Body Armor Research and Development Projects

On this page find:

Research and Development Grants

In recent years, NIJ has funded numerous research and development projects (see table below) to improve the body armor that protects our nation's public safety officers.

Project TitleGranteeAmountAward Number
​Soft Armor Non-Destructive Evaluation Test Method: Vibration Energy SignatureTest (VEST)​Purdue University$500,000​2014-MU-CX-K004
Evaluating the Impact of the NIJ Body Armor ProgramNORC$399,8842012-R2-CX-K008
Characterization of Stab/Slash WoundsWayne State University$175,1112011-DE-BX-K002
Characterization of Weapons used in Stab/Slash AttacksWayne State University$134,1102011-DE-BX-K003
Re-creation of Body Armor CasesWayne State University$199,6802011-IJ-CX-K006
Soft Armor Effects on Core Body TemperatureWayne State University$982,1472011-IJ-CX-K053
Decisionmaking Factors Influencing the Wearing of Body Armor: A National StudyNORC$383,6412011-IJ-CX-K056
Design Optimization of Integrated Multi-Play Armors by a Computational Tool (DO-IMPACT)Cornell University$677,5462007-DE-BX-K003
Physical and Environmental Effects on the Performance of Body ArmorPolice Executive Research Forum$405,5962009-SQ-B9-K112
Investigation of the Effects of Increased Coverage Area for Soft Body ArmorLawrence Technological University $399,6552007-DE-BX-K011

Body Armor Challenge: How Long Does Body Armor Really Last?

In FY 2012, NIJ took an innovative approach to developing a solution to a major body armor safety concern: Determining when an officer's vest needs to be replaced. Typically, replacement cycles are defined by the manufacturer's warranty. However, the integrity of a vest may vary because of differences in wear and tear, exposure to weather and other factors. NIJ seeks a method that can test the integrity of an individual officer's body armor without making the vest unfit for use.

NIJ issued a two-phase Body Armor technology Challenge on, an online platform where the U.S. government and the public can bring the best ideas and top talent to bear on our nation's most pressing challenges. This was the first Challenge of any kind issued by the Department of Justice.

The goal of the Body Armor Challenge is to empower end users who depend on this critical safety equipment to make informed decisions based on solid scientific evidence regarding the ballistic performance of the soft body armor they use.

Learn more about the Body Armor Challenge.

Date Modified: July 6, 2015