BJS: Bureau of Justice Statistics

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Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS)
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Home  |  BJS Faculty Research Fellowship Program
BJS Faculty Research Fellowship Program

About the program

The Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) is seeking applications from a professional or scholarly society to establish and administer a Faculty Research Fellowship Program in Criminal Justice Statistics beginning in 2017.

The ultimate goal of the Faculty Research Fellowship Program is to increase the pool of researchers using criminal justice statistical data generated by BJS, thereby contributing solutions that better prevent and control crime and help ensure the fair and impartial administration of criminal justice in the United States.

red arrow Who is eligible?
red arrow How will faculty research fellows be chosen?
red arrow How long will a faculty research fellowship last?
red arrow What's the best way to find a suitable project?
red arrow How do I apply
red arrow Where can I find more information?

Who is eligible?

Eligible applicants are professional or scholarly societies that must—

  1. be a U.S. based national or international organization whose members pursue scholarly, scientific, and professional knowledge concerning the measurement, etiology, consequences, prevention, control, and treatment of crime and delinquency 
  2. have a history of promoting criminal justice education, scholarly research, and policy analysis
  3. have a membership that includes scholars who are national or international in scope and multidisciplinary in orientation, research professionals in agencies from all sectors of the criminal justice system, and students pursuing studies in criminal justice or related social sciences areas
  4. convene an annual meeting that provides a forum for sharing and discussing research and policy analyses relevant to crime and delinquency, at which funded fellowships will be featured
  5. if it is a for-profit organization, agree to forgo any profit or management fee.
Foreign governments, foreign organizations, and foreign institutions of higher education are not eligible to apply.

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How will faculty research fellows be chosen?

Under this program, the recipient organization, BJS, and selected research fellows will have specific responsibilities.

Professional or scholarly society responsibilities. The selected organization will ensure that the following requirements are fulfilled:

  1. A program coordinator is identified who will oversee the administration of the fellowship program on behalf of the professional or scholarly society.
  2. A solicitation for fellowship applications is developed and published annually in collaboration with BJS.
  3. Eligible fellowship applicants will be defined as members of the selected professional or scholarly society who are—
    1. full-time faculty members of all ranks and non-faculty research staff (including post-doctoral research fellows) who have doctorate degrees and who are employed by a fully accredited degree-granting educational institution in the United States. The recipient organization will ensure that members at historically black colleges and universities, and Hispanic-serving institutions are encouraged to apply for a fellowship.
    2. researchers holding doctorate degrees and who are currently employed full time in a local or state governmental criminal justice agency.

    Preference will be given to new faculty members and persons who recently received their doctorate degree. Funded fellowships will be limited to one per institution or agency per year.

  1. The research project proposed by fellowship applicants must—
    1. use, in whole or in part, existing data made available by BJS
    2. have direct implications for criminal justice policy and practice in the United States
    3. clearly demonstrate how the proposed project will use or improve BJS data or statistical series
    4. advance criminal justice knowledge, practice, or policy for criminal justice agencies in the United States
    5. be completed within 9 months.
  1. Applications that involve multiple recipients of fellowships may be submitted. However, such projects may not involve more than three fellowships, and individuals who are proposed as fellows may only be connected to one application.
  2. Priority for fellowships will be given to applicants who use existing BJS datasets. However, applications that propose using other available data that could inform gaps in BJS's current statistical collection portfolio may also be considered. Applicants proposing to use non-BJS data must demonstrate how these data meet standards related to validity and reliability for the research question posed, and how the data inform technical and substantive issues related to the identified gap in knowledge.
  3. Fellowship applicants interested in analyzing BJS restricted-use data to create linkages to other BJS data or auxiliary files from other statistical agencies or sources, or to identify local geographic areas, are strongly encouraged to contact BJS to—
    1. assess the feasibility of the proposed research topic and availability of the data to be used
    2. clarify processes for accessing such data.

    This outreach and communication must be reflected in fellowship applications.

  1. The fellowship program encourages quantitative, qualitative, primary, and secondary data analysis. Special consideration will be given to applicants who use the most rigorous statistical methods applicable to their proposed research topic to maximize the validity and reliability of findings.
  2. Human subjects protection paperwork are completed (if applicable), including Institutional Review Board (IRB) documentation, forms, and a privacy certificate. The documentation is not required at the time of application. However, if awarded and if applicable to the project, successful applicants will be required to submit this paperwork.
  3. Submitted fellowship applications will be evaluated through a peer-review process, which ensures that—
    1. fellowship applications include the assurances described herein
    2. proposed projects are consistent with the goals and objectives of the fellowship program.
  1. BJS is provided with final recommendations for its research fellows so BJS may approve these selections prior to any public announcement.

BJS responsibilities. BJS will—

  1. provide funding to the recipient organization for up to 10 fellowships at $7,500 each, depending on the appropriated funds available
  2. supply a list of priority research topics and datasets to the recipient organization so applicants may consider them
  3. make BJS staff available to respond to questions regarding datasets under consideration
  4. facilitate the access to restricted-use datasets, if needed
  5. consider publishing the successful applicants' completed report (see below) as a BJS working paper.

Research fellow responsibilities. The research fellow will—

  1. ensure that the application includes a letter of support from their academic institution or agency of employment
  2. assess the relevant literature and develop appropriate methods for analysis based on that review, regardless of the topic proposed, and include this information in the application
  3. produce at least one product with substantive or methodological focus that BJS will disseminate as a working paper or report
  4. ensure that the application proposes at least the following three deliverables:
    1. A publishable 20- to 30-page report on the research project that, at a minimum, includes—
      1. synopses of relevant literature and previous research
      2. a discussion of the research questions or hypotheses that guided the research
      3. the methodology employed, including a thorough discussion of all data used and any dataset linking or merging methods
      4. analytical techniques used
      5. key findings derived from the analysis
      6. major conclusions or recommendations emanating from the project, including those that may address BJS data quality issues.

    1. An in-person presentation based on the completed research project at the Office of Justice Programs in Washington, DC. The presentation will be arranged by BJS in consultation with the faculty research fellow.
    2. An in-person presentation based on the completed research project at the selected professional or scholarly society's annual meeting. The presentation will be arranged and funded by the professional or scholarly society, in consultation with the faculty research fellow and BJS.

In addition to the deliverables listed above and any required datasets, interim and final progress reports, and financial reports, BJS expects scholarly products may result from fellowships awarded under the faculty research fellowship, including one or more published, peer-reviewed, scientific journal articles, or (if appropriate) law review journal articles, books or book chapters in the academic press, or similar scientific product.

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How long will a faculty research fellowship last?

The research project carried out by the fellow must to be completed within 9 months.

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What's the best way to find a suitable project?

Possible projects will be identified in the solicitation developed jointly by the selected professional or scholarly society and BJS. The program will be announced by BJS and the selected organization, including placement on the BJS website.

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How do I apply?

Respond to the solicitation, which is located on the Funding tab of the BJS website. The solicitation will contain more information about the application deadline, where to send the application, specific application requirements, and the selection process.

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Where can I find more information?

For more information, select the Funding tab on the BJS website or email

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