FY 2015 Graduate Research Fellowship Program for Criminal Justice Statistics

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), Office of Justice Programs (OJP), Bureau of Justice Statistics

(BJS) is seeking applications to fund one or more fellows under its Graduate Research Fellowship (GRF) Program for Criminal Justice Statistics. This program furthers the Department’s mission by facilitating collaboration between academic and government researchers in survey methodology, statistics, economics, and social sciences. BJS provides Graduate Research Fellows the unique opportunity to address substantive, methodological, and analytic issues relevant to BJS programs and to further existing knowledge about and understanding of the operation of the criminal justice system.

Click HERE for more information

 

How HBCUs Can Get Federal Sponsorship from the United States Department of Education

By: Ivory A. Toldson & Amanda Washington

“Ensuring that every student—from the wealthiest to the poorest and historically underserved—has access to a high-quality education is what our work is all about…We aren’t just talking the talk; we are awarding millions of dollars in grants to help institutions better serve minority students through various programs and services.” – U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan

Prelude

This series is designed to expand federal support of HBCU research, programs, and outreach through competitive grants and contracts. The Department of Education (ED) accounts for more revenue to HBCUs than any other federal agency – totaling more than $4.7 billion in 2013. Any given year, HBCUs collectively receive between $600 – $750 million from ED through grants and contracts. Because of the nature and purpose of many of the grant programs, HBCUs have been uniquely suited to receive funding from ED.   The White House Initiative on HBCUs (WHIHBCUs) believes that increasing revenue to HBCUs from federal grants and contracts is vital to the long term sustainability of these institutions. By developing innovative proposals, working with HBCU liaisons at federal agencies and taking advantage of federal funding opportunities, HBCUs can increase the resources necessary to initiate and sustain vital programs.

Highlights

  • The United States Department of Education (ED) is responsible for more revenue to HBCUs than any other federal agency; typically accounting for more than $4.7 billion from the Federal Government.
  • In FY2013, ED awarded more than $700 million to Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) for capacity building programs.
  • The vast majority of the revenue from ED to HBCUs comes from noncompetitive opportunities; however, ED invests hundreds of millions of dollars into research and programs, in which HBCUs are distinctively qualified to apply.
  • New opportunities from ED, including First in the World and The Pathways to the Education Sciences Research Training Program, provide unique opportunities for HBCUs to compete for grants through ED.

Introduction

Educational inequities that exist for African Americans underscore the need for education research programs and advocacy at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). The Department of Education (ED) accounts for more revenue to HBCUs than any other federal agency – totaling more than $4.7 billion in 2013. ED is a multifaceted agency, and revenue to HBCUs comes from ED in many forms. The bulk of the funding is awarded to students to attend HBCUs in the form of grants and loans for qualifying students. ED also offers noncompetitive grants to HBCUs through the “Strengthening HBCUs program.” Also known as “Title III,” these noncompetitive awards, which are aimed at building the capacity of HBCUs, account for approximately $300 million of the revenue that ED awards to HBCUs.

Any given year, HBCUs collectively receive between $600 – $700 million from ED through grants and contracts. Because of the nature and purpose of many of the grant programs, HBCUs have been uniquely suited to receive funding from ED. However, many HBCUs have challenges with locating the appropriate grant opportunities and completing competitive proposals.

This series is designed to expand federal support of HBCU research, programs, and outreach through competitive grants and contracts. The White House Initiative on HBCUs (WHIHBCUs) believes that increasing revenue to HBCUs from federal grants and contracts is vital to the long term sustainability of these institutions. By developing innovative proposals, working with HBCU liaisons at federal agencies and taking advantage of federal funding opportunities, HBCUs can increase the resources necessary to initiate and sustain vital programs.

The U.S. Department of Education Overview

ED’s mission is to promote student achievement and preparation for global competitiveness by fostering educational excellence and ensuring equal access. This agency was created in 1980 by combining offices from several federal agencies. ED’s 4,400 employees and $68 billion budget are dedicated to: 1) establishing policies on federal financial aid for education, and distributing, as well as, monitoring those funds; 2) Collecting data on America’s schools and disseminating research; 3) Focusing national attention on key educational issues; and 4) Prohibiting discrimination and ensuring equal access to education.

