Grant Details

Research and Evaluation on Decision-Making

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    Funder Type

    Federal Government

    IT Classification

    B - Readily funds technology as part of an award


    National Institute of Justice (NIJ)


    The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) seeks proposals for funding for research and evaluation projects to help identify the trait factors and state factors of individual law enforcement officers that may reliably explain their decision-making during encounters with the public. NIJ is interested in identifying those factors tending to lead to successful encounter outcomes; as well as those tending to lead to unsuccessful outcomes. NIJ is also interested in understanding how these factors may lead to different outcomes based on the type of encounter, including understanding how the importance of individual differences in trait and state factors may vary based on the frequency, risk, and reason for an encounter with the public.

    NIJ is most interested in proposals for research and evaluation projects that address a wide range of potential encounter scenarios. Potential scenarios include: low-frequency, high-risk encounters, such as responding to an active shooter event or making an arrest; high-frequency, low-risk consensual encounters, such as responding to a request for information; and encounters pursuant to an investigation, which may or may not be consensual.

    The ultimate goal of this solicitation is to fund research and evaluation projects that produce findings with practical implications for supporting development of a workforce of sworn law enforcement officers who make the best possible decisions during encounters with the public. The knowledge derived from the work funded under this solicitation will inform law enforcement agencies in:

    • Hiring ” Recruitment and candidate selection.
    • Training ” Academy, field training, and continuing in-service training.
    • Supervision ” Managing staff duties and individual performance.

    NIJ is particularly interested in encounters where a great deal of improvisation is required and officers may not have been specifically trained in their resolution. What combination of trait factors, state factors, and officer decisions lead to successful outcomes in these cases?

    In cases where decisions lead to actions that create negative or counterproductive outcomes, the publics trust in their local law enforcement agency can be eroded, especially where minor events can have a cumulative effect. What combination of factors leads to consistent bad outcomes from encounters and how can this be avoided?


    History of Funding

    Up to $3,000,000 was available in FY 2017 to fund one or more awards.

    Additional Information

    Randomized Control Trials (RCT) NIJ strongly encourages randomized controlled trials (RCT) where feasible and appropriate. RCT studies are a powerful, much needed tool for building scientific evidence about what works. Therefore, studies employing RCT methods to assess the effectiveness of programs and practices will be given higher priority consideration in award decisions. RCT applications with strong designs measuring outcomes of self-evident policy importance are strongly encouraged. A strong RCT design should include low sample attrition, sufficient sample size, close adherence to random assignment, valid outcome measures, and statistical analyses. Taking RCT costs into consideration, applicants may want to consider studies using privacy-protected administrative data that are already being collected or implementing an intervention into a program already funded.

    What will not be funded:

    • Applications primarily to purchase equipment, materials, or supplies. (A budget may include these items if they are necessary to conduct research, development, demonstration, evaluation, or analysis.)
    • Applications that are not responsive to this specific solicitation.


    National Criminal Justice Reference Service (NCJRS) Response Center

    National Criminal Justice Reference Service (NCJRS) Response Center
    Bureau of Justice Assistance
    810 Seventh Street NW
    Washington', DC 20531
    (800) 851-3420
    (301) 240-5830

  • Eligibility Details

    Eligible applicants include states, territories, units of local government, federally recognized Indian tribal governments, nonprofit and for-profit organizations, institutions of higher education, and certain qualified individuals. NIJ welcomes applications under which two or more entities would carry out the federal award; however, only one entity may be the applicant. NIJ encourages researchers to seek guidance from, or partner with, law enforcement agencies.

    Deadline Details

    Applications are to be submitted by May 7, 2018. A similar deadline is anticipated annually.

    Award Details

    Up to $2,000,000 is available in funding for at least one award. Project period is up to three years. Cost sharing is not required.


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