PAUL COVERDELL FORENSIC SCIENCES IMPROVEMENT GRANT PROGRAM

To improve the quality and timeliness of forensic science and medical examiner services and/or to eliminate backlogs in the analysis of forensic evidence, including controlled substances, firearms examination, forensic pathology, latent prints, questioned documents, toxicology, and trace evidence for criminal justice purposes.

Last Known Status
Active
Program Number
16.742
Federal Agency
Agency: Department of Justice
Office: National Institute of Justice
Types of Assistance
FORMULA GRANTS; Project Grants
Uses and Use Restrictions
Grants may be used to improve the quality and timeliness of forensic science and medical examiner services, including services provided by laboratories operated by States and those operated by units of local government. Among other purposes, funds may be used to eliminate backlogs in the analysis of general forensic evidence, or to train and employ forensic laboratory personnel to eliminate such backlogs. State Administering Agencies and units of local government may apply directly to NIJ for funding. Funds may be used for personnel, computerization, laboratory equipment, supplies, accreditation, education, training, and certification, facilities' a formula, found in the funding announcement, determines the limit to the amount of funding that can be used for facilities, and administration expenses (not to exceed 10 percent). Funds may not be used for expenses other than those listed above.
Authorization
Title I of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968, Part BB, Sections 2801 - 2806, Pub. L. No. 90-351, 42 USC 3797j - 42 USC 3797o and an act appropriating funds for the Department of Justice in the current fiscal year.
Eligibility Requirements
Applicant Eligibility
Coverdell State Administering Agencies and units of local government may apply directly to NIJ for funding. All applicants for Coverdell grants - whether States or units of local government - must have developed a plan for forensic science laboratories that is designed to improve the quality and timeliness of forensic science or medical examiner services, and must specifically describe the manner in which grant funds will be used to carry out that plan. States are expected to consider the needs of laboratories operated by units of local government as well as those operated by the State. Any forensic laboratory, forensic laboratory system, medical examiner's office, or coroner's office that will receive any portion of a Coverdell grant must use generally accepted laboratory practices and procedures as established by accrediting organizations or appropriate certifying bodies. Each applicant for a Coverdell grant must be able to certify with respect to any forensic laboratory system, medical examiner's office, coroner's office, law enforcement storage facility, or medical facility that will receive any portion of the grant that a government entity exists and an appropriate process is in place to conduct independent external investigations into allegations of serious negligence or misconduct by employees or contractors substantially affecting the integrity of forensic results.
Beneficiary Eligibility
Eligible applicants must be State or local (i.e., county and municipal) governments or combinations thereof. The purpose of this solicitation is to request applications for grants from State and units of local government to improve the quality and timeliness of forensic science and medical examiner services and/or to eliminate backlogs in the analysis of forensic evidence, including controlled substances, firearms examination, forensic pathology, latent prints, questioned documents, toxicology, and trace evidence for criminal justice purposes in State and local forensic laboratories.
Credentials/Documentation
The applicant must furnish the following along with the application for a grant: a certification that states there exists a plan for forensic science laboratories that is designed to improve the quality and timeliness of forensic science or medical examiner services; a certification that states each forensic laboratory, forensic laboratory system, medical examiner's office, or coroner's office that will receive any portion of a Coverdell grant uses generally accepted laboratory practices and procedures as established by accrediting organizations or appropriate certifying bodies; a certification that states that a government entity exists and an appropriate process is in place to conduct independent external investigations into allegations of serious negligence or misconduct by employees or contractors substantially affecting the integrity of forensic results, and resumes of key personnel.

Regarding the question below relating to the applicability of 2 CFR 200, Subpart E – Cost Principles: The cost principles are generally applicable, except with respect to for-profit entities or to organizations listed at Appendix VIII to 2 CFR Part 200. 2 CFR 200, Subpart E - Cost Principles applies to this program.
Application and Award Process
Preapplication Coordination
Potential applicants are encouraged to request the program announcement for additional information about eligibility requirements and application and selection procedures. The standard application form as furnished by the Federal agency, in accordance with 28 CFR Part 66 (Common Rule), must be used for this program. Applicants must contact their State Administering Agency to determine if the program has been selected for review by the State. The date that the application was sent to the State Administering Agency, or the reason such submission is not required, must be included in the application. A. Base Funds for States: Seventy-five percent of the funds available for Coverdell grants will be allocated among eligible States based on population (State base funds). To be eligible, a State must satisfy the specific application requirements outlined in this announcement and all other general requirements for NIJ and OJP grants. Applications for State base funding must be submitted by the Coverdell State Administering Agency listed on the Office of Justice Programs web site at: http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/state.htm. B. Competitive Funds for States and Units of Local Government: Twenty-five percent of the available funds will be allocated among States and units of local government through a competitive process. Units of local government that provide forensic science or medical examiner services (whether through a forensic science laboratory, medical examiner's office, or coroner's office) may apply directly to NIJ for competitive funds. Coverdell State Administering Agencies may apply for competitive funds for forensic sciences improvements above and beyond those it can accomplish with its base funds. State applications for competitive funding will only be accepted from Coverdell State Administering Agencies. Other State agencies or departments who wish to apply for competitive funds must coordinate with their respective State Administering Agency. An environmental impact assessment is required for this program. This program is eligible for coverage under E.O. 12372, "Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs." An applicant should consult the office or official designated as the single point of contact in his or her State for more information on the process the State requires to be followed in applying for assistance, if the State has selected the program for review.
Application Procedure
2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards applies to this program. See the current fiscal year’s solicitation available at www.nij.gov.
Award Procedure
NIJ reviews program funding applications to make sure that the information presented is reasonable, understandable, measurable, and achievable, as well as consistent with the solicitation. NIJ will also review applications to ensure statutory requirements have been met.

