Career Center > Career Resources for Statisticians > Research Fellowship Programs

Solicitation for Proposals


ASA/BJS Small Grants Research Program for Analysis of Crime and Justice Data

The American Statistical Association (ASA) Committee on Law and Justice Statistics announces a small grant program for the analysis of Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) and other justice-related data. This program is designed to encourage the creative and appropriate use of these data to inform substantive and/or methodological issues. Other than these criteria, there are no restrictions placed on the topic of a submission. Dissertation research may qualify for these funds and young investigators are encouraged to apply. Research is to be completed within a two-year period. Awards are typically in the range of $25,000 to $30,000, although projects as high as $40,000 will be considered if they are exceptional.

Future solicitations will be handled directly through BJS.

For more information, go to—
www.nij.gov/funding/data-resources-program/Pages/welcome.aspx


or contact:
Bureau of Justice Statistics
Ramona Rantala
202-307-6170
askbjs@usdoj.gov
Subject: ASA RFP


Evaluation Criteria


Submissions will be evaluated based on the following 4 criteria:

  1. Originality—Applicants should show how the research will add to our knowledge of crime and/or the criminal or civil justice systems. [20 points];
  2. Feasibility—Applicants should demonstrate that the dataset(s) to be used can support the proposed research. Applicants are strongly encouraged to conduct preliminary analyses of the datasets to validate their assumptions. [30 points];
  3. Design—Applicants should detail the analysis plan, including the statistical techniques that will be applied to the data, and show how these techniques are the most suitable for the project. [30 points];
  4. Competency—Applicants should document that the researcher or the research team has the background and skills to successfully complete the proposed research. The applicants should also briefly relate how they will meet the requirements of data privacy and a data security, and how they will obtain IRB approval. [20 points]

Examples of Possible Topics


National Crime Victimization Survey
  • Explore NCVS (and other available data) to identify victim vulnerabilities in terms of neighborhood, lifestyle, socio-economic status, social contexts, etc.
  • Test strategies for providing reliable estimates of most rare forms of victimization.
  • Assess the influence of missing data on annual estimates.
  • Explore available data on victimization of institutionalized populations (e.g., in nursing homes, jails, or other group quarters); assess offense types, prevalence, and possible impact on victimization rates; examine characteristics of victims and perpetrators.

National Incident-Based Reporting System
  • Link NIBRS data with other small-area, geographically-based data resources to explore their effects on crime.
  • Study the effect of state variations in law and justice practices on the nature of crime reported to police.
  • Analyze and demonstrate the utility of NIBRS for planning and development activities.

Prosecution and Adjudication
  • Analyze recent trends in post conviction capital case processing and outcomes.
  • Analyze prosecutorial decisions to downgrade initial charges at adjudication.
  • Study the effect of varying state legislation on the nature of criminal court processing.
  • Study racial disparity in the criminal court processing.

Prosecution and Adjudication
  • Analyze recent trends in post conviction capital case processing and outcomes.
  • Analyze prosecutorial decisions to downgrade initial charges at adjudication.
  • Study the effect of varying state legislation on the nature of criminal court processing.
  • Study racial disparity in the criminal court processing.

Law Enforcement
  • Analyze changes in law enforcement organizations over time and the effect of those changes on law enforcement performance measures.
  • Determine the correlation among alternative measures of police use of lethal and nonlethal force sufficient to identify a reliable indicator or indicators of an agency's use of coercive authority.
  • Determine the nature of the relationship between private security and public security.
  • Explore the sources of police legitimacy.
  • Analyze the relationship between criminal behavior and the characteristics of law enforcement agencies and communities.
  • Explore and describe how program data such as Arrestee Drug Abuse Monitoring and Drug Use Forecasting can be used to inform criminal justice operations.
  • Analyze the relationship of Arrestee Drug Abuse Monitoring data to other national statistical data on drug use and crime.

