Video Transcript: Research and Evaluation on Drugs and Crime, FY 2017 Solicitation Webinar

Speaking in this video:

  • Linda Truitt, Ph.D. Senior Social Science Analyst, Office of Research and Evaluation
  • Jonathan McGrath, Ph.D., M.S.F.S., Senior Policy Analyst, Office of Investigative and Forensic Sciences
  • Eric Martin, M.A., Social Science Analyst, Office of Research and Evaluation
  • Luther Schaeffer, Physical Scientist, Office of Investigative and Forensic Sciences
  • Mary Jo Giovacchini, National Criminal Justice Reference Service

This webinar will provide details and guidance for potential applicants to the National Institute of Justice's Research and Evaluation of Drugs and Crime FY 2017 solicitation. The presenters will discuss the purpose and goals of this funding opportunity and address frequently asked questions. A Q&A session will conclude this webinar.


MARY JO GIOVACCHINI: Good afternoon, everyone and welcome to today’s webinar, NIJ Research and Evaluation on Drugs and Crime Fiscal Year 2017. At this time, I would like to introduce Dr. Linda Truitt, Social Science Analyst with the National Institute of Justice.

LINDA TRUITT: Good afternoon. Welcome to our first webinar on NIJ’s solicitation for Research and Evaluation on Drugs and Crime. In this webinar, my colleagues and I will provide guidance on the FY 2017 solicitation. Specifically background, scope, general grant and application expectations, and application review requirements details for this NIJ funding opportunity. We will also review any questions that we’ve received from potential applicants, either via the webinar registration form or during this webinar. At the end, you will find contact information and instructions on how to submit questions after this webinar, where answers to questions are archived on NIJ’s website as FAQs, and how to access the archived version of this webinar for future reference.

Please note that all necessary details regarding applications are documented in the solicitation. For your reference, a link to the solicitation is being provided via the chat function. It can be accessed any time via NIJ’s website or through the website where all applications are submitted online.

NIJ’s Drugs and Crime Research Portfolio furthers the Department of Justice’s crime prevention and law enforcement goals by supporting research on drug related crime to promote effective law enforcement, court, and corrections responses to illegal drug markets including the diversion of illegal drugs and criminal behavior related to drug use. Background information for this solicitation is available on NIJ’s website where we post information on all projects relating to the Drugs and Crime Research Portfolio.

For your reference, a link to NIJ’s portfolio webpage is provided via the chat function.

There you will find historic and current information on relevant topics including NIJ’s controlled substances and forensic toxicology program. That funds research to improve drug recognition and detection for law enforcement and monitoring such as improving sample analysis for understanding drug metabolism. Also, NIJ’s research on illegal prescription drug market intervention. That supports research on ways to deter, investigate, and disrupt illegal prescription drug markets such as the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas, HIDTAs, and prescription drug monitoring programs, PDMPs, or other resources.

And finally, NIJ’s 2015 meeting on drug recognition and impairment research in partnership with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the National Institute on Drug Abuse to discuss information needs with the criminal justice practitioners.

The website provide a project list with basic information on all NIJ grants active since 2005, divided into different topic areas, epidemiology, prevention and intervention, drug markets, market disruption, and forensics. That list illustrates the substantial investment made by NIJ’s office investigative and forensic sciences under various research and development solicitation.

Potential applicants are encouraged to review other NIJ 2017 solicitations for lab and other basic research funding opportunities.

This 2017 solicitation for research and evaluation on drugs and crime is a joint effort with NIJ’s Office of Research and Evaluation. With this solicitation, NIJ seeks applied research that examines the feasibility, impact, and cost efficiency of criminal justice tools, protocols, and policies designed to address drug trafficking, markets, and use. This directly relates to the department’s strategy to combat the opioid epidemic as outlined by the Attorney General in 2016 by supporting research on policies, practices, and resources available to law enforcement to deter, prosecute, and address opioid abuse.

