Foundation / Corporation
U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) - National Institute of Justice (NIJ)
Opportunity for USA doctoral students to participate in a research program related to the field of criminal justice. This professional development program enables full-time research assistants to gain valuable applied and practical experience while funding their salaries, health insurance, and tuition remission. Eligible students may be working in a degree program toward a doctor of philosophy, public administration, social work, or public health. Research assistants work primarily at the NIJ office in Washington, D.C. Sometimes, work is conducted in the field, such as during data collection efforts, or at another approved location, such as at a university or research facility. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, RAs may work remotely until onsite working at NIJ has resumed.
The NIJ Research Assistantship Program (RAP) offers highly qualified doctoral students the opportunity to bring their expertise to NIJ to work across offices and program areas to obtain a practical and applied research experience. The RA program is a research focused professional development opportunity for doctoral students. We welcome students from all academic disciplines to apply who wish to connect their research to the criminal justice field. This unique assistantship is an opportunity to learn and contribute to the breadth and depth of science research in which NIJ engages. NIJ provides funds to participating universities to pay salaries and other costs associated with research assistants who work on NIJ research activities.
In the fall of each year, NIJ announces on its website and through social media and other dissemination mechanisms, the availability of research assistantships. Universities nominate enrolled students for these assistantships, and NIJ selects from the nominees based on their background and expertise.
Research assistants perform a range of research-related duties and must work effectively as part of a larger research team. Research assistants plan and schedule their work based on defined objectives, tasks and priorities with the review and approval of the RAP manager, relevant NIJ staff and the university’s Graduate Program Director (GPD). See https://nij.ojp.gov/funding/nijs-research-assistantship-program#duties for more details on research assistant duties and responsibilities.
GrantWatch ID#: 187424
NIJ and each participating university establish an agreement through which NIJ provides funds to pay research assistants’ salaries, health insurance and tuition remission (via a memorandum of understanding and inter-agency or cooperative agreement).
The provision and amount of these funds are determined by the university’s standard practice for similarly situated graduate research assistants whose work is performed at the university.
The cost of tuition remission is calculated based on the university’s standard tuition (such as in-state rates for public schools) per credit hour. There are maximum amounts for tuition remission:
- Up to 20 credits per academic year for full-time graduate research assistants who work for NIJ during the academic year only.
- Up to 24 credits per calendar year for full-time graduate research assistants who work for NIJ throughout the calendar year.
Research assistants are “full-time graduate research assistants” nominated by their universities and approved by NIJ. They normally work 20 to 30 hours per week (based on university policy) under a 9.5- or 12-month appointment, as applicable. The number of hours worked each week will depend on university policy. If funding is available, research assistants may work full time up to 40 hours per week during university breaks in the fall, winter, spring and summer (with the NIJ RAP manager’s and the university’s prior approval).
Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.
The Graduate Development Program (GPD) may submit multiple student application packets to the following address: NIJ_RAP@usdoj.gov.
Any questions should be directed to NIJ's RAP manager at NIJ_RAP@usdoj.gov.
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