Through its Graduate Research Fellowship (GRF) Program, the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) provides funding to accredited universities for doctoral research that—
|•||uses criminal justice data or statistics|
|•||focuses on one of the Department of Justices top priorities:|
|•||national security and anti-terrorism|
|•||border security and immigration enforcement|
|•||violent crime reduction and public safety|
|•||drug prosecution and upholding the rule of law.|
BJS helps universities that sponsor students who are on track for and close to completing their doctorate in a discipline relevant to BJS’s mission. The GRF Program seeks to enlarge the pool of researchers using BJS’s criminal justice data to support improvements to state and local criminal justice information systems and develop national standards for justice statistics.
|Who is eligible?|
|What does BJS look for?|
|How are projects funded?|
|How long does a fellowship last?|
|How do I find a suitable project?|
|How do I apply?|
|Where is more information?|
Only degree-granting educational institutions in the United States are eligible to apply. The applicant must be fully accredited by a regional institutional accreditation agency recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education and must apply as the sponsor of a doctoral candidate whose dissertation research substantially uses BJS data or fills a gap in BJS’s statistical portfolio.
BJS encourages eligible institutions to sponsor outstanding and promising doctoral students whose dissertation research may impact criminal justice policy and practice in the United States. BJS prioritizes applications for research that use BJS data.
Applications for research using other data that could fill a gap in BJS’s statistical portfolio will also be considered. These applications should show how the novel data are reliable and valid and how they add technical and substantive knowledge to a specific gap.
Applicants may be interested in linking BJS restricted-use data to other BJS data or to other statistical sources’ auxiliary files. Or applicants may want to use BJS data to identify local geographic areas. Such applicants should contact BJS to—
|•||assess if the research topic is feasible and what data is available|
|•||clarify processes for accessing such data.|
BJS will make awards in the form of grants. The amount of each award is $40,000, usable over the project period for the student's salary, tuition and fees, research expenses, and related costs.
The award’s performance period is typically 12 to 18 months and no more than 3 years.
Each fiscal year’s fellowship solicitation lays out some potential projects. Before applying, institutions can contact BJS staff to find a mutually agreeable project or discuss how to focus the dissertation research to meet BJS needs. Choosing to collaborate early with BJS can help ensure that the project grasps the frequent complexities of BJS data. Such consultations are not required and in no way guarantee BJS will choose the application. Email AskBJS@usdoj.gov to find out if your project relates to BJS’s work.
Bureau of Justice Statistics