About NIJ's Office of Research and Evaluation

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Overview of the NIJ Office of Research and Evaluation

The Office of Research and Evaluation (ORE) within NIJ develops, conducts, directs and supervises research and evaluation activities to prevent and reduce crime and violence and promote justice through social and behavioral research. Such research and evaluation cuts across a wide array of criminal justice topics, including crime and crime prevention, the justice system, and violence and victimization.

Major Activities of the NIJ Office of Research and Evaluation

Major activities within ORE include developing and conducting programs of criminal justice research, development and evaluation.

Research, Development and Evaluation. NIJ’s staff of highly qualified scientists help build and advance a body of knowledge that informs criminal justice policy and practice decisions and pushes forward the next generation of research. NIJ has an established research and development process that ensures projects are relevant to the field and produce valid, actionable results. The process includes:

  1. Identifying needs.
  2. Developing a research agenda.
  3. Implementing research.
  4. Post-award activities.
  5. Evaluating research results.
  6. Disseminating research results.

Learn more about NIJ’s research and development process.

The research carried out in ORE has spanned almost all aspects of the criminal justice system (see the focus areas of research divisions below), and cuts across other related disciplines. The research agenda driven by ORE supports both long-standing, focused research programs and responds to emerging needs. Following are examples of some major research programs:

  • The Comprehensive School Safety Initiative — a research-focused initiative to increase the safety of students, schools and communities nationwide.
  • The Violence Against Women Program — improves knowledge and understanding of teen dating violence, intimate partner violence, stalking and sexual assault issues;  provides objective and independent knowledge and validated tools to reduce violence against women and girls; and promotes justice for victims.
  • Justice system research —knowledge and tools that improve the functions and purposes of policing, courts and corrections.

In the coming year, research priorities include:

  • Policing practices, including building and strengthening police-community relationships, and officer training, technology and wellness.
  • Longitudinal examination of interpersonal violence and victimization among college-age individuals.
  • Illegal drug markets (including diversion of legal drugs) and criminal behavior.
  • Research and evaluation on corrections, including the use of restrictive housing, and correctional officer safety and wellness.

See lists of forthcoming and current solicitations that reflect additional priorities.

Research and evaluation funded out of ORE include a range of methodologies and data collection and analytic techniques; competitive research awards are made in the form of grants and cooperative agreements (see Comparing Grants and Competitive Agreements for more information).

Collaboration with Peers, Policymakers and Practitioners. ORE's scientists collaborate with peers from across government, practice, research and academia as well as the other science offices within NIJ. The collaboration ensures that the scientific community is informed about the issues faced by criminal justice policymakers and practitioners and engages top researchers to drive innovation to address those needs.

Scientists continually conduct intramural research, which includes working with stakeholders and sponsoring relevant meetings, workshops and working groups. These meetings generate a rich exchange of ideas while guiding future research and ensuring that the research agenda and activities meet the public's needs.

Organization of the NIJ Office of Research and Evaluation

ORE is led by Acting Office Director Chris Tillery and comprises three divisions:

  • The Violence and Victimization Research Division — includes the following substantive areas: intimate partner violence, sexual violence, stalking, teen dating violence, children exposed to violence, violent victimization, human trafficking, and elder abuse and mistreatment.
  • The Justice Systems Research Division — led by Dr. Angela Moore, includes the following substantive areas: policing, courts, corrections (community and institutional), race and crime, and drugs and crime.
  • The Crime and Crime Prevention Research Division — led by Dr. Phelan Wyrick, includes the following substantive areas: school safety, public corruption and white collar crime, gang violence and prevention, firearms violence and crime, and domestic radicalization.

ORE's scientists are supported and augmented by interns, research assistants and fellows. The Research Assistantship Program provides highly qualified doctoral students with practical and applied research experience. Learn more about the program. The fellowship programs provide funding both for external research and for participants to come work at NIJ. Learn more about NIJ’s fellowship programs.

Date Modified: August 28, 2017