In the 2016 National Heroin Threat Assessment, the US Drug Enforcement Administration documented several things. One, how heroin seizures increased a hundred and forty-three percent over five years from about twenty-seven hundred kilograms in 2010 to over sixty-seven hundred kilograms in 2015. Also, forensic labs involving heroin -- excuse me, also forensic lab cases involving heroin increased seventy percent over just five years from about a hundred and ten thousand in 2010 to over a hundred and eighty-seven thousand in 2015. Finally, the number of state, tribal, and local law enforcement agencies reporting heroin as the greatest drug threat has grown from about eight percent in 2007 to about forty-five percent in 2016. As covered by local and national news outlets, concerns regarding the spread of opioid availability is widespread.

Although US household survey figures indicate a steady increase in heroin use over time, the estimated prevalence of heroin users is relatively low nationwide compared to other drugs. The driving force in opioid markets is prescription drug diversion and illegal synthetic drug production, second only to marijuana in prevalence, misuse of psychotherapeutic drugs, that is pain relievers, tranquilizers, stimulants, or sedatives in the past year was reported by an estimated 18.9 million Americans. That’s about seven percent in 2015. Of these, two-thirds reported misuse of opioid analgesic pain relievers. For example, hydrocodone, oxycodone, buprenorphine, fentanyl, and methadone. Increased drug flow, higher purity drugs, and reduced retail prices have led to increased drug use, poisoning, and overdose death, as shown in the figure here based on data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Between 2000 and 2015, deaths related to heroin rose by 605% to nearly 13,000. And deaths related to opioid analgesics rose by over 400% to over 22,000.

These overdose figures include synthetic drugs also known as novel psychoactive substances. For instance, DEA has issued a warning to the public and law enforcement about the risk of carfentanil, a synthetic opioid as many more times potent than heroin or other synthetic drugs like fentanyl or morphine. In addition to these pharmaceuticals that are diverted for nonmedical use, growth in the opioid drug use market is fueled by the influx of synthetic drugs that are chemically engineered compounds. These have nearly unlimited capacity for rapid development of high purity analogs and can be manufactured in clandestine drug labs. Oftentimes heroin is combined with synthetic drugs, increasing risk to users and could not easily identify different drugs.

Therefore, NIJ’s 2017 research and evaluation on drugs and crime solicitation seeks applied research on evidence based tools, protocols, and policies for state, tribal, and local law enforcement, and other criminal justice agencies to better address drug trafficking, markets, and use that relate to two drug priorities, heroin and other opioids including diverted prescription drugs and/or novel psychoactive substances, also known as synthetic drugs. Applications must address at least one of these drug priorities. And a single application may address both drug priorities. Other drugs may be addressed, but only in addition to NIJ’s drug priorities and with clear justification relating to research and practice such as drugs that are produced or used in combination with these opioids. So, that completes my segment. Next, we hear from my colleague, John, who will discuss the scope in terms of research category.

JONATHAN MCGRATH: Thank you, Linda. There are two applied research categories delineated in this drugs and crime solicitation. And you can find the information on these categories on pages six and seven of the solicitation which includes descriptions and example research questions. Investigator initiated proposals must address one of these two research categories for proposed examination of criminal justice tools, protocols, and policies designed to address drug trafficking, markets, and use applicable to state, tribal, and local jurisdictions. Research findings for these categories should benefit the information collectors and the information consumers including first responders, law enforcement, forensic science laboratories, medical examiner and coroner offices, and public health service providers.

The first research category is criminal investigation and prosecution. Medical examiners, coroners, and investigators, and criminal prosecutors rely upon case level information collected by law enforcement and forensic examiners either at the crime or death scene, or during the course of further laboratory or medical, legal death examinations to support their criminal justice investigations and prosecutions. Narcotics crime and death scene protocols can be improved to increase both the scope and the quality of information collected to facilitate investigations and cause and manner of death determinations. Safe and efficient approaches to identify the information that should be collected from crime and death scenes and the development of screening protocols can ensure the safety of those who collect the evidence under potentially hazardous conditions. Information collected on site at crime and death scenes may include suspected drugs or controlled substances. For example, materials in the form of pills, capsules, or loose powders, packaging materials such as glassine envelopes, prescription labels and vials, and drug paraphernalia such as residue samples and other evidence that can inform the investigation process.