For FY 2016, President Obama requested $70.7 billion for ED; an increase of approximately $3.6 billion, or a 5.4 percent, in ED’s discretionary funding from the previous year. ED’s FY 2016 request budget targets four key areas:

  • Increasing equity and opportunity for all students;
  • Expanding high-quality early learning programs;
  • Supporting teachers and school leaders; and
  • Improving access, affordability, and student outcomes in postsecondary education.

According to the ED’s budget proposal, improving college access and completion is an economic necessity and a moral imperative. Reclaiming the top spot in college completion is essential for maximizing both individual opportunity and our economic prosperity.

White House Initiative on HBCUs’ Liaison to the U.S. Department of Education

As the liaison between the White House Initiative on HBCUs (WHIHBCUs) and ED, Jon O’Bergh (Jon.OBergh@ed.gov) works with the WHIHBCUs to organize efforts to strengthen the capacity of HBCUs through increased participation in appropriate federal programs and initiatives.

Specifically, Mr. O’Bergh helps the WHIHBCUs to:

  • Establish how the department or agency intends to increase the capacity of HBCUs to compete effectively for grants, contracts, or cooperative agreements and to encourage HBCUs to participate in federal programs;
  • Identify federal programs and initiatives in which HBCUs may be either underserved or underused as national resources, and improve HBCUs’ participation therein; and
  • Encourage public-sector, private-sector, and community involvement in improving the overall capacity of HBCUs.

Jon O’Bergh is a senior policy advisor for the Office of the Under Secretary, where he works on matters related to postsecondary data and accountability.

What opportunities are there for HBCUs to compete for grants/contracts through ED?

There are many programs within ED, however, only a few have grant opportunities for Institutions of Higher Education (IHEs). The following link has a comprehensive list of all programs and competitions under which ED has invited or expects to invite applications for new awards and provides actual or estimated deadline dates for applications. This section outlines the programs within ED that have grant opportunities for HBCUs.

The Office of Postsecondary Education (OPE)

OPE aims to strengthen the capacity of colleges and universities to promote reform, innovation and improvement in postsecondary education, promote and expand access to postsecondary education and increase college completion rates for America’s students, and broaden global competencies that drive the economic success and competitiveness of our Nation. OPE has several noncompetitive opportunities, including Title III programs and a federal appropriation to Howard University. In addition, OPE has several competitive grant opportunities including:

                Student Services Awards

  • The First in the World (FITW) program provides grants to IHEs to spur the development of innovations that improve educational outcomes and make college more affordable for students and families, and to develop an evidence base of effective practices. In 2014, HBCUs received $3.5 million. Hampton University is the only HBCU that received a major award through the FITW competition. This year, Congress has appropriated $60 million to ED for the FITW grant competition, with a $16 million set-aside for Minority-Serving Institutions (MSI’s). Although priorities for the FY2015 competition have not yet been announced, ED is providing general information about FITW to help institutions begin preparing. On Monday, April 27th , the White House Initiative for Historically Black Colleges and Universities hosted “Office Hours” for MSIs interested in FITW.  For FY 2016, President Obama’s budget proposes $200 million for FITW, a $140 million increase over FY 2015.
  • Federal TRIO Programs (TRIO) are federal outreach and student services programs designed to identify and provide services for individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds. TRIO includes eight programs targeted to serve and assist low-income individuals, first-generation college students, and individuals with disabilities to progress through the academic pipeline from middle school to post-baccalaureate programs. TRIO also includes a training program for directors and staff of TRIO projects. In 2014, HBCUs received nearly $54 million for TRIO projects. For FY 2016, President Obama’s budget proposes $860 million for TRIO, a $20 million increase over 2015.
  • Child Care Access Means Parents in School Program (CCAMPIS) supports the participation of low-income parents in postsecondary education through the provision of campus-based child care services. In 2014, the CCAMPIS program awarded $15,134,000 to 86 projects. Of this amount, $336,193 was awarded to Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University. For FY 2016, the CCAMPIS program is expected to be discontinued.
  • Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) is designed to increase the number of low-income students who are prepared to enter and succeed in postsecondary education. GEAR UP provides six-year grants to states and partnerships to provide services at high-poverty middle and high schools. GEAR UP grantees serve an entire cohort of students beginning no later than the seventh grade and follow the cohort through high school. GEAR UP funds are also used to provide college scholarships to low-income students. Records indicate that HBCUs collectively receive between $4 million and less than $1 million per year from this program. For FY 2016, President Obama’s budget proposes $301.6 million for GEAR-UP.
  • Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need (GAANN) provides fellowships, through academic departments and programs of IHEs, to assist graduate students with excellent records who demonstrate financial need and plan to pursue the highest degree available in their course study at the institution in a field designated as an area of national need. Records indicate that HBCUs collectively receive less than $500,000 per year from this program. For FY 2016, President Obama’s budget proposes $329.3 million for GAANN.

