The Bureau of Justice Statistics offers a Graduate Research Fellowship (GRF) Program that provides awards to accredited universities for doctoral research that—
The primary goal of this 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.
|Who is eligible?|
|How are researchers and projects chosen?|
|Are all projects funded at the same level, or is each project funded based on prospective cost?|
|How long does a fellowship last?|
|What's the best way to find a suitable project?|
|How do I apply|
|Where can I find more information?|
Eligible applicants are limited to degree-granting educational institutions in the United States. To be eligible, the institution must be fully accredited by one of the regional institutional accreditation agencies recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education. Historically black colleges and universities are encouraged to apply. The applicant institution must apply as the sponsor on behalf of a doctoral student candidate whose dissertation research substantially uses data made available by BJS. Applicant institutions are strongly encouraged to consider minority and female student candidates.
BJS encourages degree-granting educational institutions to sponsor outstanding and promising doctoral students whose dissertation research uses BJS data and has direct implications for criminal justice policy and practice in the United States.
BJS will give priority to applicants who use BJS datasets. It will also consider applications that propose using other data that could inform gaps in our current statistical collection portfolio. Applicants should demonstrate how the novel 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.
Applicants interested in linking BJS restricted-use data to other BJS data or auxiliary files from other statistical agencies or sources or using BJS data to identify local geographic areas are strongly encouraged to contact BJS to—
Successful applicants must clearly demonstrate how the proposed dissertation research will use BJS data or statistical series and advance criminal justice knowledge, practice, or policy for criminal justice agencies in the United States. BJS encourages quantitative, qualitative, primary, and secondary data analysis and mixed-method approach research studies. BJS will give special consideration to applicants who use the most rigorous research methods applicable to their proposed research topic to maximize the validity and reliability of findings.
BJS will make awards in the form of a grant. The amount of an award is $45,000, usable over the project period toward the student's salary and related costs, tuition and fees, research expenses, and related costs.
The period of performance for an award is typically from 12 to 18 months—not to exceed 3 years.
Possible projects are identified in the solicitation for the fiscal year of the fellowship. In addition, applicants may want to contact BJS staff before submitting a proposal to identify a mutually agreeable project and discuss how to best focus their work to meet BJS research needs. Although not required, this early collaboration is very helpful in ensuring that the proposed project effectively addresses the complexities often encountered in BJS data. Please note, such a consultation does not guarantee, in any way, that an application will be chosen. Applicants who want to know if their area of expertise might contribute to the work at BJS should email askBJS@usdoj.gov.