Criminal Justice Research and Development-Graduate Research Fellowships

NIJís Graduate Research Fellowship (GRF) program provides awards for research on crime, violence, and other criminal justice-related topics to accredited academic universities that support graduate study leading to research-based doctoral degrees in disciplines relevant to the Instituteís mission. This program furthers the Departmentís mission by sponsoring research to provide objective, independent, evidence-based knowledge and tools to meet the challenges of crime and justice, particularly at the State and local levels.

Last Known Status
Program Number
Federal Agency
Agency: Department of Justice
Office: National Institute of Justice
Types of Assistance
Uses and Use Restrictions
The GRF program is intended to support universities that sponsor students who are in the final stages of graduate study. Awards are granted to successful applicants in the form of a grant to cover a doctoral student stipend. A research grant of up to $25,000 may be awarded to successful applicants (i.e., accredited universities in the U.S.) toward costs associated with the fellowship recipient's dissertation research. Fellowships are funded for between 18 and 24 months.
Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968, as amended; Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988, Public Law 100-690.
Eligibility Requirements
Applicant Eligibility
Accredited institution of higher education offering a doctoral degree program. The institution must be fully accredited by one of the regional institutional accreditation commissions recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education.

The degree program does not have to be in criminal justice, but proposed dissertation research must be related to criminal justice issues and in an NIJ-supported discipline (i.e., social and behavioral sciences, operations technology, information and sensors research and development, and investigative and forensic sciences).
Beneficiary Eligibility
The student must be engaged in doctoral dissertation research directly relevant to crime, law enforcement and/or criminal justice.
Eligible institutions interested in competing for a fellowship must furnish along with the application for a grant all required forms by the due date. Students must complete the program narrative section of the application packet and required appendices. Required appendices include but are not limited to a letter of support from the studentís dissertation advisor on signed university letterhead, and a project timeline and research calendar with expected milestones.. In addition, although it is not necessary to have formally defended the dissertation prospectus at the time of application due date, the following must have occurred and be documented in the application: the doctoral student must have completed all required course work; the doctoral student must be advanced to candidacy by the university; and the doctoral student must have passed qualifying comprehensive exams. By the award date, documentation must be provided indicating that these requirements have been met. . This program is excluded from coverage under OMB Circular No. A-87. This program is excluded from coverage under OMB Circular No. A-87.
Application and Award Process
Preapplication Coordination
Preapplication coordination is not applicable. Environmental impact information is not required for this program. This program is excluded from coverage under E.O. 12372.
Application Procedure
This program is excluded from coverage under OMB Circular No. A-102. OMB Circular No. A-110 applies to this program. Applicants must submit completed applications via the Office of Justice Programs, Grants Management System or through following established criteria. The receipt, review, and analysis of applications will follow Office of Justice Programs policies and procedures for the administration of grant applications. Specific application instructions for solicitations are available at the Office of Justice Programs web site (
Award Procedure
Grants are awarded by the Institute Director based on the recommendations of criminal justice experts from outside reviewers and Institute staff. Successful applicants are notified via the Grants Management System.
Contact the headquarters or regional office, as appropriate, for application deadlines.
Range of Approval/Disapproval Time
From 60 to 90 days. Deadlines are included with the application instructions, which are posted on the Office of Justice Programs web site (
Hearings by the Director.
Please contact program office for more information.
Assistance Considerations
Formula and Matching Requirements
This program has no statutory formula.
This program has no matching requirements.
This program does not have MOE requirements.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance
Grants will be awarded for a 24 to 36 month project period . See the following for information on how assistance is awarded/release: Office of Justice Programsí Financial Guide 2011 ( and Post Award Instructions ( See the following for information on how assistance is awarded/released: Please contact program office.
Post Assistance Requirements
No program reports are required. No cash reports are required. Semiannual progress reports are required. An electronic copy of the final,signed and approved dissertation is required upon completion. Quarterly financial reports are required. To assist in fulfilling the Departments responsibilities under the Government Performance and Results Act of 1993 (GPRA), Public Law 103-62, and the GPRA Modernization Act of 2010, Public Law 111Ė352, recipients must provide data that measures the results of their work.
In accordance with the provisions of OMB Circular No. A-133 (Revised, June 27, 2003), "Audits of States, Local Governments, and Non-Profit Organizations," nonfederal entities that expend financial assistance of $500,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Nonfederal entities that expend less than $500,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in Circular No. A-133. All organizations that expend financial assistance of $500,000 or more in any fiscal year must have a single audit for that year in accordance with OMB Circular No. A-133, as amended, unless the audit condition on the award says otherwise. These audits are due to the cognizant Federal agency not later than 9 months after the end of the grantee's fiscal year.
Recipients of federal funds are expected to retain documentation supporting all program transactions for at least 3 years after the closure of audit reports related to such funding. If any litigation, claim, negotiation, audit, or other action involving records has been started before the expiration of the 3-year period, the records must be retained until completion of the action and resolution of all related issues, or until the end of the regular 3-year period, whichever is later.
Program Accomplishments
Not Applicable.
Financial Information
Account Identification
(Project Grants) FY 12 Not Separately Identifiable; FY 13 est $125,000; and FY 14 est $0
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
Capacity Building Awards up to $125,000
Training and Technical Assistance Award up to $1 million.
Regulations, Guidelines and Literature
The program solicitation, "Fellowship Opportunities," is available by sending a self-addressed mailing label to: National Criminal Justice Reference Service, Box 6000, Rockville, MD 20850, or call toll free to request a copy. Telephone: (800) 851-3420. Also available electronically from the Justice Information Center on the world wide web at or on NIJ's web site at under "Funding Opportunities".
Information Contacts
Regional or Local Office
Headquarters Office
NIJ, U.S. Department of Justice
Office of Justice Programs
National Institute of Justice
810 7th Street, NW, Washington, District of Columbia 20531 Phone: (202) 307-2942.
Website Address
Examples of Funded Projects
Not Applicable.
Criteria for Selecting Proposals
Grasp of issues and the relationship of issues to significant problems confronting criminal justice in the United States, description of design and methodology, the potential utility of results, and qualifications of applicant to produce acceptable doctoral dissertation (based upon proposal paper, university endorsement, and researcher's background statement).
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