 

Institutional Development Awards

Since President Obama was elected in 2008, ED has offered several grants to build the institutional capacity of HBCUs, including Minority Science and Engineering Improvement (MSEIP), Master’s Degree Programs at HBCUs, Graduate Research Opportunities for Minority Students (Minorities and Retirement Security Program), Title VII – Higher Education Disaster Relief, and Earmarks/Directed Grants. In 2014, HBCUs received approximately $11 million from OPE institutional development awards. For example, in FY 2014, Fayetteville State and Prairie View A&M were awarded grant funding through “The Minority Science and Engineering Improvement Program.” Year-by-year, these opportunities vary considerably, so it is important to consult the point of contact for each opportunity to determine if a current service award is available and suitable for your HBCU. For FY 2016, President Obama’s budget proposes $9 million for MSEIP and $58.8 million for “Strengthening Historically Black Graduate Institutions.”

The Institute of Education Sciences (IES)

IES supports research on education practice and policy. IES is the repository of the What Works Clearinghouse; the ERIC education database; ten Regional Educational Laboratories; national Research and Development Centers; and many conferences, publications and products. They fund research on educational outcomes for all students, particularly those at risk of failure. IES is the research arm of the U.S. Department of Education, and by law their activities must be free of partisan political influence.

For 2016, President Obama’s Administration is seeking $675.9 million for IES activities, an increase of $101.9 million over the 2015 appropriation. According to the President’s budget proposal, “This request would enable IES to award approximately $60 million in new research and development grants in early learning, elementary, secondary, postsecondary, and adult education in 2016, including research focused on issues related to students with disabilities.” If fully funded, IES would have more than $200 million for educational research, development, and dissemination.

A review of data and correspondence with program officers at IES reveal that IES has not awarded any grants to HBCUs over the last six years. Recently, IES has initiated and completed several technical assistance programs to broaden HBCU and MSI participation. IES established a new funding opportunity aimed at using MSIs, including HBCUs, to build the next generation of educational scholars, through The Pathways to the Education Sciences Research Training Program (Pathways Training Program).

Pathways Training Program is designed to prepare undergraduate students, recent graduates, and master’s students from under-represented groups for doctoral study in education research. The Institute intends these efforts to lead both to the training of talented education researchers from a variety of backgrounds and to the incorporation of diverse ideas and perspectives in education research. For this competition, all awards will be made as cooperative agreements in order to support the Institute’s involvement in the planning and implementation of the training program and coordination across programs. IES expects to support four grants under the Pathways Training Program and the maximum award is $1,200,000.

Importantly, the Pathways Training Program is only one of many funding opportunities within IES. For a comprehensive list of opportunities, visit their website.