Research questions of interest may include one of the following, but are not limited to these areas. Questions such as how can the quality of information collected be improved to support forensic analysis, case investigation, and prosecution without compromising the safety of law enforcement or scene responders? For example, what types of information collections are lacking from crime and death scene investigation protocols and what evident sampling and documentation strategies can assist in building cases and to further prosecution efforts without increasing undue risk or burden.

Additionally, how can information collection and sharing protocols be improved to support narcotics enforcement, forensic science, and medicolegal death investigations? For example, do protocols provide guidance on minimum standard documentation?  And what information sharing strategies promote coordination across different staff and agencies working on the same case? 

The second research category is Drug Intelligence and Surveillance. Following the collection of case level information, coordinated efforts are necessary to consolidate and aggregate critical data elements to support data correlations and to perform trend analysis. This analysis is crucial to understanding the drug market and uses trends for identifying drug deterrent and interdiction opportunities and for pursuing organized crime targets.

Challenges in collecting, organizing, analyzing, and disseminating this information includes the interpretation of drug and toxicology test results and the identification and recognition of other information that may reflect the evolving drug markets. The timeliness, accuracy, and quality of the data is critical for making operational and policy decisions and for the effective dissemination of information across criminal justice and public health agencies and jurisdictions.

NIJ seeks proposals for this research category that examine currently available resources to identify reliable data, unmet information needs, and recommendations in light of the fast pace of drug use and market evolution. Research questions of interest may include one of the following, but are, again, are not limited to these areas. Questions such as, what is the impact of current drug intelligence and community surveillance efforts?  For example, what metrics are used to assess impact and what are the demonstrable effects on prevention, drug market intervention, and other outcomes? 

Additionally, how can data collection and data sharing efforts be improved to support drug intelligence and community surveillance goals?  For example, what commonly used variables can be documented consistently across agencies and how can agencies store information securely for the timely access and analysis? 

Also, how can data analysis and data dissemination efforts be improved to support drug intelligence and community surveillance goals?  For example, what databases are freely available for analysis?  What forecasting and other statistical models demonstrate informed data correlation in trend analyses?  And what dissemination formats meet diverse stakeholder needs?  Such as through daily briefings, emergency alerts, or monthly progress reports.

We want to note that a single application may not address both research categories, but researchers may submit a separate application to study a second category. Each application will be reviewed independently. And the success of one proposed project must not depend on a separate proposed project. Applications for funding for further -- for research outside of these two research categories will not be considered. And I’ll turn over the presentation at this time to my colleague, Eric.

ERIC MARTIN: Good afternoon. My name is Eric Martin. I’m one of the analysts supporting this effort. I’m going to talk to you about the Research Grant Expectations and what the drugs and crime program expects out of successful applicants and what will not be funded.

For the grant expectations, the information on this slide can be found on pages eight through ten of the solicitation. NIJ anticipates making multiple awards out of this solicitation. These awards will likely be in the form of grants, but may include cooperative agreements. A cooperative agreement is similar to a grant, but has the expectation of more direct NIJ involvement which will be negotiated upon with NIJ and the successful applicant.

NIJ is anticipating a funding request of up to $1 million per grant and $1.5 million has been allocated at this time to fund projects out of this solicitation. Projects can be up to 36 months. And please be aware, the start date of any project out of this solicitation will be January 1st, 2018. And so, when you create your timeline and budget your effort from that, use January 1, 2018 as your start date.

The deliverables for this solicitation are similar, but slightly different than other NIJ solicitations that are currently out. The main difference is successful applicants under this solicitation will be expected to come to Washington, DC, to brief NIJ of its findings at least two months prior to their project end date. Other than that, they have the standard deliverables, data archiving and written reports as any of the solicitation from NIJ. Datasets and associated files need to be deposited with ICPSR at the conclusion of the project.

As with other solicitations, NIJ has relaxed its original final report requirement in order to encourage successful applicants to publish in peer review journals, book chapters, or to publish books. This follows the same requirement that -- with that. And then, also, NIJ encourages presentations at appropriate scientific conferences along with its dissemination plan, you will articulate which my colleague Luther will discuss towards the end of this presentation.

