Graduate Research Fellowships, National Institute of Justice, Fiscal Year 2017


MARY JO GIOVACCHINI: Good afternoon,
everyone, and welcome to today’s webinar, National Institute of
Justice’s Graduate Research Fellowship Programs, which is hosted by the National Institute of Justice. At this time, I would
like to introduce Dr. Marie Garcia, Social Science Analyst in the Justice Systems
Research Division at NIJ, and Dr. Gregory Dutton, Physical Scientist in the Office of
Investigative and Forensic Sciences at NIJ. MARIE GARCIA: Good afternoon,
everyone, and welcome to the webinar. I wanted to give you
a bit of information about NIJ. So, we are the research development, and
evaluation agency of the US Department of Justice. Our mission here at NIJ is to improve knowledge and understanding
of crime and justice issues through science. Here at NIJ, we have two–we have our
longstanding Graduate Research Fellowship Program. The program goal is to support doctoral students
engaged in research that addresses challenges of crime and justice in the US. With the GRF Program, we have two program tracks. We have the Science, Technology,
Engineering and Mathematics, or STEM, and the Social and Behavioral Sciences. GREGORY DUTTON: Both program
tracks’ funding opportunities are open now through November 21st. These are the solicitations. So, the solicitations are the documents that
give us specific details about requirements to apply. These are available on nij.gov, and we’ll
talk more later about where to find these and what to look for in them. Review these carefully
for the specific program requirements. First to talk about the GRF STEM Program. The STEM Program was established
as a separate track about three years ago. The Social and Behavioral Sciences track
was well-established for many decades, but STEM, we weren’t getting a lot of applications in STEM. So, NIJ committed to expanding
support for PhD researchers in the STEM field. And we have established a separate program. This program has
two basic requirements for the student. Current enrollment in a PhD program in
physical life science, engineering, or math field, and that you propose a thesis project with
the demonstrative relevance to criminal justice. We–for the STEM Program, we increased
the terms of support for the fellowship to make it competitive with other
federal fellowship programs. So, we have a $35,000 annual student stipend. So, that can be essentially
student salary and can also include insurance. In addition to that, up to $15,000
annually for tuition fees and research expenses. And the research expenses can include
things like lab supplies, software, conference travel, among other things. The–this fellowship do not
include indirect cost to the university. So, all of the support goes directly to the students. The STEM Program can give up to
three years of support over a five-year period. In the STEM track, the student
can be at any stage in their graduate career when they apply as long as they’re enrolled. This is different from the Social and
Behavioral Sciences track as we’ll hear later. But the fellowship will only
support you after your thesis topic is approved, when you’re in the active research phase. So, you can be awarded
a fellowship before that point, but the fellowship will
be inactive until your topic is approved. NIJ has committed to
supporting the STEM Program long-term. Last year, we awarded 22 fellows and
we expect to award at least 20 new fellowships every year going forward. Just to give you a sense of some of the
fields that are included in the STEM Program and it’s not limited to these. But you can see that, you know, we cover essentially
all of the physical and life sciences, engineering, math, anything that could be
construed STEM excluding the social sciences. And also, I should also note that you can
also look and see a list of the current fellows to get a sense of the types
of disciplines that they’re coming from. But please don’t consider
the fields to be limited to those. The GRF STEM Program, these fellowships can
be renewed for up to three years over a five-year period unlike the SBS Program. So, you can take a hiatus of the fellowship
during your graduate career if you have a need to. I should note here, very important, current fellows. So, if you’ve been awarded a GRF STEM
Fellowship from NIJ, you do not need to reapply through this process. The fellowship renewal happens through
the university and it’s a separate process. So, current fellows, GRF STEM fellows, do
not need to reapply to this funding opportunity. Annual renewal requires two things, verification of enrollment and, again, you can take a leave of absence if you have a reason, but for renewal, verification
of enrollment and a letter from your committee chair confirming that you’re making
adequate progress on your approved thesis topic. To make sure that your fellowship that your
research is on track, we require annual progress reports. And at the end of the fellowship, we require
a copy of the completed thesis to show the great research that we’ve supported. Just to give you–to highlight a
couple of recent fellows, to give you a sense of what some of our fellows are doing. Here we have a couple.
