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Funding Opportunity

1/25/2017-

by SIOP Administrative Office

Funding Opportunity: National Institute of Justice Releases Initial Funding Opportunities for Policing Research

The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) within the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Office of Justice Programs (OJP) serves as DOJ’s primary external research program. Each year, NIJ releases approximately 40-45 solicitations for numerous awards between January and May covering a wide range of topics with the overall goal of strengthening science and enhancing justice.

One key focus area for NIJ under the Obama Administration has been policing, as three of the agency’s initial funding opportunities this cycle focus on leveraging academic research to review and enhance law enforcement strategies and promote officer wellness. Brief descriptions of the three initial policing solicitations are provided below. Lewis-Burke will continue to provide information on NIJ priorities and opportunities as the agency transitions to the next Administration.

Research to Improve Officer Decision-making

Due: March 23, 2017

Award Amount: DOJ anticipates setting aside $3 million for one or more awards under the program, each with a performance period of no more than three years.

Background: This solicitation recognizes that police officers frequently interact with citizens in stressful situations that require the officer to make decisions with very little time or room for error. NIJ is interested in supporting research projects that provide useful information that can be applied to enhance officer decision-making and police-community interactions. Projects of interest include, but are not limited to, examinations of how the following topics impact officer decision-making:

  1. Personality traits – This solicitation considers personality traits to be “habitual patterns of behavior of an individual that define how they interact with others — as opposed to skills, which may be learned.”
  2. Environment – This topic area concerns the role of organizational culture in decision-making, as well as issues of cognitive bias that arise based on the community where an officer serves.
  3. Training – NIJ is specifically seeking information on the effect of training on the development of desirable personality traits.

Specific questions related to each topic area are included in the full solicitation. Complete information on the award can be found in the full solicitation here.

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

Due: March 23, 2017

Award Amount: DOJ anticipates setting aside $3 million for one or more awards under the program, each with a performance period of no more than three years.

Background: NIJ has a multifaceted interest in policing practices that are effective at reducing crime with minimal unintended consequences, such as diminishing a community’s perception of law enforcement and negatively impacting organizational structures and practices of police departments. The purpose of this award is to examine the impact of policing strategies with a particular focus on the how these interventions impact particular regions or individuals. Projects should take into account positive (crime reduction) and negative impacts of the interventions studied. NIJ expects the outcomes of the projects to be scholarly products that can be referenced by practitioners and policymakers when considering the adoption of certain policing strategies.

Complete information on the award can be found in the full solicitation here.

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

Due: March 23, 2017

Award Amount: DOJ anticipates setting aside $4.5 million for multiple awards under this program, each with a performance period of no more than three years.

Background: This solicitation is in support of a strategic plan released by NIJ last year that outlined future investments in multidisciplinary research to promote safety, health, and wellness across the criminal justice community. Applicants should focus on improving health and wellness of specific populations within the criminal justice system. Target populations are outlined in three categories within the solicitation, including projects that examine the “causes and effects of stress and trauma on: (a) law enforcement and corrections officers or (b) individuals in violent communities.” This category seeks to leverage behavioral, psychological, and physiological measures to better understand the impact of stress, as well as potentials ways to reduce stress and improve interactions between all parties involved in the criminal justice system.

Source and Additional Information: Complete information on the award can be found in the full solicitation here.

This is not an exhaustive list of funding opportunities from NIJ for fiscal year (FY) 2017. The agency will continue to release solicitations in areas such as forensics, school violence, corrections, firearm safety, and several other pressing criminal justice topics. A complete set of current funding opportunities can be found on the NIJ website, linked below.

Sources and Additional Information:

  • A complete list of current NIJ solicitations can be found here
  • A preview of forthcoming solicitations from NIJ can be found here