, malware).
Q-4: Is there a stronger emphasis on “wiretap” type evidence collection on a network or the extraction of evidence from devices connected to the network?
A: We are interested in the extraction of evidence from the network, and attached devices, being used to commit a crime.
Q-5: What are the primary pain points, such as usability or scalability, that law enforcement agencies have using existing network forensics tools in large-scale computer systems?
A: The application should include an identification of the issues faced by the criminal justice community and to propose a solution that best serves the criminal justice community. The relevance of the identified problem will be weighed along with the proposed solution in the application review process.
Q-6: Do you define large-scale computer networks to include peer-to-peer technologies?
A: For the purposes of this solicitation, a large-scale computer system is a large network – not to include the cloud. NIJ and other organizations have already made significant research and technology development investments that have led to the introduction of innovative means for collecting and processing digital evidence from peer to peer networks. Please also note that one of the selection criteria on which proposals that are submitted to this solicitation will be evaluated is their potential to produce significant scientific or technical advance(s).

Graduate Research Fellowship in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics

Q-1: Is Geographic Information Science an eligible discipline under GRF-STEM?
A: Yes. This is an eligible field of study under the category "computer and information sciences and engineering."
Q-2: Will the GRF-STEM opportunity be offered again in the future?
A: We anticipate similar calls for applications to be announced annually, pending the availability of funds.
Q-3: Can you explain what is meant by the "management plan and organization" to be included in the program narrative?
A: This refers to a brief description of the people to be involved in the execution of the project, their specific roles, and any framework to be used for ensuring that tasks are fulfilled.
Q-4: Can my proposed thesis research overlap with research included in a currently funded NIJ grant under my research advisor?
A: Yes. This is not itself a disqualifying factor. However, the GRF-STEM proposal must be sufficiently detailed, in addition to contextualizing the proposed doctoral work relative to, or within, the work being conducted under the existing NIJ award, which must be specifically identified. If the student will commit measurable time and effort to both awards, then these commitments should be clarified as part of the student’s project management plan. Furthermore, because payment for the same work or research materials cannot be duplicated by two grant sources, the budgets of the two awards in question will have to be reconciled.
Q-5:Has the closing date for the STEM GRF solicitation been changed to May 30, 2015.
A: No. The closing date remains March 30, 2015.

See also general frequently asked questions about the Graduate Research Fellowship Program in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.


Research and Development in Forensic Science for Criminal Justice Purposes

Q-1: Are Federally Funded Research and Development Centers (FFRDC) eligible to apply to the Research and Development in Forensic Science for Criminal Justice Purposes solicitation?
A: Yes. As stated on page one of the solicitation, “NIJ may also enter into interagency agreements with Federal entities in appropriate cases.”  This includes Federally Funded Research and Development Center laboratories, as listed on NSF’s master government list (http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/ffrdclist/).
Q-2: Are foreign entities eligible to apply?
A: No. As stated on page one of the solicitation, “Foreign governments, foreign organizations, and foreign institutions of higher education are not eligible to apply.”
Q-3: Are foreign entities eligible to partner with a US-based entity?
A: As stated on page one of the solicitation, “Foreign governments, foreign organizations, and foreign institutions of higher education are not eligible to apply.”  However, the recipient of an award may make a subaward or subcontract to a foreign entity.

Please note that any subawards/subcontracts to foreign entities may also undergo a review by our Office of General Counsel prior to being approved. Awards that involve sub-awards must comply with the requirements of Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006. Furthermore, sub-contracts over $150K may require approval through a “Sole Source” grant action, if an award were made.
Q-4: Can NIJ provide guidance on whether or not a proposal idea would be appropriate for this solicitation?
A: No. Until a full proposal is reviewed, we cannot fully determine responsiveness to the solicitation. The intent of this program is to direct the findings of basic scientific research, research and development in broader scientific fields applicable to forensic science, and ongoing forensic science research toward the development of highly discriminating, accurate, reliable, cost-effective and rapid methods for the identification, analysis and interpretation of physical evidence for criminal justice purposes.