For example, Katherine Gettings, she was a 2011 fellow from George
Washington University working in forensic DNA. Her project was Ancestry/Phenotype SNP Analysis
and Integration with Established Forensic Markers. I believe she’s now a staff scientist
at NIST, so, a very successful former fellow. Also we have Christy Mancuso. She’s a 2014 fellow from the
University of Utah in Analytical Chemistry. Her project is Fingernails as
Recorders of Region of Origin and Travel History. So, she’s a current fellow
who’s still working on her project. And, again, these are just
a couple. You can look at the GRF Program website to
see bios of all of our current fellows or many of them. MARIE GARCIA: Okay. So, now, onto
the Social and Behavioral Sciences Program. The fellowship amount is up to $32,000 to
support the final phase of the dissertation research. Like STEM, we allow the funding
amount to cover a variety of allowable cost. This can include conference fees,
technology that you need to complete your research, and other allowable expenses. So, the fellowship
requirements are somewhat different here. We require a current enrollment
in the PhD program in an SBS discipline and the completion of required coursework, comprehensive exams, and advancement to candidacy. So to be clear, and as stated in the solicitation, these requirements must
be completed at the time an award is made. You do not have to have
this completed by November 21st. So, we have several project deliverables
for the Social and Behavioral Sciences. First, we require two annual
progress reports so that you can let NIJ know about the research that you’re engaged
in and any issues that we can help you with and any of the exciting
research findings that you have thus far. And upon completion, we’ll need an
official copy of your defended dissertation that has been signed off
by your committee and your university. And in FY16, we made seven awards up $222,000. In FY17, we hope to double this. We hope to award as
many innovative proposals as possible. And here are two examples of our recent GRF fellows. Both Lallen and Naomi are–have
completed their GRF Fellowship with NIJ. Lallen was in the Department of
Criminal Justice at Temple University. And he is now an assistant
professor at Drexel University in Philadelphia. Naomi was a 2013 fellow in the
Department of Sociology at Princeton University. And she did her research on Offender Reintegration and the Using Smartphone Technology to Find Employment. And she is currently an assistant
professor at the University of California-Irvine. And as Greg mentioned, you can go on to
our webpage to see the diversity of our fellows through research and the
disciplines that they come from. So, with regard to the Social
Behavioral Sciences, this is different from STEM. We do–we do not allow first and second year
students who’ve not completed all requirements. Students who are successful
and received awards from the SBS must be in the final stages of their doctoral research. Additionally, the SBS fellowship supports only PhD or other social
and behavioral science doctoral students. Terminal degrees, such as a master’s degree
or a JD, would not be eligible for this program. And unlike the STEM, our funds are one-time
awards. Again, you can be awarded up to $32,000. We will not make additional funds available
at a later date. So, with regards to both of our programs,
the academic institution is the official applicant. So, as a student, you
should not apply on your own. The– your university will apply on your behalf. One of the questions that received
a lot of attention was the international students. Yes, you can apply for this program because the academic institution
is applying on your behalf. So, your status is not particularly relevant for this program. Academic institutions outside
the United States are not eligible to apply unless they are connected to an American university. For instance, if your university
has a satellite campus in another country and they–that would be eligible, but any other non-US institutions
would not be eligible for STEM or SBS. An IRB or human subject approval
is not required at the time of application. Again, you do not have to have this documentation in your application unless you already have it completed. But if an award is made, you would need to
submit this verification documentation to NIJ. GREGORY DUTTON: A few more
points to make that are common to both programs. For both of the GRF tracks, you must be enrolled
in a qualifying PhD program at the time of application. The thesis topic has to have a
demonstrative relevance to criminal justice because this is NIJ’s mission. Further requirements beyond basic eligibility will need to be met before the award
becomes active or funds are made available but not necessarily at the time of application. So, see the solicitation for specific
details about what’s required when you apply and what’s
necessary for funds being made available later. So, what can you do now? First, get the solicitation at
nij.gov and read it carefully for eligibility and for details of application requirements,
what needs to be included in an application. Very important.