Now, moving on to the next slide, given the nature of the research saw under this solicitation, the drugs and crime program provides additional guidance for successful applicants. The information found on this slide can be located in pages seven and eight of the solicitation. The additional guidance is as follows.

NIJ has an interest in research being conducted in small, rural, or tribal jurisdictions under this solicitation. Successful applicants will need to demonstrate that their research team and the protocol and methods they’re using to conduct their research exhibit cultural competence. As we know, the nature of drug use is local and culturally defined. You need to demonstrate that you understand the localized drug issues in the area you’re conducting your study. We -- the successful applicant will have letters of commitment with their partnering jurisdictions. As you can see in the solicitation which my colleague John discussed with the research categories, we are seeking research to assist with criminal investigations and prosecution or drug intelligence and community surveillance. Thus, strong partnerships with partnering agencies are critical to advancing knowledge in these areas. The more you can demonstrate the partner’s level of commitment, the better.

Successful applicants will define every member of the research team’s roles and responsibilities on the project and their level of effort. They will include a research independence and integrity statement that identifies potential conflict of interest at the outset and also will discuss the research institution or the team’s protocol for dealing with conflicts of interest if they were to arise during the project.

The successful applicant will have a research design that gives value to other jurisdictions and/or a national impact as opposed to just the jurisdiction they are partnering with.

And if other independent products are used or other resources, the successful applicant will show their value added that they are bringing as a part -- as part of doing this research.

Similarly, the drugs and crime program has identified additional selection criteria to be -- to be determined responsive to the solicitation. So, applications that do not meet these criteria will not be funded if you are nonresponsive to the solicitation or either research category, if you had a single application that proposes research on both categories. Again, these are the research categories that John spoke about earlier and not the drug types of interests. If there is no clear drug priority as I was just saying or if it’s -- the research fails to demonstrate relevant drug type expertise. Again, this goes back to the cultural competence and the expertise of your research team. Proposals for national surveys, basic lab research, or purely descriptive studies will not be funded. And if the research design is of a single site, but does not demonstrate that its findings will benefit other jurisdictions or is generalizable, that application will not be funded. Proposals primarily for the purchases of resources, service delivery, or current project maintenance without a clear demonstration of how these equipment is necessary for research. Any equipment purchases has to be contingent on being demo -- being able to conduct the research that you proposed. And then, finally, research that is supported by other NIJ solicitations or federal programs without justification, these projects will not be funded.

Now, at this time, I’ll pass it on to my colleague, Luther.

LUTHER SCHAEFFER: Good afternoon, everyone. My name is Luther Schaeffer. I’m a physical scientist here at NIJ. I’m going to provide you an overview of the solicitation application review process as well as the selection criteria.

The first stage of the review process is determination of whether the application contains the basic minimum requirements, which are critical elements that each application must contain in order to proceed for further consideration in the competitive process. Elements that comprise the BMR for this solicitation are the program narrative, the budget detail worksheet narrative, and CVs and resumes for all key personnel. The program narrative should not exceed 25 pages. This does not include the program abstract, table of contents, title page, resubmit response, appendices, or government forms. The program narrative should provide a detailed description of the proposed project and contain the following elements. It should contain the Statement of the Problem, your Project Design and Implementation, Potential Impact, as well as Capabilities and Competencies. Within the section stated, the narrative should also address purpose, goals and objectives, it should review relevant literature. It should also have a detailed description of the research design and methodology, as well as any scholarly products, implication for the criminal justice policy and practice in the United States, and any plans for dissemination for the broader audience. A more detailed description of each of these elements can be found in the drugs and crime solicitation starting on page 14.

Examples of application materials and content can be found on, as well as hyperlinked throughout the solicitation body. Feel free to explore those. They’ll really help you out.

Budget -- the budget detail worksheet narrative are also BMRs. An example of the worksheet can be located by clicking the appropriate link on page 19 of the solicitation. The budget narrative should adequately describe each category of expenses in the worksheet. The takeaway here is the budget for each project should be complete, cost effective, and allowable.

CVs and resumes are required for all key personnel. These are requirement for anybody that’s significantly involved in the substantive aspects of the project.

If these elements are not included at the time of the submission, the applicant will receive a notice of rejection for failure to meet BMR or responsiveness to the solicitation.