We suggest you carefully read the solicitation, with special attention to the “Program-Specific Information” section, as well as the “What will not be funded” section. This should assist you in assessing whether or not your concept for proposal is appropriate for submission to this solicitation. The applicant agency must determine the appropriateness of the scope of their proposal. In order to maintain fair and open competition, NIJ staff does not provide guidance on research scope and design. All submitted applications that meet eligibility and content requirements as described in the solicitation will undergo an external peer review process.
Q-5: Is there a program officer at NIJ with whom I may speak with directly about my proposal idea?
A: All inquiries to the solicitation should be submitted to forensic.research@usdoj.gov. In order to maintain fair and open competition, NIJ staff does not provide guidance on research scope and design. Any other inquires will be responded to via email.
Q-6: Is the “Disclosure of Lobbying Activities” form a requirement even if we will not be lobbying, and if so, how do we complete the form if we do not intend to lobby?
A: The “Disclosure of Lobbying Activities” requirement is associated with any lobbying activities that apply under 31 USC 1352. If you do not have any applicable activities, then “N/A” should be entered for any required field. Please note that this requirement is not solely associated with a use of awarded funds for lobbying (grant funds under this program may not be used for lobbying activities) – any lobbying activities that qualify should be reported.
Q-7: If my project will not involve human subjects, is this form still required?
A: Yes. The “Protection of Human Subjects” form is mandatory for all R&D applications. If this project will not involve human subjects then simply complete boxes 1-5 and 9-17, and under box 8 “Comments” simply state: “This project will not involve human subjects”. Leave items 6 and 7 blank. 
Q-8: Where do I upload my program narrative, budget narrative, budget detail worksheet and other related attachments?
A: When submitting the application to Grants.gov, there is a document titled “Attachment.”  This document can be used to upload any required files (such as program narrative, budget detail worksheet, etc.). It will accept multiple attachments. There is no required order for uploading the attachments. Please keep in mind that OJP strongly recommends that applicants use appropriately descriptive file names (e.g., “Program Narrative,” “Budget Detail Worksheet and Budget Narrative,” “Timelines,” “Memoranda of Understanding,” “Resumes”) for all attachments.
Q-9:What is the maximum consultant rate per day? What if the consultant compensation would exceed that rate?
A: Anyone who is used in a consultant capacity — that is paid an individual paid hourly for their time — must be compensated at less than the $650/day maximum or receive a waiver.  Please note that waivers are difficult to obtain and not often granted. One exception to this is if the consultancy is contracted out through a documented fair and competitive process. Alternatively, if an entity is contracted to perform a certain scope of work for a flat fee, this could be listed under contracts and would not be subject to the $650 per day maximum. Such a line item would need to be approved as being an appropriate cost for the scope of work.
Q-10: May a collaborative proposal be submitted to this solicitation by multiple researchers from different agencies?  
A: Yes, a collaborative proposal may be submitted, however only one eligible entity may serve as the applicant agency. If an award were made, this institution would receive the award and funds used to financially support colleagues or Co-PIs at partnering institutions would have to be supported through a sub-award. Please note that awards that involve sub-awards must comply with the requirements of Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006. Furthermore, sub-contracts over $150K may require approval through a “Sole Source” grant action, if an award were made.
Q-11: Would it possible to have the funds directly awarded to subrecipients or is it necessary for the funds to be transferred from the primary applicant to subrecipients?
A: NIJ cannot fund cannot fund subrecipients directly. If an award were made to the applicant agency then the applicant agency is responsible for the transfer of funds to any proposed subrecipients. Please note that awards that involve sub-awards must comply with the requirements of Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006. Furthermore, sub-contracts over $150K may require approval through a “Sole Source” grant action, if an award were made.

Developing a Method to Valuate Law Enforcement Data

Q-1: Two NIJ programs are referenced in the “Program-Specific Information” section of this solicitation; 1) Mapping of the national criminal justice architecture and 2) The development and testing of an evaluation methodology to measure the outcomes of existing information sharing systems. Is the in-progress work on these two programs available for use in preparing responses to this solicitation?
A: No. NIJ has no in-progress work that it can share.

You can access to the description of the two ongoing projects on NIJ.gov: You also can view the solicitations under which those projects were funded:

Use of Suicide Prevention and Intervention Strategies by Law Enforcement Agencies

Q-1: Does “agencies” in this context include only police agencies, or does it include correctional agencies as well?
A: For purposes of this solicitation, “agencies” are defined to include police departments and sheriff’s offices and not to include correctional institutions.

