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Paul Coverdell Forensic Science Improvement Grants Program - Competitive

Grants to USA Agencies to Improve
the Analysis of Forensic Crime Evidence

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), Office of Justice Programs (OJP), National Institute of Justice (NIJ)

Deadline Date:

06/04/19 11:59 PM ET


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Grants to USA and territories government agencies to enhance the timeliness and quality of medical examiner and forensic science services. Funding is intended to provide state and local government agencies with the tools they need to meet the challenges of crime and justice.

With this solicitation, NIJ seeks proposals for competitive funding under the Paul Coverdell Forensic Science Improvement Grants Program (the Coverdell program), which awards grants to States and units of local government to help improve forensic science and medical examiner/coroner services. Among other things, funds may be used to eliminate a backlog in the analysis of forensic evidence and to train and employ forensic laboratory personnel and medicolegal death investigators, as needed, to eliminate such a backlog.

The goal of this program is to improve forensic science and medical examiner/coroner services, including services provided by laboratories operated by States and units of local government.

Important Note: The alarming proliferation of heroin and synthetic opioids like fentanyl have had a crushing effect on many crime laboratories. Synthetic opioids in particular may be more difficult to analyze than traditional opiates, and validating methods for new drugs as they emerge may significantly slow processing of these samples. Medical examiners and forensic pathologists have also been overwhelmed with the volume of autopsies as a result of heroin and synthetic drug-related overdose deaths. To address these issues, NIJ plans to allocate approximately 57 percent of available funds to specifically target the challenges the opioid abuse crisis has brought to the forensic science community.

Grant Purposes:

Permissible Expenses:

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 178840

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Number of Grants:


Estimated Size of Grant:

Award Ceiling: $250,000

Term of Contract:

NIJ expects to make awards for a 12-month period of performance, to begin on January 1, 2020. Applicants should be aware that the total period of an award, including one that receives a project period extension, ordinarily will not exceed three years.


Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Eligible applicants are limited to States (including territories) and units of local government. State Administering Agencies (SAAs) apply on behalf of States, including any State government entity.

All recipients and subrecipients (including any for-profit organization) must forgo any profit or management fee.

Expenses That Are Not Permitted:
1. Funds to conduct research. Applicants may address emerging forensic science issues and technology through implementation of new technologies and processes into public laboratories.
2. Expenses other than those listed under permissible expenses (including expenses for general law enforcement functions or non-forensic investigatory functions).
3. Costs for any new facility that exceed the limits described above.
4. Recipient administrative expenses (direct or indirect) that exceed 10 percent of the total grant amount.
5. The use of funds for the purchase and/or lease of vehicles, such as crime scene vans.

Pre-Application Information:

All applications are due by 11:59 PM eastern time on June 4, 2019.

Applicants must acquire a unique entity identifier (currently, a DUNS number).

Applicants must acquire or maintain registration with SAM.

Registering with is a one-time process; however, processing delays may occur, and it can take several weeks for first-time registrants to receive confirmation of registration and a user password. OJP encourages applicants to register several weeks before the application submission deadline.

To be considered timely, an application must be submitted by the application deadline using, and the applicant must have received a validation message from that indicates successful and timely submission. OJP urges applicants to submit applications at least 72 hours prior to the application due date, to allow time for the applicant to receive validation messages or rejection notifications from, and to correct in a timely fashion any problems that may have caused a rejection notification.

Award notifications will be made by September 30, 2019.

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Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs. Customer Support Hotline:
Phone: 800-518-4726 / 606-545-5035

National Criminal Justice Reference Service (NCJRS) Response Center:
Toll-free: 1-800-851-3420
TTY: 301-240-6310 (hearing impaired only)
Fax: 301-240-5830
Web Chat:

CFDA Number:


Funding or Pin Number:


URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming

USA Territories: American Samoa (USA)   Guam (USA)   Puerto Rico (USA)   Virgin Islands (USA)   Northern Mariana Islands (USA)