Office of Career, Technical and Adult Education (OCTAE)

OCTAE both administers, and coordinates programs that are related to adult education and literacy, career and technical education, and community colleges. OCTAE runs formula grants to states and states must distribute funds to eligible local providers.  OCTAE advises that HBCUs are eligible for these grants and can compete by responding to their respective state request for proposal (RFP). Because there are very different processes to apply for each state RFP, OCTAE suggests looking at eligibility requirements on your state’s Adult Education website. Click here for a list of the state agencies for adult education.

Other ED Funding Opportunities

ED personnel estimates that in recent years HBCUs collectively received between $6.6 million and $9.2 million from competitive grants from the following ED offices: Office of Innovation and Improvement (OII); Office of Elementary and Secondary Education (OESE); Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS); Office of English Language Acquisition (OELA); and Office of Safe and Healthy Students (OSHS). However, the 2016 budget proposal suggests that more than $26 billion will be invested in these offices for operation, as well as grants to schools, organizations, state and local governments and institutes of higher education (IHEs). Although only a fraction of the billions of dollars for advancing education are suited for IHEs, HBCUs have enormous opportunities to link with these offices for direct grants as contract, as well as collaborative partnerships.

HBCUs may be uniquely qualified to respond to several programs solicitations within these agencies including: Promise Neighborhood Implementation Grants, Teacher Quality Grants, Transition to Teaching Programs, and the School Leadership Program.

What advice does the Department of Education give to HBCUs in order to be more competitive in obtaining grants and contracts?

Become conceptually in sync. A review of the administration’s budget proposal reveals important priorities, which should be reflected in a grant proposal. The administration’s budget emphasizes four areas: increasing equity and opportunity for all students; expanding high-quality early learning programs; supporting teachers and school leaders; and improving access, affordability and student outcomes in postsecondary education. When appropriate, a proposal should reflect these commitments.

Get involved. ED is always seeking qualified individuals to join the pool of subject matter experts they call upon to review the strengths and weaknesses of applications for grant funding. More HBCU scholars should join the pool.

For other programs, contact the point of contact.

Make connections. Contact the program officer in charge of a request for proposals before starting the application. Find out about administration priorities and application imperatives. If you have difficulties identifying the program officer, contact the liaison to the program. Here is a partial list of points of contacts within ED:

If further information is required, or you have difficulties connecting to a point of contract, email Ivory A. Toldson (ivory.toldson@ed.gov), Deputy Director of WHIHBCUs.

Start early. Institutions should apply for grant funding early while also striving for the proposal to be collaborative, evidence-based, measured, and comprehensive. Build in an initial rejection and revision into the expected time between starting the application and getting funded.

Collaborate. The U.S. Department of Education urges IHEs to apply for grants as the primary fiscal agent while also identifying partnerships with local and national agencies, regional organizations and a variety of relevant affiliates.

Ground your proposal in research. In addition, successful grant proposals provide in-depth scholarly work and consist of concrete action plans. Consult the “What Works” Clearinghouse to understand the accepted validated standards for educational programs.

If at first you don’t succeed, try again. If your institution is denied grant funding, it is important to follow up with the specific office within the Department of Education to assess the strengths and weaknesses of the proposal. The agency suggests that denied applicants utilize this feedback to revise grant proposals and reapply in the next application season.

Conclusion

ED is a multifaceted federal agency that has many opportunities for HBCUs. Although ED is the source of noncompetitive revenue to HBCUs, many HBCUs have neglected the many competitive opportunities that ED has to fund research and programs at HBCUs. Currently, many programs within ED do not provide a lot of funding to HBCUs when compared to other IHEs. However, this is partially attributed to the low numbers of HBCUs, which have applied to programs outside of OPE student services programs. HBCUs can expand support from ED through rich and collaborative partnerships with government officials.

HBCUs should work with the President’s Board of Advisors on Historically Black Colleges and Universities and the WHIHBCUs to identify institutional strengths and establish partnerships with federal agencies. HBCUs should also build their institutional capacity to produce competitive grants. Members of Congress can help HBCUs to network with key personnel at federal agencies. Members can also help HBCUs connect with corporate and philanthropic partners to strengthen collaborative efforts.