Peer reviewers will review requests for competitive funds submitted under the solicitation that meet basic minimum requirements. NIJ may use internal peer reviewers (DOJ employees), external peer reviewers, or a combination, to assess competitive requests under the program meeting basic minimum requirements on technical merit using the solicitation’s selection criteria. Peer reviewers’ ratings and any resulting recommendations are advisory only, although their views are considered carefully.

Absent explicit statutory authorization or written delegation of authority to the contrary, the Assistant Attorney General (AAG) will make all final award decisions. With respect to requests for competitive funds, the AAG may also give consideration to factors including, but not limited to, peer review ratings, underserved populations, geographic diversity, strategic priorities, past performance, and available funding when making awards.
Deadlines
Contact the headquarters or regional office, as appropriate, for application deadlines.
Range of Approval/Disapproval Time
See the current fiscal year’s solicitation available at www.nij.gov.
Appeals
For statutory formula awards, see 28 C.F.R. Part 18. There are no appeal rights for rejection of a discretionary application, but for discretionary awards, see 28 C.F.R. Part 18.
Renewals
Not Applicable.
Assistance Considerations
Formula and Matching Requirements
Statutory Formula: 42 USC 3797l.
This program has no matching requirements.
This program does not have MOE requirements.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance
In general, NIJ will limit grants under the Coverdell program to a maximum of 12 months. See the following for information on how assistance is awarded/released: See the current fiscal year’s solicitation available at www.nij.gov, and the DOJ Grants Financial Guide, available at www.ojp.gov.
Post Assistance Requirements
Reports
See the current fiscal year’s solicitation available at www.nij.gov, and the DOJ Grants Financial Guide, available at www.ojp.gov. No cash reports are required. See the current fiscal year’s solicitation available at www.nij.gov, and the DOJ Grants Financial Guide, available at www.ojp.gov. See the current fiscal year’s solicitation available at www.nij.gov, and the DOJ Grants Financial Guide, available at www.ojp.gov. See the current fiscal year’s solicitation available at www.nij.gov, and the DOJ Grants Financial Guide, available at www.ojp.gov. To assist the Department with fulfilling its responsibilities under the Government Performance and Results Act of 1993 (GPRA), Public Law 103-62, and the GPRA Modernization Act of 2010, Public Law 111–352, applicants that receive funding under this program must provide data that measure the results of their work done under this solicitation. Performance measures and data expected to be provided are as specified in the current fiscal year’s solicitation.
Audits
In accordance with the provisions of 2 CFR 200, Subpart F - Audit Requirements, non-Federal entities that expend financial assistance of $750,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Non-Federal entities that expend less than $750,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in 2 CFR 200.503. See 2 CFR 200 for audit requirements.
Records
See 2 C.F.R . § 200.334 for the government-wide requirements for retention requirements for records.
Program Accomplishments
Not Applicable.
Financial Information
Account Identification
15-0404-0-1-754.
Obligations
(Formula Grants) FY 14 $10,504,868; FY 15 est $0; and FY 16 est $0
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
In amounts consistent with the applicant's proposed project and the Institute's plans, priorities and levels of financing.
Regulations, Guidelines and Literature
See 2 CFR Part 200, 2 CFR Part 2800, the current fiscal year’s solicitation available at www.nij.gov, and the DOJ Grants Financial Guide, available at www.ojp.gov.
Information Contacts
Regional or Local Office
None.
Headquarters Office
NIJ, U.S. Department of Justice
Office of Justice Programs
National Institute of Justice
810 7th Street, N.W., Washington, District of Columbia 20531 Phone: (202) 307-2942.
Website Address
http://www.usdoj.gov/nij.
Examples of Funded Projects
Fiscal Year 2014: See the NIJ website at www.nij.gov.

Information on past awarded NIJ projects can be accessed at www.nij.gov/funding/awards/Pages/welcome.aspx. Fiscal Year 2015: See the NIJ website at www.nij.gov.

Information on past awarded NIJ projects can be accessed at www.nij.gov/funding/awards/Pages/welcome.aspx. Fiscal Year 2016: See the NIJ website at www.nij.gov.

Information on past awarded NIJ projects can be accessed at www.nij.gov/funding/awards/Pages/welcome.aspx.
Criteria for Selecting Proposals
See the current fiscal year’s solicitation available at www.nij.gov.
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