Fiscal Year 2014 Solicitations

Solicitation: Research and Development in Forensic Science for Criminal Justice Purposes

View the solicitation

Q-1: Are Federally Funded Research and Development Center (FFRDC) eligible to apply ?
A: As stated on page one of the solicitation, “NIJ may also enter into interagency agreements with Federal entities in appropriate cases.” This includes Federally Funded Research and Development Center laboratories, as listed on NSF’s master government list (http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/ffrdclist/).
Q-2: Are foreign entities eligible to apply?
A: As stated on page one of the solicitation, “Foreign governments, foreign organizations, and foreign institutions of higher education are not eligible to apply.”
Q-3: Are foreign entities eligible to partner with a US-based entity?
A: As stated on page one of the solicitation, “Foreign governments, foreign organizations, and foreign institutions of higher education are not eligible to apply.” However, the recipient of an award may make a subaward or subcontract to a foreign entity.

Please note that any sub-awards/subcontracts to foreign entities may also undergo a review by our Office of General Counsel prior to being approved. Awards that involve sub-awards must comply with the requirements of Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006. Furthermore, sub-contracts over $100K may require approval through a “Sole Source” grant action, if an award were made.
Q-4: Can NIJ provide guidance on whether or not a proposal idea would be appropriate for this solicitation?
A: Until a full proposal is reviewed, we cannot fully determine responsiveness to the solicitation. The intent of this program is to direct the findings of basic scientific research, research and development in broader scientific fields applicable to forensic science, and ongoing forensic science research toward the development of highly discriminating, accurate, reliable, cost-effective and rapid methods for the identification, analysis and interpretation of physical evidence for criminal justice purposes.

We suggest you carefully read the solicitation, with special attention to the "Program-Specific Information" section, as well as the "What will not be funded" section. This should assist you in assessing whether or not your concept for proposal is appropriate for submission to this solicitation. The applicant agency must determine the appropriateness of the scope of their proposal. In order to maintain fair and open competition, NIJ staff does not provide guidance on research scope and design. All submitted applications that meet eligibility and content requirements as described in the solicitation will undergo an external peer review process.
Q-5: Is there program officer whom I may speak with directly?
A: All inquiries to the solicitation should be submitted to the email address forensic.research@usdoj.gov. In order to maintain fair and open competition, NIJ staff does not provide guidance on research scope and design. Any other inquires will be responded to via email.
Q-6: Is the "Disclosure of Lobbying Activities" form a requirement even if we will not be lobbying, and if so, how do we complete the form if we do not intend to lobby?
A: The "Disclosure of Lobbying Activities" requirement is associated with any lobbying activities that apply under 31 USC 1352. If you do not have any applicable activities, then "N/A" should be entered for any required field. Please note that this requirement is not solely associated with a use of awarded funds for lobbying (grant funds under this program may not be used for lobbying activities) – any lobbying activities that qualify should be reported.
Q-7: My project will not involve human subjects. Is this form still required?
A: The "Protection of Human Subjects" form is mandatory for all R&D applications. If this project will not involve human subjects then simply complete boxes 1-5 and 9-17, and under box 8 "Comments" simply state: "This project will not involve human subjects". Leave items 6 and 7 blank.
Q-8: Where do I upload my program narrative, budget narrative, budget detail worksheet and other related attachments?
A: When submitting the application to Grants.gov, there is a document titled "Attachment." This document can be used to upload any required files (such as program narrative, budget detail worksheet, etc.). It will accept multiple attachments. There is no required order for uploading the attachments. Please keep in mind that OJP strongly recommends that applicants use appropriately descriptive file names (e.g., "Program Narrative," "Budget Detail Worksheet and Budget Narrative," "Timelines," "Memoranda of Understanding," "Resumes") for all attachments.
Q-9: What is the maximum consultant rate per day? What if the consultant compensation would exceed that rate?
A: Anyone who is used in a consultant capacity — that is paid an individual paid hourly for their time — must be compensated at less than the $450/day maximum or receive a waiver. Please note that waivers are difficult to obtain and not often granted. One exception to this is if the consultancy is contracted out through a documented fair and competitive process. Alternatively, if an entity is contracted to perform a certain scope of work for a flat fee, this could be listed under contracts and would not be subject to the $450 per day maximum. Such a line item would need to be approved as being an appropriate cost for the scope of work.