Get in touch with your university grants office. So, this might be called
the office of sponsored programs or office of sponsored research, but every university has an office that works to help anyone associated with the
university to get federal grant funding, and they will help you.
They have a lot of experience in doing this. Remember, the university is the official applicant and they’ll submit the application on your behalf, so you must work through them. Contact them early so that you can both get started. Next, start assembling the application materials. So you’re going to have to give your university office several pieces that are required for the application. First of all, write the program narrative. This is the proposal text. So, this is the most
important piece of the application and of course you should get working on it early. See the solicitation for details about
formatting and requirements for the proposal. Ask for letters of support. Do this early. You’ll never know how long it might
take your adviser to actually give you a letter. Get enrollment verification. This is, again, one
of the basic requirements of the–of the application. Just to give you a sense of the timeline for
this whole process of application review and awarding, NIJ this past year has shifted the
timeline to match other federal fellowship programs. So you can see this is–if you’ve followed
the program before, it may be a little different, but currently the solicitations are open now
through November 21st, so just before Thanksgiving, so make sure that you get
everything to your university grants office ahead of time because
they’ll be busy heading into Thanksgiving. After the solicitations close, there’s a period of review, so your application packages
go to peer review by external panels composed
mostly of academics just like your advisors. NIJ anticipates that
awards will be announced by May 8th and that funds will be available by fall of 2017, but, again, if all of the
award conditions have been satisfied. So, where can you go to learn more? Go to nij.gov, click on the FUNDING &
AWARDS tab and you can find the current funding for the solicitation documents that we were
referring to with all of the details of how to apply. Awards made by NIJ shows past awards. So go to prior years for GRF Programs to see
abstracts of fellows that were–that were awarded just to get a–if you want to get
a sense of what’s been awarded previously. There are FAQs for information also, and we’ll show you some links later,
but you can go to nij.gov/grf for the program page for all of this information together in one spot. Also you can sign up on this page for email updates to get updates about
grants, solicitations, posts, and close. MARIE GARCIA: Okay. Now, we’re going
to answer some of the questions that we received prior to the webinar today. The most common question was,
I’m an international student. Can I apply? And the answer is yes.
Again, the university is the official applicant, so international citizens studying in here in the US at an accredited academic
institution can apply to the GRF Program. Another common
question we received was, am I allowed to be part of the graduate research
fellowship program while I have a full-time job? And the answer is yes. NIJ does not have prohibitions on employment. However, you are encouraged
to check in with your university and your department about whether they
have employment restrictions for their students. So another question that
we received was, are there any previous successful
applications that we can see on the website? And the answer is yes. We do have
several applications on our webpage at nij.gov that you can review. But please note, none of
these are GRF applications. They are the full 30-page proposal narratives from the larger request for proposals that we put
out every year. So, you can get an idea about what we’re looking for– looking for with return–
with regard to content and substance, but these are
not specific to the GRF Program. Again, another common question
we received was about funding amount. As Greg and I specified, STEM and
SBS have their–have different funding amounts and the points at which funding
can be made available. So, please make sure you check the solicitation that is specific to
your discipline to see what those requirements are. Another question that we received was, where can you–where can I go
for assistance with the application process? In a few minutes, we will
show you the contact information for NCJRS. NIJ staff cannot personally respond to email
inquiries. However, we do have great staff at NCJRS that are extremely helpful
that can answer all of your questions. Another question we’ve received was, can applications
be submitted for projects that are currently in progress? And the answer is yes. If you are for instance an
SBS student and you haven’t– your dissertation research that you’re
working on and you have a year or so left, you are encouraged to apply to the program. Again, you must have met all of the program
requirements. Let’s see. We had another question
about data archiving. Specifically, do I have to archive the data
that I collect to my dissertation research? And the answer is, maybe. Data archiving is
encouraged, but not required for GRF award. However, should you want
to make your data available for the public, we’re happy to work with you to archive your data. Again, another question
we received was about our requirements for the Social and Behavioral Sciences Program. As mentioned, your requirements
must be met by the time an award is made, not at the time of application. So, please
remember that. You do not have to complete everything by next month. Let’s see. GREGORY DUTTON: We had a couple of
questions about GRF-STEM that I’d like to go to. So, one of the questions was, if one was awarded a STEM
fellowship and it’s expected that renewal is necessary, what’s the
application process and what’s the deadline? So, like I said earlier in the webinar, if
you have already been awarded a STEM fellowship, don’t reapply through this
process. You’ve already been awarded. The renewal process is simpler
and basically goes through your university. So, we–we’re working with your university to renew. You don’t need to do anything on that account. There was a question about start date, is
there one specific start date for all awardees? For example, September 1st,
October 1st, or will they differ based on the awardee or the grant program? So, I can’t say about the STEM
Program, the default start date is August 1st. We wanted to make sure that
people would have funds available for fall semester if they–if they needed it. So, that’s the default start date, but if
you have some reason to choose a later date, you can do that for STEM. MARIE GARCIA: And the same is true for Social
and Behavioral Sciences, we have a preferred start date that’s listed in the solicitation. So, again, that is preferred. And we want–we would
want that to line up for the fall semester for you. However, if you need a later start date,
just justify that in the timeline and be clear in your application document
when you would need funding to start for you. We have another question.
