Director's Corner: Upcoming Funding Opportunities for Fiscal Year 2017

December 12, 2016

I am pleased to give you an update about NIJ’s upcoming funding opportunities, which will be released over the next several months. To see a list of open funding opportunities, please visit our current funding page.

Our FY17 solicitations will continue to invest in the goals that we defined last year to: (1) Encourage a multidisciplinary approach that emphasizes how social science, forensic science, physical science, and technology are all necessary to solve the range of challenges faced by the criminal justice system and fill gaps in our understanding; and (2) Foster partnerships between researchers and practitioners to ensure that research is relevant and responsive to the needs of those working in criminal justice who will eventually be applying the research through evidence-based practices.

Though the specific research questions in our solicitations change each year to reflect current gaps in our understanding of crime and justice and to meet the needs of policymakers and practitioners, we remain steadfast in our commitment to rigorous and innovative science that develops evidence-based knowledge about issues of great importance to the country.

This year, we are building upon many of the topical priorities set out last year, but targeting our research questions to directly look at key issues affecting the criminal justice system. A selection of our upcoming solicitations include:

  • Research and Evaluation in Safety, Health, and Wellness in the Criminal Justice System: Drawing from our safety, health, and wellness strategic research plan, this solicitation will promote multidisciplinary research on stress and trauma within law enforcement, corrections, and individual communities; the impact of parental incarceration on children; and the efficacy of services that respond to children exposed to violence.  We do not anticipate releasing any separate research solicitations this year dealing with children exposed to violence or corrections issues.
  • Research to Improve Officer Decision-Making: Policing involves interactions between officers and individuals in the communities that they serve, which may require rapid decision-making in potentially dangerous environments. NIJ seeks proposals for interdisciplinary research or evaluation projects to provide knowledge that can improve officer decision-making and enhance outcomes in police-citizen interactions. This may include research on how an officer’s attributes, environment, and training impact their decision-making.  
  • Understanding the Impacts of Policing Strategies and Practices: When crime reduction is the primary measure of the impact of a policing practice or strategy, its collateral impacts on the community and the police organization, both positive and negative, are not explored. In this solicitation, NIJ seeks research to develop measures of impact that take into consideration how policing strategies positively or negatively impact the individuals, neighborhoods, and communities policed, particularly as they relate to public trust and police legitimacy. We do not anticipate releasing any additional policing research solicitations this year beyond the two listed here.
  • Research on Reducing Violence in Communities: This new NIJ solicitation seeks research designed to produce sustainable reductions in violence and develop recommendations to reduce violence through community-focused efforts in communities that have suffered from persistently high levels of violence.
  • Investigator-Initiated Research and Evaluation on Firearms Violence: This solicitation seeks research and evaluation projects related to reducing intentional, interpersonal firearms violence and understanding its causes and effects. NIJ will be focusing on research that can build knowledge; evaluate prevention or intervention programs; assess the effects of legislation; and analyze illicit, secondary firearms markets.
  • New Investigator/Early Career Program: In the second year of this program, NIJ will be providing new investigators the opportunity to build experience managing federal research grants. Scholars awarded a terminal degree within the last four years are eligible to propose research using either the social and behavioral or STEM disciplines to answer questions or address needs related to crime and justice. View last year's awardees.
  • W.E.B. Du Bois Program of Research on Race and Crime: NIJ will be continuing this long-standing program to identify and understand the dynamics of the criminal justice system that may result in disparities based on gender, race or ethnicity, and culture. Funding will be provided to W.E.B. Du Bois Scholars who are advanced in their careers (awarded a terminal degree at least six years ago) as well as W.E.B. Du Bois Fellows who are early in their careers (awarded a terminal degree within the last six years). View past and present fellows.

This list is just a glimpse of the funding opportunities that NIJ will open in FY17. Other solicitations will continue to support our nation’s crime laboratories, through capacity building and research; test and assess technology to improve public safety; and build our understanding of diverse crime and victimization issues.

I hope you will consider our priorities for using interdisciplinary research approaches and meaningful partnerships between researchers and practitioner when reviewing our upcoming funding opportunities. For more information about our forthcoming solicitations, visit our Forthcoming Funding Opportunities page. From our Funding page, you can subscribe to receive alerts when solicitations are open, read descriptions of our past awards, and get details on how to apply.

For information about how to ensure your proposal is competitive, read the Director’s Corner message "Tips for Making Your Proposal Competitive."

Date Created: December 12, 2016