Investigator-Initiated Research: The Comprehensive School Safety Initiative

View the solicitation.

Q-1: Can the IHEs conduct research on campus safety and related issues?
A: Yes. This competition is for school safety in K-12 schools and safety on college campuses.
Q-2: Can applicants purchase additional technology (such as cameras, metal detectors and electronic ID) or hire additional staff (such as additional counselors, mental health workers and school resource officers) if they are elements of their proposed research?
A: Applicants can fund interventions that include the purchase of additional technology or the hiring of additional staff if the purchases are deemed an essential part of the research proposal. Note that the focus of this solicitation is on research. It is not intended primarily for schools or law enforcement agencies to procure services, technologies or programs. NIJ will examine all applications to ensure that the applicant’s primary purpose is to engage in research and that the overall proposal is cost effective. A separate solicitation, which NIJ expects to release in mid-April, will allow schools to procure and evaluate schools safety initiatives and programs as part of a broader research design in partnership with research organizations.
Q-3: Can applicants submit more than one application?
A: Yes. Applicants can submit more than one application; however, each one should address different problems or issues.
Q-4: If applicants want to conduct research in a school, do they need to provide an assurance that the school agrees with both the research methods and the school’s role in the project?
A: Yes. Applicants who want to conduct research in a school or a school district must submit a memorandum of agreement or, minimally, a letter of support from the school that will be participating in the research and evaluation. The agreement or letter should demonstrate the school’s support for the project and detail the most significant roles and responsibilities of each party. The formal agreement does not need to be part of the application. The grant cannot begin, however, until the agreement is signed and submitted to NIJ. 
Q-5: If applicants propose to work with a school or school district is there a set amount or percentage of the award that must be granted to the school or school district?
A: No set amount must be allocated for the school or school district. However, applicants are strongly encouraged to include a discussion of funding, if any, in the letter of support or memorandum of agreement they develop with the school.
Q-6: Are state agencies, such as a state agency that deals with juvenile justice or the state educational agency, eligible to submit applications?
A: Yes. 
Q-7: The solicitation states that certain qualified individuals are eligible to apply for a grant under this competition. Who are the certain qualified individuals?
A: These are individuals who have demonstrated experience and expertise in conducting rigorous programs of research related to schools safety.
Q-8: Is there a minimum or maximum amount of funding that an applicant can request?
A: There is no minimum or maximum amount of funding. A total of $15 million is available for the entire solicitation. NIJ awards typically range from $250,000 to $750,000 but, for this solicitation, we are interested in applications for projects that are significantly larger in scope. We will most likely fund a range of large and small projects.
Q-9: Is there a minimum or maximum number of years for the project period?
A: The project period can range anywhere from one to five years. NIJ awards are typically two to three years in length. The maximum project period (with extensions) is normally five years.

Solicitation: Developing Knowledge About What Makes Schools Safe

View the solicitation.

Q-1: Can applicants purchase technology (e.g., cameras, metal detectors, electronic ID) or hire staff (e.g., counselors, mental health workers, SROs), if the purchases are necessary for the proposed research?
A: Yes: Applicants can fund interventions, including the purchase of technology or hiring of staff if the purchases are essential to the research project. NIJ will examine all applications to ensure that a rigorous research design can evaluate whatever intervention is proposed.  
Q-2: Can applicants submit more than one application?
A: Yes: But each proposal should address different research questions.
Q-3: If applicants propose hiring a school resource officer or mental health professional, must they have a memorandum of understanding in place?
A: Applicants must demonstrate in their proposal a willingness to enter into formal partnerships with researchers and schools. Funding will be withheld until the partners submit formal letters of agreement to participate that detail their roles and responsibilities.
Q-4: Is there a set amount or percentage of the award that must be granted to research partners? 
A: No: There is no set amount required to be allocated to the research partner. However, NIJ recommends that approximately 1/4 to 2/3 of the award be allocated to the research partner, depending on the scope and nature of the project.
Q-5: Are state agencies, such as state educational agencies, eligible to submit applications?
A: Yes: Applications will be accepted from state education agencies, local education agencies, and public charter schools that are recognized as a local education agency. 
Q-6: Is there a minimum or maximum amount of funding that an applicant can request?
A: Yes: Projects should range from $500,000 to $5 million. Approximately $47 million is available for the entire solicitation. We expect to fund a range of large and smaller projects.
Q-7: Is there a minimum or maximum number of years for the project period?
A: Yes: The maximum length of the proposed project period is 36 months; however, NIJ understands that on occasion, there may be extenuating circumstances that require a study to go beyond 36 months. NIJ will consider requests to extend the study period, but grantees should not assume the extension will automatically be permitted, nor should they assume that NIJ will provide additional funds if an extension is allowed.