How many people applied to GRF Social and Behavioral Sciences in 2016? And the answer is close to 70. We have close to 70 applications this year. GREGORY DUTTON: I can say also
for STEM, last year, we had about 40 applications. We made 22 awards. So, you can do the
math and the funding rate is pretty favorable there. We had another question
specifically about STEM, I think. The question was, does Environmental
Forensics fall into the scope of the NIJ-GRFP? And I’m sure that’s referring to STEM. I can’t specifically talk about specific
disciplines, but what I did want to note is that, if you can demonstrate relevance to criminal
justice in the United States, then you would be eligible. Remember, you just need to be enroll–for STEM, enrolled in a science,
technology, engineering, or math field and your topic has to show relevance
to criminal justice in the United States. If you meet those, then you would be eligible. MARIE GARCIA: Okay. So, we had another
question, what can be used as enrollment verification? GREGORY DUTTON: Yeah.
So, enrollment verification, you can use a transcript if it, you know, includes the current term. So, you could use a
transcript. Unofficial transcripts are fine. You could use a letter from your registrar. So, there’s no one specific document, but look in the solicitation for a little more guidance on that. But basically, we just want something from
your university verifying that you’re enrolled, so the registrar would be a good place to start. MARIE GARCIA: Okay.
We have another question. I would like to know if there is a similar
mission related to the Du Bois Program and if there are topics that are
more funded over others in the SBS Fellowship? The SBS Fellowship like STEM is open to any and all questions related
to criminal justice. So, we do not fund any particular topic like
offender reentry over school safety for instance. We will fund any and all topics
as long as the science is innovative and it addresses issues related to criminal justice. GREGORY DUTTON: We had a question, I’m a current
Computer Science and Technology graduate student. Am I currently eligible or will I have to
wait until doctoral study? I’m not quite sure there, but you do need
to be currently enrolled in a PhD program in order to apply for both of the tracks. MARIE GARCIA: Okay. GREGORY DUTTON: Is your
list of STEM the same as those used… MARIE GARCIA: All right. [indistinguishable] GREGORY DUTTON: I see. Yeah. So, the question is about the list of
STEM fields, is it the same as those used for ICE for international students? I’m not–I’m not sure exactly what that’s referring to. But I just wanted to show that, you know, for STEM, we’re quite
inclusive for what falls under STEM. Any science, engineering, math,
we don’t have a specific list that we go by, but all I can say is that the social
sciences are carved out for the other track. MARIE GARCIA: Okay. Another question.