National Prisoner Statistics
  • Analyze correlates of post-prison recidivism, such as mental health conditions, substance use, supervision experiences, and post-prison employment.
  • Identify and analyze factors affecting the slowing of the growth in U.S. prison populations.
  • Develop models for identifying and estimating the relationship between incarceration and crime rates.
  • Conduct a cost/benefit analysis of longer prison terms.
  • Study the relationship between unemployment and imprisonment.
  • Examine mortality among correctional populations.
  • Investigate the unintended consequences of imprisonment.
  • Study factors influencing the aging of the prison population.
  • Devise record-linkage methods for improving data on correctional outcomes.
  • Analyze racial disparities in sentencing and time served.

Federal Justice
  • Explore changes in the nature and characteristics of cases prosecuted in the 94 Federal districts.
  • Study trends in sentencing variation in Federal districts.
  • Analyze arrest and prosecution data on Federal immigration cases.

Civil Justice
  • Examine the impact of appellate litigation on civil trial court outcomes.
  • Investigate trends in medical malpractice trial litigation.
  • Analyze the effect of tort reforms-such as the collateral source rule or caps on non-economic or punitive damages-on civil trial litigation in state courts.
  • Compare civil bench trials to civil jury trials in state courts by taking into account selection biases and effects.

Most BJS data collections are available online through the National Archive of Criminal Justice Data. Federal Justice Statistics data are also available from the BJS Federal Criminal Case Processing Statistics webpage.


How to Apply


The application must be submitted as a single PDF file. It must comply with the application template. The application must be submitted electronically to Joyce@amstat.org. The application must include the following:

  1. Abstract. The first page of the application must contain the project title; abstract; list of datasets, including years and source; and list of researchers. The abstract must be 250 words or less.
  2. Proposal. The research proposal should be no more than fifteen (15) pages double-spaced with one-inch margins, using a standard 12-point font. The proposal should—
    1. Describe the research questions, indicating the originality of the research and its substantive or methodological significance for the law and justice community.
    2. Describe the datasets and proposed analysis.
    3. Demonstrate that the data can support the research question, e.g., show that the variables contain adequate information and that there is a sufficient number of cases.
    4. Describe other analytic methods or models that were considered and the reasons they will not be used.
    5. Identify any unique problems that may be encountered in the research and how the researcher proposes to overcome them.
    6. Provide the specifications of the final project deliverables, e.g., analytic paper, statistical models, dataset, etc. Deliverables should include details on the methodologies used. If a data file is one of the deliverables, the deliverables should include the syntax used to create it.
  3. Supporting material. In addition to the abstract and proposal, the application must include a—
    1. Bibliography.
    2. Project timeline outlining the specific tasks to be accomplished, who is to perform each one, and within what timeframe.
    3. Budget detailing all costs. This budget should specify the number of hours required of key personnel and their cost. All budgets should include a visit to BJS to present the research and to discuss follow-up research with BJS staff. This visit should occur after most of the research has been completed but before the final documents have been written. It is anticipated that up to $2,000 of the budget will be devoted to this visit. Additional funding to present at other conferences will be considered, payable at 50% of the cost.
    4. Budget narrative supporting and justifying all expenses, including proposed equipment or software purchases.
    5. Curriculum vita for each researcher listed in the budget. If the principal investigator is a graduate student, the application should include the CV of the student's dissertation committee chair and letter from the chair supporting the proposal.
    6. Privacy certificate, data security plan and IRB Approval. All projects that 1) use data containing direct or indirect identifiers or that 2) merge multiple datasets together will be required to submit a privacy certificate, data security plan, and documentation of IRB approval before funding is committed.

Future solicitations will be handled directly through BJS.

For more information, go to—
www.nij.gov/funding/data-resources-program/Pages/welcome.aspx


or contact:
Bureau of Justice Statistics
Ramona Rantala
202-307-6170
askbjs@usdoj.gov
Subject: ASA RFP