_______________________________________

Ivory A. Toldson, Ph.D., was appointed by President Barack Obama to be the deputy director of the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities. He is currently on leave from his position as associate professor at Howard University.

Amanda Washington is an M.A. degree student in Education Policy at the EPSA department at Teachers College, Columbia University. She graduated from Spelman College.

First In the World MSI Call Monday, April 27th at 3:00PM!!!

This year, Congress has appropriated $60 million to the Department of Education (ED) for the First in the World (FITW) grant competition, with a $16 million set-aside for Minority-Serving Institutions (MSI’s).  Although priorities for the FY2015 competition have not yet been announced, ED is providing general information about FITW to help institutions begin preparing

On Monday, April 27th , from 3:00-4:00pm Eastern Time, the White House Initiative for Historically Black Colleges and Universities will host “Office Hours” for Minority Serving Institutions.  Dr. Ivory Toldson, Deputy Director for the Initiative, will open up the call and turn it over to Frank Frankfort and Gary Thomas of the Office of Postsecondary Education to discuss First in the World and take questions.

To participate, please dial in at:

Dial In: 800-369-1818

Participant passcode: 5411524

The purpose of the FITW grant competition is to incentivize institutions of higher education and partnering nonprofit organizations to collaborate and help spur the development of innovative approaches and strategies that will improve educational access and outcomes. To help grow the evidence base of effective educational practices, FITW is structured as an evidence-based grant competition that offers up to three tiers of grants – development, validation, and scale up.  Each tier requires a specific level of evidence underlying the proposed approach, and rigorous evaluation of each funded intervention.

ED expects to announce priorities for this competition in May; proposed priorities for the overall program were open for public comment in February-March.

The First in the World competition is run out of the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE) office, at ED’s Office of Postsecondary Education.

To learn more about the Office of Postsecondary Education (OPE) and its grant programs, please visit OPES’s website or follow us on Twitter at: @EDPostsecondary.

A RSVP is required for this call. You may RSVP by sending and email to: WHIRSVPs@ed.gov

Job Opportunities with U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) Office of Minority and Women Inclusion (OMWI) has job opportunities available.

Brief Background:

OMWI was established in July of 2011, as required by Section 342 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010.  OMWI is responsible for:

  • taking affirmative steps to seek diversity at all levels of the SEC’s workforce,
  • increasing participation of minority-owned and women-owned businesses in the SEC’s programs and contracts, including standards for coordinating technical assistance to such businesses; and
  • assessing the diversity policies and practices of entities regulated by the SEC.

For more information regardign the job opportunities see : Vacancy Announcement or contact

Germon Rochez
Recruitment Coordinator
Phone: 202-551-6046
omwi@sec.gov

 

 

PHMSA Offering $2 Million in University Research Grants for Pipeline Safety Solutions

PHMSA 01-15

Friday, April 10, 2015

Contact:  Patricia Klinger

Tel.:  (202) 366-4831

 

PHMSA Offering $2 Million in University Research Grants for Pipeline Safety Solutions

Grants Support Agency’s Recruitment Efforts

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) today announced that it is offering $2 million in grants for students and faculty at nonprofit institutions of higher education to research pipeline safety solutions – more than twice the amount awarded last year.  In addition to funding potential transportation solutions, PHMSA offers the grants to expose new engineers and scientists to the technical side of the energy transportation sector, supporting the agency’s recruitment efforts.

“The time is now to start investing in long-term safety innovations and retain a highly skilled, federal workforce,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.  “These grants will encourage students to use innovation and explore new ways to envision pipeline safety solutions for our transportation problems.”

The agency is hiring more than 100 new employees this year, most of whom will serve as pipeline safety inspectors.  The Competitive Academic Agreement Program (CAAP) supports the agency’s oversight of the nation’s exponentially growing energy production and transportation, and helps address the need for new technically trained federal employees.