Can the award for the Social and Behavioral Sciences be used for the stipend of the PhD student? And yes, that would be an allowable cost. You
could pay for your tuition fees, and registration fees, books, et cetera, insurance at the
university should you need to with the– with the funding amount. Another question, how many Social and Behavioral
Science awards are you anticipating to make this year? To be honest, we don’t have a limit,
and we don’t have a minimum or a maximum, we will fund–the director is committed to
funding as many innovative projects as we receive. So, I would encourage all of you to put your
best foot forward and submit your application. GREGORY DUTTON: Oh, we have a question. If you have a letter from your dissertation chair, do you also need a letter from the
department head or other administrative individual? No, you don’t. You only need a single letter
from your dissertation chair. At least, for STEM. Is it acceptable to submit a letter from a
former employer or other recommender? No, that would–that would not take the place of
the letter from the dissertation chair or thesis advisor. MARIE GARCIA: Another
question for the Social and Behavioral Sciences. It appears that formal defense of the
proposal is not necessary at the time of application so long as the idea itself is approved and
that you are a PhD candidate, is that correct? That is partially true. At–again, at the time of application, you
have to have met–you have to at least be– on your way to being qualified for the program. So, make sure that based
on your timeline, you will have met the other three requirements, advancement to candidacy,
completion of your comps and your coursework. The defense of the proposal is not necessary,
however, you should be on your way to finishing your–that defense piece and submitting that
documentation to NIJ. GREGORY DUTTON: A question asks,
are healthcare fields considered STEM or SBS or does it depend upon the nature of the project? I didn’t see any past projects. So, I think it depends–it
depends on, you know, the specific field. So, we certainly–I think last year, we made
an award to someone in the neuroscience program. So, there are some fields that, you know,
could certainly be said to sort of span the– the hard sciences and the social sciences. But to some extent, it might depend
on the nature of the project if you’re using, you know, physical science, experimental
techniques, or if you’re using social science methods. But, like I–like I said, you know, we do
have at least one prior field that neuroscience– that was awarded under STEM. MARIE GARCIA: Okay. Another
question, is it possible to defer the award? And the answer is, it depends. So, again, if you need to start your project, your timeline later than
August 1, that would be permissible. However, if you are thinking
about deferring for a year, you might consider whether or not you would
apply to GRF this year. This is an annual solicitation. So, please be sure to state in your timeline what
you need in terms of deferment if you would need it. And then, we can work with you on that. Another question about, I understand
that GRF is not available for terminal degrees, but what about dual degree programs, Ph.D./J.D.’s. And the answer is, you would have to have met the requirement for the Social
and Behavioral Sciences program. So, if you’re on track with the PhD to meet
those requirements, you’re encouraged to apply. GREGORY DUTTON: I see that there was some clarification made
as to the healthcare field question before. And nursing was the program the
was quoted, you know, if you show that your– that your program is, you know, using
experimental methods that could qualify for STEM. But I can’t–I can’t make a, you know, specific
statement about if that would be eligible or not. We have another question here, should we write
the proposal to an expert or a layperson? MARIE GARCIA: Yes, the proposal that
you submit to our program will be reviewed by experts in the field, so individuals with
both research and practitioner backgrounds. So, you should be–you should essentially write this proposal like you would write it for your dissertation. It’s essentially a small version of the
proposal that you’re writing for your research. So, you should absolutely
write it to an academic audience. Another question, I’m enrolled
in a Criminal Justice program, but you’re– the analysis will require
extensive use of GIS and programming, should you apply for Social
Science since you are in a CJ program? And the answer is, it depends. Again, we accept many of our Social and
Behavioral Sciences students to use our GIS and other geo–geography based programming in their analysis. If you’re using it as an analytical
technique, that’s completely appropriate, however, we have–we do have both tracks. So, you need to make sure that when you apply,
you are applying to the most appropriate program. So, I would encourage you to check in
with your dissertation committee to make sure that you’re submitting your proposal to the right place. Another question, my dissertation is in the
discipline of Social Welfare, is that eligible within SBS? Yes, that would be a discipline
that would be eligible for the program. GREGORY DUTTON: We have a
question. Can you be the PI on a current NIJ grant? Not related to the school
you’re a student with and also pursue the fellowship as a PhD
student if the projects are separate. Both related to criminal
justice field, but different projects. Yes, if you are a PhD student
currently enrolled in a PhD program, you can apply. MARIE GARCIA: Okay. Another question, will we apply on our behalf of the university
or the grant office at our university apply for us? To be clear, GRF’s are–we make awards to the
university, so the university will apply on your behalf. Should students apply as individuals, they will be removed from competition. So, please
