Criminal Justice Research and Development Graduate Research Fellowships


Goals: The goal of the program is to increase graduate research fellowship in social and behavioral sciences and in science, technology, engineering and mathematics that are involved in research relevant to problems that affect criminal justice policy and practice in the United States particularly addressing issues deemed critical by the U.S. Department of Justice. Through the GRF program, NIJ supports graduate education by investing in academic institutions that support outstanding and promising doctoral students. Objectives: NIJs 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 Institutes mission. This program furthers the Departments 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. Performance measures: N/A; program pending archival.

General information about this opportunity
Last Known Status
Program Number
Federal Agency/Office
Office of Justice Programs, Department of Justice
Type(s) of Assistance Offered
B - Project Grants
Program Accomplishments
Not applicable.
Title I of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968, Part A, Sections 201-202, Pub. L. No. 90-351, 34 USC 10121 - 34 USC 10122; and an act appropriating funds for the Department of Justice in the current fiscal year. Title II, Subtitle D of the Homeland Security Act of 2002, Sections 231-233 and 235, Pub. L. 107-296, 6 USC 161 - 6 USC 163 and 6 USC 165; and an act appropriating funds for the Department of Justice in the current fiscal year.
Who is eligible to apply/benefit from this assistance?
Applicant Eligibility
Degree-granting academic institutions in the United States. The institution must be fully accredited by one of the regional institutional accreditation agencies recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education.
Beneficiary Eligibility
The ultimate beneficiaries of this program are graduate students engaged in research relevant to criminal justice, forensic science, and public safety.
Interested applicants are encouraged to review the current solicitation for the specific GRF Program track for information about required documents.
What is the process for applying and being award this assistance?
Pre-Application Procedure
Preapplication coordination is not applicable.
Application Procedure
2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards applies to this program. In FY 2021, applications will be submitted to DOJ in a two-step process. Step 1: Applicants will submit an SF-424 and an SF-LLL in at To register in, applicants will need to obtain a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) and System for Award Management (SAM) registration or renewal. Step 2: Applicants will submit the full application, including attachments, in JustGrants at To be considered timely, an application must be submitted by the application deadline using, and the applicant must have received a validation message from that indicates successful and timely submission. OJP urges applicants to submit applications at least 72 hours prior to the application due date to allow time for the applicant to receive validation messages or rejection notifications from and to correct in a timely fashion any problems that may have caused a rejection notification.
Award Procedure
Upon approval by the Assistant Attorney General, successful applicants are notified via DOJ's Justice Grants System (JustGrants). The grant award must be accepted electronically by the receiving organizations authorized official in JustGrants.
Contact the headquarters or regional location, as appropriate for application deadlines
Approval/Disapproval Decision Time
From 60 to 180 days. Deadlines are included with the application instructions, which are posted on the Office of Justice Programs web site (
There are no appeal rights for rejection of a discretionary application, but for discretionary awards, see 28 C.F.R. Part 18.
GRF-STEM Fellowships may be supplemented for up to 36 months of total support, pending demonstration of adequate progress. See specific solicitation for details of renewal eligibility.
How are proposals selected?
The scientific merit of the proposed research and its relevance to criminal justice policy and practice in the United States are assessed by external peer reviewers, according to these selection criteria: 1) Statement of the Problem; 2) Project Design and Implementation; 3) Potential Impact; and 4) Capabilities and Competencies. All final award decisions will be made by the Director of the National Institute of Justice. Peer reviewers' ratings and any resulting recommendations are advisory only, although their views are considered carefully. In addition to peer review ratings, considerations for award recommendations and decisions may include, but are not limited to, planned scholarly products, proposed budgets, past performance (including scholarly products) under prior NIJ and OJP awards, research independence and integrity, strategic priorities, and available funding when making awards.
How may assistance be used?
The program supports academic institutions sponsoring students engaged in doctoral research. Award funds may be used to cover a student’s stipend and fringe benefits, tuition and fees, and other allowable research expenses, as specified in the specific GRF Program solicitation.
What are the requirements after being awarded this opportunity?
Performance Reports: 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 111–352, recipients must provide data that measures the results of their work.
See 2 CFR 200 for audit requirements.
See 2 C.F.R . ? 200.334 for the government-wide requirements for retention requirements for records.
Other Assistance Considerations
Formula and Matching Requirements
Statutory formula is not applicable to this assistance listing.

Matching requirements are not applicable to this assistance listing.

MOE requirements are not applicable to this assistance listing.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance
Initial grants typically provide 12 months of support. GRF-STEM fellowships may be supplemented for up to 36 months of total support, pending demonstration of adequate progress. The total period of an award will not exceed five years. Applicants should refer to the specific solicitation for details about initial and total grant periods. Funds are awarded in the form of a grant. See the Department of Justice Grants Financial Guide for more information. (
Who do I contact about this opportunity?
Regional or Local Office
Email: (Social and Behavioral Sciences) or (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). Phone: (202) 307-2942
Headquarters Office
Eric Martin
National Institute of Justice
810 7th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20531 US
Phone: (202) 307-2942
Website Address
Financial Information
Account Identification
(Project Grants) FY 22 FY 23 FY 24 FY 21 FY 18 FY 17 -
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
Maximum award amounts: $32,000 for GRF-SBS; $50,000/yr. for GRF-STEM. See current solicitation for current award maximum.
Regulations, Guidelines and Literature
Electronic versions of both GRF solicitations can be found on NIJ's website at
Examples of Funded Projects
Not applicable.


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