Those applications found to meet BMR will move on to the next stage, which is external research and practice peer review where the application will be scored using criteria that I’ll discuss on the following slide. After external peer review, NIJ science staff and leadership will conduct a review of the resulting scores. And those applications recommended for funding will be forwarded onto the NIJ director.

One final note is that all funding decisions are at the discretion of the NIJ director.

It the intention for NIJ to send out award notifications by September 2017, the non-award notifications will also contain anonymized comments from the external peer review.

Moving on to selection criteria.

The pie chart here is to illustrate the significance placed on the following elements in the application. The Statement of the Problem makes up a small portion of the overall score, that being 10%, whereas Project Design and Implementation makes up 50% of your total score. Potential Impact is also weighted at 10%. And once again, Capabilities and Competencies that makes up 25% of your score. And the Plan for Dissemination is five percent of the total. Although the budget will be reviewed for its completeness, cost effectiveness -- cost effectiveness, and allowability, it isn’t scored. The peer reviewers will be permitted to provide comments and feedback.

I’d like to hammer the importance of the two categories, Project Design and Capabilities and Competencies. The weight of these two elements make up seventy-five percent of your total score for the application. This makes the solicitation unique from other NIJ solicitations.

The Project Design and Implementation will consider the quality and technical merit of the proposal using the following categories. The soundness of your methods and analytical-technical approach for addressing the proposed project, the project feasibility, the awareness of potential project pitfalls and problem mitigation, as well as the cultural competence in addressing the regional, racial, or ethnic language, and other diversity issues in the proposed research proposal. This, once again, is 50% of your score.

The Capabilities and Competencies will be reviewed to determine the qualifications and experience of your proposed staff, as well as the demonstrated ability of the applicant organization to manage the effort, the relationship of the Capabilities and Competencies of the staff to the scope of the project, the necessary personnel have provided your letters of commitment, and that there are clearly specified roles and level of effort for each of the project staff, and addressing any potential conflicts of interest. This makes up 25% of your total score.

With that, I’m going to turn it back over to Mary Jo to conclude.

MARY JO GIOVACCHINI: Hi, everyone. This will start our question and answer session. And just a couple of things before we actually dive into that, some of you did submit questions during the registration process. The panelists looked at those questions and addressed them throughout their presentation. If you feel that there is still something lingering, please go ahead and submit that to the Q&A panel -- pane of the webinar interface and select “All Panelists.”  We do have a few questions that we received today that we will begin addressing.

LINDA TRUITT: So, this is Linda. We’ve been fielding questions either through the webinar registration or during this period of the broadcast. All interesting questions, we encourage you to go to the next slide where we have all the contact information. So, if you don’t have a question in the moment, please feel free to submit questions via NCJRS. NIJ staff aren’t permitted to respond to clarification questions or confer on individual research designs. But we’re certainly interested in hearing your questions and those that are informative to others that aren’t simply looking for a reference to the solicitation webpage on something, or a website reference, we post as FAQs or Frequently Asked Questions. In those, you’ll see the site here on NIJ’s webpage where those live for all the 2017 solicitations. And finally, we’ll post the archive webinar so that you’ll get a transcript as well as a replay option to see the slides and hear the discussion again.

So, some of the questions we’ve received so far are rather interesting. They are helpful to us in knowing what we can better do in our soliciting.

One was looking for clarification on the impact of current efforts question. So, we outlined two different research categories, the second one having to do with drug intelligence and community surveillance. And there was request for clarification as to what do we mean by, “What is the impact of current efforts?”  So, for example, would that include police actions, like, crackdowns or legislative regulatory efforts. What we’re actually referencing is the [INDISTINCT] solicitation talking about the metrics that is what is the information and what are the variables and information sources, what are the possible changes that one would see that are measurable that would have any validity for the purposes of conducting that aggregate information analysis for the purposes of either a close neighborhood, regional, as well as beyond across different lines. So, really the emphasis for us is, “What are the metrics?  What are the resources that one could reliably use?” 

