Video Transcript: Helpful hints for Applying to the NIJ Graduate Research Fellowship

Marie Garcia, Ph.D., Social Science Analyst, National Institute of Justice

Once you decide to apply for NIJ’s Graduate Research Fellowship Program, either in the social behavioral sciences or the science, technology, engineering, mathematics track, there’s a lot of helpful hints that we can provide to help you guide your application process. In this video, you’ll learn eight helpful hints to help you through the process, so let’s get started.

The first and most important: Start the application process early. Make sure your application is complete. Unfortunately, we cannot allow extensions.

Tip number 2: Your university submits your application on your behalf; you don’t have to do it yourself, so contact your g rant office and ask them for assistance. Ask them all the questions that you have about submitting a federal grant. They’ve done this before, so don’t re-create the wheel; your university will help you submit your application.

Tip number 3: Make sure your dissertation chair reviews your entire research proposal. It’s really important that you give them the opportunity to comment and review your plan, and they probably have tons of information and ideas they can share with you about submitting a proposal to NIJ. So reach out to them and have them help you out.

Tip number 4: We encourage you to have as many funding streams as possible to submit your dissertation research. NIJ can just be one of many, but make sure you disclose that information to us when you submit your application.

Tip number 5: If you have letters of support or memoranda of understanding from jurisdictions that are collaborating with you on your research, please include them as part of your application.

Number 6: Your dissertation research must have implications for policy and practice for the criminal justice system in the U.S., so whether you’re developing a new technology for law enforcement or theorizing about the gaps in our current knowledge about criminal behavior, all ideas are welcome in the GRF Program.

Number 7: When writing your research proposal, focus your attention on your research methods and you analytic plan. For example, what are your key research questions? Are they clearly written in your proposal? What are your research hypotheses? What theories are driving your research? What is your data collection and analysis plan, including your proposed sample size? What impact will your research have on the criminal justice system? Another important issue is the treatment of human subjects. Have you addressed this in your proposal?

Finally, think about your dissemination plan. How do you plan to get your research results out there? Are you going to submit your results to peer review journals? Trade journals? Present at conferences or on webinars? Think strategically about how to get your results out there, because anything that you can do to help us reach the practitioners helps.

Our goal for the Graduate Research Fellowship Program at NIJ is to advance the career of young scholars while also advancing our knowledge on criminal justice issues in the United States. I hope you’ve found these tips helpful; please use them when submitting your application to our program.

Date Created: November 23, 2015