Optimizing the Use of Video Technology to Improve Criminal Justice Outcomes

View the solicitation.

Q-1: Will video data itself need to be included in the data archiving strategy and be archived? Or just other data (e.g., data related to crime, calls for service, logs of video monitoring activities)?
A: It depends. While video data is not the typical kind of data archived on NACJD, it is not known that there are any prohibitions on archiving video on NACJD if an applicant wishes to propose that for programmatic reasons. There may be actual video examples that applicants might want to include as a part of an archived data set, but a management plan for that data type would need to be proposed as described in the solicitation on p. 16-17. There are not any known compelling technical reasons why video clips cannot be archived just by virtue of them being video clips, however a management plan would likely need to address safeguarding sensitive information and/or access to any data sets, video or otherwise, as there may be factors may govern the “share-ability” or “release-ability” of data.
Q-2: What size of award does NIJ plan to fund from applications replying to the Optimizing the Use of Video Technology to Improve Criminal Justice Outcomes solicitation? What is the expected period of performance?
A: As stated on page 9 of the solicitation, NIJ anticipates that will make one award and will fund that award up to $2M for a project period of 12 to 18 months. Depending on the technical approach proposed, that $2M and 12 to 18 months may be sufficient to complete the research. It may also be more than is required, or it may be less.

The solicitation allows for projects that may exceed the amount and project period anticipated by NIJ. As also discussed on page 9 of the solicitation, the preceding funding and time constraints notwithstanding, applications should be crafted to reflect the funding and time that is necessary to achieve the goals and objectives of this solicitation based on the applicant’s proposed technical approach.

If an award is made that requires more than $2M and 12 to 18 months to complete, NIJ’s decision to extend the period of performance and to provide additional funding will be determined by number of factors. Among the most important are the management of the award (for example, timeliness and quality of progress reports), and NIJ’s assessment of the progress of the work funded under the award. To that end, if the applicant is proposing a project that reasonably could be conducted in discrete phases, with each phase resulting in completion of one or more significant, defined milestones, then NIJ strongly recommends that the applicant structure the application — specifically including the narrative, expected scholarly products, timelines/milestones, and budget detail worksheet and budget narrative — to clearly set out each phase.

National Criminal Justice Technology Information Resource Center and National Law Enforcement Corrections and Technology Center (NLECTC) System Small, Rural, Tribal and Border (SRTB) Regional Center

NIJ held a teleconference on April 9, 2014, from 2:30 – 3:30 p.m. eastern time for parties interested in submitting proposals for funding to host the Small, Rural, Tribal, and Border (SRTB) Regional Center within the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center (NLECTC) system (NIJ–2014-3764) and/or to operate a National Criminal Justice Technology Information Resource Center within the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Centers (NLECTC) system (NIJ–2014-3731). Listen to a recording or read a transcript of the teleconference.


Fiscal Year 2013 Solicitations

Research on Firearms and Violence

Q: Can I talk directly to someone about an idea I have before I submit my application?
A: NIJ requests that questions and answers be done in writing. We believe such a procedure improves fairness and transparency. We regret that we cannot discuss ideas personally and privately before the application is submitted. To see the kinds of projects we have funded in the past, visit our Awards page.
Q: Will the independent peer reviewers consider projects focused on epidemiology rather than program evaluation?
A: Yes. Epidemiology is certainly within the scope of the approaches that will be considered.
Q: We would like to propose a multi-phased project.  Noting that there is no comprehensive dataset on firearms and violence, we first seek to build one.  Then, we would use this dataset to construct a tool for testing several criminological theories and, ultimately, testing the efficacy of various intervention strategies.
A: Your idea seems well within the scope of the solicitation.
Q: Would data analysis projects be considered for funding under this announcement?  My colleagues and I have extensive experience in utilizing large, existing databases to conduct empirical research. We recognize the limitations inherent in the use of these data sources.  However, since we would not need to conduct costly data collection but rather only require salary support, the use of these extant data sources would still provide "bang for the buck" in terms of the results and information generated relative to the cost.
A: NIJ has a long tradition of supporting analysis of secondary data. Your idea seems to be well within the scope of the solicitation. Learn more about how proposals are reviewed.
Q:  I am interested in examining successful applications for recent, similar grants of this type as a means of helping us better anticipate what grant reviewers might be looking for. Could you provide me with the names of comparable, recent funding opportunities of this type, or any other relevant information that could facilitate our efforts here?
A: An example of a successful application is posted on the NIJ website. Although examples of successful applications related to firearms are not available, you might examine the reports that resulted from previous successful awards.

