Registration Due Date: 12/23/20
Provider Organization: National Institute of Justice
About the National Institute of Justice
The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) is the research, development, and evaluation agency of the U.S. Department of Justice. They are dedicated to improving knowledge and understanding of crime and justice issues through science. They provide objective and independent knowledge and tools to inform the decision-making of the criminal and juvenile justice communities to reduce crime and advance justice, particularly at the state and local levels.
NIJ accomplishes their mission through the “Listen, Learn, Inform” model — they “listen” to the needs of the field; “learn” ways to meet those needs by funding research, development, and evaluation projects; and then “inform” the field of what they learned.
About the Opportunity
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 practical and applied research experience. The RA program is a research-focused professional development opportunity for doctoral students. NIJ welcomes 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.
NIJ is now accepting applications for the 2021-2022 academic year.
When considering applying, please keep in mind the following qualifications:
- University enrollment. Candidates must be enrolled in a research-based doctoral degree program at a public or private university. Universities should contact the RAP manager at NIJ_RAP@usdoj.gov to determine if they qualify for program participation.
- Degree program. Candidates must be working towards a doctoral degree throughout the research assistantship period of performance. Degree programs include Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.), Doctor of Public Administration (D.P.A.), Doctor of Public Health (D.P.H.), and Doctor of Social Work (D.S.W.).
- Reasoning ability. Research assistants must be able to work independently, accurately, and in a timely manner.
- Communication skills. Candidates should have the ability to communicate orally and in writing to prepare comprehensive research reports, proposals, and evaluations, and to make recommendations to accomplish and enhance project objectives.
- Certifications, licenses, and registrations. Human Subjects Protection training is required. Accepted research assistants will take training on-site at the Office of Justice Programs.
- Background check. Successful completion and approval of all required U.S. Department of Justice profile and prescreening paperwork, security reviews, and background investigations (such as credit and criminal investigations) are required.
- Citizenship. Applicants must be U.S. citizens or permanent U.S. residents.
How To Apply
Universities recommend doctoral students for selection to research assistant positions supported by NIJ. The university’s recommendation(s) must be submitted by the Graduate Development Program (GPD) to the NIJ RAP manager. The GDP may submit multiple student application packets to the following address: NIJ_RAP@usdoj.gov, by the established deadline.
Before they can be nominated by their university, candidates must provide their GPD with:
- Statement of interest (1,000 word maximum) that describes the applicant’s background and qualifications, current educational program objectives, basis for interest in the assistantship — including issues of interest and skills to be acquired — and career goals, including how the assistantship would support those goals.
- Public Safety Challenge Essay: Applicant should provide an essay describing what they consider to be the greatest public safety challenge (or set of challenges) that can be addressed through advances in science (including social and behavioral), technology, engineering or mathematics within the next 20 years, and why. The applicant will need to explain why this challenge is important and what advances could be employed to address the challenge. (No more than five (5) pages).
- A résumé/CV.
- An unofficial copy (copies) of their transcript(s) covering their undergraduate and doctoral graduate studies.
- One Letter of Recommendation. Letter of recommendation must be from an individual who can comment on the student’s academic achievements and abilities, and other qualities and interests that make the applicant especially qualified to serve as a research assistant.
- Up to three contacts for reference checks.
- Writing sample of a scientific paper. (Can be from a classroom assignment or a publication).
It is the responsibility of the GPD to submit these materials to NIJ’s RAP manager for review and consideration.
Upon consideration of all applications, the RAP manager and NIJ science staff may reach out to interview qualified candidates. NIJ chooses candidates on the basis of their background and experience. The selection process is highly competitive.
Applications are due December 23, 2020.