And the other thing I want to emphasize was something that Eric talked about was, you know, we’re looking for feasible studies. It could be within a single jurisdiction, but it could certainly have value and lessons learned for others. So, really that’s where we’re interested in. So, as opposed to what’s the success of one effort in one place, it’s really that generalizability we’re interested in. So, how does that model work for other jurisdictions? 

The second one that was interesting was in regarding to things that we would not support. So, for example, proposals for national surveys. And by that, we mean there’s other agencies that are very good, such as the Bureau of Justice Statistics in supporting work done to do census and survey. So, the purpose of generating national estimates, regional estimates, state estimates, that’s not something that NIJ is interested in mostly generally, but also specifically in this solicitation. So, we would be interested in information collection that would be complete and it could be over a series of time. It could be trend analysis, it could be archival data, primary data, but really not census and surveys. So, I hope that’s responsive to the question.

Another one that we got was, and I think speaks to the partnering aspect of things, can we outsource a task?  So, in this example, it was an analysis of different opioid analgesics. And I’m taking that to mean, again, the question of partnering and it -- it’s certainly encouraged in these applications that people are partnering and we think it makes it very diverse and interesting to different practitioners especially if you have a project that has a team of very different types of disciplines and interests. We just want to make sure that in your proposal, you make it very clear that if you are subcontracting out, that this is not simply a pass through where you’re, you know, organizing something but everyone else is doing the bulk of the work. And also, the nature of the work that, you know, if there are research or analysis tasks that need to be farmed out by an expert, that’s certainly justifiable and would be, you know, justified well in your budget, but it -- you have to be careful on the side of that this project is not, by nature, really a basic lab kind of study. So, that would belong, of course, in another kind of solicitation. So, as long as the general purpose of your research and questions are about applied research, and that you’re doing those sorts of tasks and subcontracts to fulfill that, then that makes sense to us.

So, those are some of the questions that we’ve received so far. We’re just pausing to take in some of the other questions we’ve received. Thank you for waiting.

The question that we were just looking at now is very similar, I think, in looking at the kinds of data collection that are appropriate under the solicitation. So given the nature of this, there’s so many information sources particularly if you want to collect things that are reflective of some of the more recent developments. So in terms of getting the best available data, if that’s something that is justifiable that you need to do a primary data collection effort and you have the wherewithal to do that, then we’d be very interested in that. If you’re supplementing with a secondary or archival data, that’s also very interesting to us, that is, the extent that you can develop, demonstrate, and test a model that is usable by multiple jurisdictions, the more value it has to our community.

And it’s similar to a question that we received during the webinar registration asking about if they’re able to use secondary data analysis. Historically, NIJ’s had different sorts of solicitations including one that was solely about promoting use of archival data. Again, depending on how it fits into your proposal, it’s certainly justifiable, it would be competitive and we would encourage guidance on how others might access those information. So you want to not only have information that is accessible to you, but also generally accessible to others to promote more use of those information in a more informed way.

MARY JO GIOVACCHINI: I’m going to address the question that came through regarding receiving copies of the PowerPoint. The recorded webinar, the PowerPoint presentation, and a transcript from the webinar will all be posted at the National Institute of Justice’s website,, in approximately 10 days. Everyone who registered for the webinar will receive an e-mail with the information on how to access those items. In addition, you can go to the NIJ website under their current funding link and you’ll see a list of all the previously recorded webinars and that’s where this information will be posted as well.

It does not appear that there’s any other questions that have come through the Q&A, so we will give you a few moments. If you would have a question that you would like to be addressed, please go ahead and type that, and we will respond to you.

LINDA TRUITT: And in the meanwhile, there were some questions that we’ve received through the webinar registration with folks asking about proposals that had, what I would describe as a slightly tangential focus. If you can make the argument that this is a good way to demonstrate the utility of a model that would be a logical choice, but ultimately, it really is about not that local program or that population, but the generalizability and utility of that model for others to use. And it can be about a very targeted population. So for example, the question we received regarded looking at the juvenile population and the ways of measuring the effects of a given intervention, as long as it strongly relates to either research category one or two, you can make the case, but again we rarely entertain something that is strongly connected. It can be partly tangential, but you have to be mindful of that design. There’s certainly other funding opportunities that intervention evaluations and cost efficiency analysis may be more appropriate.