make sure the university submits the proposal for you. GREGORY DUTTON: A related question there. Are PhD students supposed to get a DUNS number
and a SAM number for their university in order to apply? So, these are numbers that entities need in
order to apply for funding from the federal government. And again, the student is not
applying, the university is applying. So, no, you don’t need to get a DUNS or a SAM number. You need to work with your university
Grants Office and they will already have those. MARIE GARCIA: Okay. Another question. In the SBS solicitation, it
indicates that part of the program narrative should include information about the
academic institution’s record of accomplishment, does this refer to the
particular department or the institution? This is specific to the entire institution. What we want to see is a record
of performance from your organization. So, we want to know how
many awards that you’ve had from NIJ–I mean, the organization has had from NIJ and whether or not there have
been any issues with the project themselves. So, this is an issue for
the institution. So, make sure it includes a comprehensive list of NIJ awards. And as a note, it should
be included as appendix or another file. Using that as part of your
narrative would take up a lot of space and we don’t want to detract you from including all the important information that you need to in your narrative. So, make sure you upload
that list as an appendix or a separate file. GREGORY DUTTON: There’s a question about, would additional letters of
support from other committee members outside of the chair be
helpful or will only the chair’s letter be reviewed? So, the–only the letter from the chair is required. And in terms of adding additional letters, I would encourage you
to take the perspective of the reviewers. So, hitting them with a ton of extra
letters probably isn’t going to be terribly helpful. If you have one extra person
that may–that you think the reviewers should get the perspective
of, you might want to include that. MARIE GARCIA: Okay. Another question, looking under capabilities
and competencies in the SBS solicitation, I wanted to clarify that we should include
information about the institution in our narrative. Again, you want to include a list of awards that we’ve
made to the institution as a separate file, but in the capabilities and
competencies, this is really about the student and the dissertation chair
and committee, and their abilities to help you get your research completed. You can speak about the university,
but I would encourage you to be very brief, but if you want to talk about the awards that
NIJ has made to the organization, that’s completely fine, but you don’t want to include that– a long list of information about
award-making in that particular section. GREGORY DUTTON: We have a question. I’m STEM enrolled in
the master’s program, not yet PhD. I’m guessing I’m not yet qualified. That’s correct. You need to be currently enrolled in a PhD
program to qualify. So if you’re not enrolled now, apply to your
university and get enrolled in a qualifying PhD program and perhaps you could apply next year. MARIE GARCIA: Okay. We have a question about the methodology and the research narrative,
and the lack of information that we include there. Do you need to include your
variables and at what level of–level of detail? Something important to
remember is that the application you submit to NIJ will be reviewed internally
and by external researchers and experts. What you want to make sure you do is
be as clear as possible about your methodology and everything–your analytic plan and
everything that goes into completing your research. If the panel has questions, we
will not go back to you and ask them. It needs to be as clear
and comprehensive as possible, so you should include all the
information that the experts will need to understand the research that you’re engaged in. GREGORY DUTTON: There’s a question that asks, I understand that the applications
must be related to the mission of NIJ, does this include
NIJ’s areas of interests and research goals? So these are things that
are posted on the NIJ website. The question goes on to ask,
I think it looks like it’s written from the social and behavioral sciences
perspective, but I wanted to answer for STEM, you can look at our website and find some of the research priorities that may be
listed there just to get a sense of what we fund, but the GRF Program isn’t limited to that. So we take the criminal justice in the US
relevance requirement pretty broadly, for STEM at least. So look at the NIJ website
for maybe a little more info about what’s currently going on in criminal justice research. But for STEM, don’t consider yourself bound by those. MARIE GARCIA: Okay. Will the reviewers look at
the spreadsheet of dissertation committee members or do we need to detail each
one of them and their background experience? You are encouraged to–and required, I believe, for SBS, the student and the
dissertation chair must submit their– a biosketch, or a CV, or a resume. Should you want to include additional
information about the committee members? That’s fine, the reviewers may or
may not look at it, they won’t be required to. So I think–I would encourage you
to make sure you get in the required documents before you start adding additional information. But if it’s in there, they will look at it. Okay. So, we have a question
about, I am about to defend my proposal, if I am awarded the fellowship but I complete
my dissertation before the awards are given next fall. So if you defend your proposal
today and you finish your dissertation in May of next year, then you
would have to forfeit your award because you would no longer be a doctoral student. So again, make sure the timing of the program, again, works for you. Again the– the preferred start date is August 1,
so if you plan to finish up before then, then you may not want
to spend time applying to the program. GREGORY DUTTON: Okay.