Applied Technology Research and Development to Optimize Criminal Justice Use of Social media in the "Web 3.0" Environment

Q: Most of NIJ's solicitations state that "...NIJ is authorized to make grants to, or enter into contracts or cooperative agreements..." Which of these three funding vehicles will be used for the awards resulting from this solicitation?
A: All awards resulting from this solicitation will be cooperative agreements with one exception. Successful Federal/Federally-Funded Research and Development Center applicants may be awarded through an Interagency Agreement.

Evaluating the Efficacy of Lighting, Markings, and Paint Schemes in Reducing the Incidence of Law Enforcement Vehicle Crashes  

Q: Most of NIJ's solicitations state that "...NIJ is authorized to make grants to, or enter into contracts or cooperative agreements..." Which of these three funding vehicles will be used for the awards resulting from this solicitation?
A: All awards resulting from this solicitation will be cooperative agreements with one exception. Successful Federal/Federally-Funded Research and Development Center applicants may be awarded through an Interagency Agreement.

Identifying the Highest Priority Criminal Justice Technology Needs

Q: Most of NIJ's solicitations state that "...NIJ is authorized to make grants to, or enter into contracts or cooperative agreements..." Which of these three funding vehicles will be used for the awards resulting from this solicitation?
A: All awards resulting from this solicitation will be cooperative agreements with one exception. Successful Federal/Federally-Funded Research and Development Center applicants may be awarded through an Interagency Agreement.

The Impact of Safety Equipment Modalities on Reducing Correctional Officer Injuries  

Q: Most of NIJ's solicitations state that "...NIJ is authorized to make grants to, or enter into contracts or cooperative agreements..." Which of these three funding vehicles will be used for the awards resulting from this solicitation?
A: All awards resulting from this solicitation will be cooperative agreements with one exception. Successful Federal/Federally-Funded Research and Development Center applicants may be awarded through an Interagency Agreement.

Applied Technology Research and Development for Criminal Justice Purposes  

Q: Most of NIJ's solicitations state that "...NIJ is authorized to make grants to, or enter into contracts or cooperative agreements..." Which of these three funding vehicles will be used for the awards resulting from this solicitation?
A: All awards resulting from this solicitation will be cooperative agreements with one exception. Successful Federal/Federally-Funded Research and Development Center applicants may be awarded through an Interagency Agreement.

Establishing a National Criminal Justice Technology Research, Test, and Evaluation Center  

Q: Most of NIJ's solicitations state that "...NIJ is authorized to make grants to, or enter into contracts or cooperative agreements..." Which of these three funding vehicles will be used for the awards resulting from this solicitation?
A: All awards resulting from this solicitation will be cooperative agreements with one exception. Successful Federal/Federally-Funded Research and Development Center applicants may be awarded through an Interagency Agreement.
Q: Should the proposal's abstract reflect, in detail, the nine task plans itemized on pages five and six of the solicitation?
A: The abstract should reflect the applicant's proposal to the degree possible within the 250 to 400 words allotted.

Research and Evaluation on the Impact of Social Media on Policing

Q: Most of NIJ's solicitations state that "...NIJ is authorized to make grants to, or enter into contracts or cooperative agreements..." Which of these three funding vehicles will be used for the awards resulting from this solicitation?
A: All awards resulting from this solicitation will be cooperative agreements with one exception. Successful Federal/Federally-Funded Research and Development Center applicants may be awarded through an Interagency Agreement.
Date Created: January 2, 2018