JONATHAN MCGRATH: So I’d like to address a question that was submitted, “Can the application include both method validation and data dissemination on the same application?”  I think there may need to be sort of additional information submitted, which I might recommend submitting through the NCJRS contacts simply because method validation could be considered as a basic research question, but I can certainly see the areas of overlap with the interest of producing a method validation that may be relevant to the wider community for data dissemination purposes. So if that question could also submitted through NCJRS, that would be helpful in providing a -- an accurate and more comprehensive response.

LINDA TRUITT: And then we received a question regarding capability. I think this is an excellent question speaking to the partnerships again. The weight, as Luther outlined of the capabilities section is 25% which is considerable. And we have different FAQs already posted about structuring. So you can have a principal investigator, the lead organization is the one that NIJ makes the grant to. And then there can be co-PIs, as well other partners that may be in different agencies, different organizations, or even consultants. It’s really important to demonstrate the capabilities of that team and specify the roles they fulfill in the conduct of the research project. So you have to include, to be compliant, at a minimum, the key personnel resumes. In addition, you want to make crystal clear to the application panel reviewers what it is you’re supposed to do, who’s going to do what, and all of it’s feasible. And so if you, you know, want to make sure in your application you’re really tying together your proposed research questions with your methods, with your team, you want to connect those dots. So, that’s, I think, really important for a general [INDISTINCT] for application review.

MARY JO GIOVACCHINI: We did receive another question asking to review the elements of -- that are needed in the grant proposal for the narrative portion. That information can be found on page 16 of the solicitation.

LUTHER SCHAEFFER: If you would like me to repeat, the program narrative can’t exceed 25 pages and it doesn’t include all the elements that I described previous, which are the program abstract, table of contents, title page, resubmit response, appendices, or government forms. What it must contain is a statement of the problem, a project design and implementation, potential impact, capabilities and competencies, and these should be standalone sections that are made clear throughout your program narrative. Within those sections, you’re supposed to address purpose, goals, and objectives, a review of your relevant literature, detailed description of your research design and methodology, any planned scholarly products, implication for the criminal justice policy and practice in the US, and any plans for dissemination for the broader audience. And, once again, if you have any further questions about details, page 16 of the solicitation, all that information can be found and I’ll just make sure you’re very familiar with that area.

MARY JO GIOVACCHINI: There are no other questions at this moment. We can give -- we can wrap it up. So we’re going to -- since there are no other questions -- oh, one just came in.

LUTHER SCHAEFFER: Right by the way.

MARY JO GIOVACCHINI: All right. We’ve received another question here. Just to clarify, if you are conducting a project with stakeholders of a particular jurisdiction, the model approach must be applicable to the other jurisdiction, not the data specific to the jurisdiction. Correct?. We’re unclear what it is that you’re actually asking so we would suggest that you go ahead and submit this question to NCJRS and you can do that at That information is on the slide that is currently showing.

It appears that we are getting a few more questions here.

Would technology development and/or evaluation leading to improved utilization of currently and previously collected forensic samples for detection of heroin and other opiates apply to this call?

JONATHAN MCGRATH: I think the answer is yes based on the first research category in developing information that will help case-level analysis.

MARY JO GIOVACCHINI: All right. Just a few things, we’re going to wrap this up shortly. It does not appear a whole lot of questions are coming through, but before we do that, again, the information for NCJRS is on the slide that is showing. You can call them through the 800 number, you can send an e-mail to them at and they also are available via a web chat. The information for NIJ’s frequently asked questions related to funding is also listed, the URL, and you all will receive an e-mail when this presentation and the recording is available. So you will receive that information. Lastly, if you have any technical issues with your application, you need to submit those to We will suggest that you do no wait until 10:00 PM on the closing date to submit your application just in case there are technical difficulties. NCJRS cannot help you with technical difficulties just to clarify that as well. At this time, there are no questions. We will wrap up this webinar. So on behalf of the National Institute of Justice, Linda, Eric, Jonathan, and Luther, we thank you very much for attending today and we wish you the best of luck. Bye-bye.

Date Created: March 3, 2017