There is a question mentioning problems that you might have with
opening the budget detail worksheet that’s linked to in the–in the
announcement, who should I contact? Contact NCJRS and mention that problem, and
they will find a way to get you a good link. I’ve noticed that problem as well. MARIE GARCIA: Okay. So we have some
other questions that were sent to us before the webinar started. And again, we–does the fellowship support
grad students in master’s programs or just PhDs? And again, the answer is just PhDs. We do not allow– the student’s that are in JD’s
or master’s programs would not be eligible. We have a question about, I will reach candidacy and
finish my comp paper this semester, can I still apply? And, yes, you are encouraged to apply. For the social and behavioral sciences, again, we want to capture you in the
final stages of your dissertation research. So you would be a perfect
candidate for funding for the program. Let’s see.
We have a question about relocation. Does it matter in which state I live
and are there relocation requirements? No, there are no
relocation requirements for the program. Again, we make the award to
the university, wherever that might be in the US. So we don’t require you to come to
D.C. or there are no other types of requirements. Is it possible to be awarded a graduate research
fellowship with NIJ while pursuing a PhD remotely with an international institution? Again, only accredited academic
institutions in the US are eligible for the program. Let’s see. Another question we received
and Greg and I should both tackle this one. What is the most common
mistake or reason a project is rejected? Something to consider is that
the research has to be relevant for NIJ. So you want to be really cautious
about what you propose to us. If we’ve already– if the field is saturated and NIJ has
spent a lot of money contributing to a specific area, you want to be clear that your research
adds something unique to this particular discipline. One of the more common reasons that
a proposal may not be well-received by our panel is that there are too many
questions about the analytic plan, the methodology. And importantly, you want
to make sure you talk to impact. So if we fund your research, how will your
research matter for the field of criminal justice, and for the women–the men
and women who do this work every day? So you have to make sure that you connect
your research and your possible findings with the day-to-day operations within the system. GREGORY DUTTON: So I’d like
to comment on the STEM point of view on that. So actually for STEM, we–since
the STEM program is just getting established, we’re not as strictly looking at the
strict impact on criminal justice. We’re looking to fund excellent science and engineering projects
that have some relevance to criminal justice. But the important thing at least for our
reviewers is that you have a strong project design. So this speaks more to what in NSF is, you know, considered the criterion of intellectual merit, right? So, we have a lower standard for criminal
justice impact for the STEM program currently, because we’re standing up the program. On the social and behavioral sciences
side, they have a longstanding program and they have the luxury of, I think,
picking and choosing more than we do. So for STEM, focus on the quality of the
experimental design, intellectual merit, and demonstrate some relevance to criminal justice. So we’re not making funding
decisions on the STEM end based on any one project having a greater or lesser
potential for impact along criminal justice lines. But we do need to justify that
there is some relevance to NIJ’s mission. MARIE GARCIA: Okay. We have a question about, what if my dissertation
is defended in the spring? If your dissertation is defended
in spring of next year, you would not– you probably would not want
to spend time applying to the program given that we would not be making awards until May. However, if you’re thinking about spring of
2018, you are encouraged to apply, because you could– you would be eligible for
the program given your timeline. GREGORY DUTTON: We have a question that states, I applied to the STEM award
last year and was not given the award. I’m reapplying and was wondering if I need new
human subjects, protection and privacy certificates, if nothing about them has changed. You do need new human subjects and privacy,
you may–you may just have to get them updated with a new university signature and date. So you may not need to change any of the
details about it if the project hasn’t changed. But you do need to work
with your universities to resign those. MARY JO GIOVACCHINI: Are there
any common pitfalls applicants may make that you could caution us against? GREGORY DUTTON: So I wouldn’t call
this common, but it certainly happens occasionally that one of the required pieces of the application is missing. That’s the one thing to be careful about. So, look at the solicitation and
see which of the documents are required and make sure that those aren’t missing. Work with your OSP to make sure
that they have all of those required pieces. MARIE GARCIA: Yeah, to Greg’s point. Applications that do not have all of the
required materials will be removed from competition. Now, this may sound harsh, however, we want
to–this is an open and competitive competition. And in order to be transparent and fair, we
have to let only those who are eligible compete. So please make sure that
you get everything in that’s required. You’re also encouraged to
submit as early as possible. After your submission, check the file to make sure that you
submitted everything, because you can resubmit with additional documents
up until the solicitation closes. So make sure you have
everything that you need in your file. GREGORY DUTTON: That’s
a good point that I want to also reiterate. Your university grants office,
they’re professionals who do this every day applying to federal grants. But you’ll make it a lot easier for them
and make sure that you avoid any problems by getting the materials to them as early as possible. MARIE GARCIA: Okay. We
had another question about the anticipated
awards for the social and behavioral sciences this year. As mentioned, we don’t
have a ceiling or a floor on this, but we would like to fund maybe
up to 20 or more than that depending on funding availability and quality proposals. So please submit your applications as
early as possible, so that you can be competitive. GREGORY DUTTON: Again, with
STEM, we anticipate making 20 awards. We made 22 last year. We anticipate at least 20 a year–new awards going forward. MARY JO GIOVACCHINI: At this time, it
looks like all the questions have been answered. We will give you guys a few more minutes or a few seconds perhaps, if you have any
other questions that you would like to submit before the end of the webinar.
We are approaching 3:00, so we will be ending shortly. The slide that is viewable right now
contains information about where to get more direction on the GRF Program as well
as to get assistance with your application process by calling the
National Criminal Justice Reference Service. As I mentioned earlier in the webinar, the slides and this webinar
will be posted to the NIJ website in approximately 10 days. You will receive an email.
That email will contain direct links to the webinar and the PowerPoint
presentation, as well as an FAQ document. MARIE GARCIA: Okay. We have another question that says, your last statement about applying
early makes me think that this is competitive, but first come, first serve. What we mean by submitting early is you want to give your–
you want to give yourself enough time to look at your submission in
case you’ve omitted required documents. If you have, you will have
enough time to resubmit your proposal. This isn’t first come, first
serve because we only view those that are– that make the competition and we move
everyone forward in, basically, one big bucket. GREGORY DUTTON: Yeah. Review doesn’t begin until all of the applications have been received
and the solicitations have closed at the deadline. So, yeah, just have to say that the rare times that pieces of required documentation are missing usually happened when the
university is submitting on the last day and someone makes a mistake. So try to get the materials to them ahead of time. MARIE GARCIA: And one thing to
consider and I may have mentioned this already. If you submitted at the last minute, and you
forgot something, and the solicitation has closed, we won’t reopen the competition,
and we won’t allow any late submissions. So if the deadline has passed, you’ve missed
your opportunity. So we want to encourage you, start your application,
get all your letters of recommendation, get all the information
you need for a successful application. In case there are mistakes that you can fix
them before the deadline is closed, so start early. MARY JO GIOVACCHINI: We… MARIE GARCIA: Can you apply
more than once if you were denied the first time? So I believe what you’re asking is if you were– if you did not receive an award, for
instance, in FY16, can you apply this year? And yes, absolutely, you can
apply, and what you will likely receive are comments from the peer
reviewers about your application that might help strengthen
your proposal the second time around. So you can resubmit your proposal. We do have a resubmission memo that we
appreciate that you submit with the application, so that we can see what
areas you’ve strengthened and changed. So yes, you can reapply if you’d like to. GREGORY DUTTON: So like Marie
said, we ask you if you are reapplying to include a resubmit statement,
and that’s an opportunity for you to respond to the comments that
you got from peer review the previous year to show the current reviewers
what you may have changed about your project. But you’re encouraged to reapply. MARY JO GIOVACCHINI: At this
time, we do not have any further questions. Oh– We do not have any further questions at
this time and that will be the end of our webinar. Again, the last slide does list the information
for the National Criminal Justice Reference Service. If you have questions after the end
of this webinar, you may reach out to them and they will work along
with Marie and Greg to answer your questions. Thank you very much for joining us. We
appreciate your time and patience. Have a good day.

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