Launched in 2013, the CAAP has grown based on previous student accomplishments and university interest.  To date, PHMSA has awarded more than $1.5 million to nearly 80 students’ multi-year research projects.  This year’s applicants may receive up to $300,000 for their proposed studies.  The awards are partially matched by non-federal funding.

A third of the federal workforce will be eligible to retire by 2017, according to the U.S. Government Accountability Office.

“We’re not simply offering grants through the Competitive Academic Agreement Program; we’re demonstrating to engineering and technical students that their disciplines are in demand in the energy pipeline sector,” said PHMSA Acting Administrator Timothy Butters.  “PHMSA provides safety oversight for the country’s 2.6-million-mile pipeline network, and we need out-of-the-box thinkers.”

At least 48 hours prior to submitting proposals, applicants should register on PHMSA’s Research & Development website.  Official grant applications are due via Grants.gov on Monday, May 18, 2015. Applicants without a Grants.gov login access should request registration at least two weeks ahead of the grant deadline.

In consultation with other federal and state officials as well as other stakeholders, PHMSA is specifically seeking projects that address technical gaps in the following areas:

  • Preventing and Mitigating Pipeline Corrosion – What innovative new solutions can be proposed in chemical treatments or materials to prevent or manage on-shore hazardous liquid and/ or natural gas pipeline corrosion?
  • Developing Locatable Plastic Pipelines – Excavation damage to buried pipelines can be prevented when professionals detect and mark buried utility lines; however, many plastic pipes can go undetected with current above-ground technology.  Are there effective ways to add or insert electro/mechanical/metallic material to plastic pipes to make it locatable above-ground?  How would you innovate above-ground technology to detect plastic pipes?
  • Developing Inspection Tools to Quantify Pipe Strength and Toughness – How would you develop tools to accurately quantify pipeline strength and toughness which would allow pipeline operators to better understand and manage risks?

Proposals are evaluated on their scientific merit and quality as well as the feasibility of their management plans, work tasks, budgets and schedules.  In the long run, PHMSA intends to adopt the most promising findings into its core research program for further investigation.  For more information, potential applicants should read the full grant solicitation on Grants.gov.  Users can find the solicitation and announcement by searching with CFDA number 20.724 or Funding Opportunity Number DTPH5615SN0003.

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The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration develops and enforces regulations for the safe, reliable, and environmentally sound operation of the nation’s 2.6 million mile pipeline transportation system and the nearly 1 million daily shipments of hazardous materials by land, sea, and air.  Please visit http://phmsa.dot.gov for more information.

 

USDA will host Fellowships Webinar on April 23rd

On April 23rd from 1:30 pm – 3:00 pm, USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service/Office of Capacity Building and Development will host a webinar on the availability of  U.S. based short term agricultural Fellowships offered by the Trade and Scientific Exchanges Division.  Universities under the U.S. Land Grant University system can apply to become training providers for these short term exchange activities.  This includes hosting groups or individuals from international agricultural ministries, agribusinesses, universities, and research institutes.  This webinar will provide background information on the specific Fellowships within the Trade and Scientific Exchanges Division, such as the Cochran Fellowship Program and the Norman E. Borlaug Fellowship Program, and how universities can become engaged.

Please contact Meg Durcan at Margaret.Durcan@fas.usda.gov or (202) 720-0431 if you would like to be added to the webinar invitation list.   A link to the webinar will be provided at a later date.

 

New EONS Appendices

2014 NASA EONS Solicitation New Appendix

NASA’s Office of Education is accepting new proposals under the Education Opportunities in NASA STEM (EONS) 2014 NASA Research Announcement for MUREP Other Opportunities (MOO) appendix. MOO is designed to increase the number of minorities in STEM education areas relevant to NASA and contribute to effective implementation of NASA’s educational goals and objectives using NASA’s unique assets and capabilities.  MOO also seeks to increase the number of available STEM courses and curricular pathways, while attracting, retaining, and supporting the success of students in STEM degree programs, and subsequently in NASA-related careers.

Proposals are due June 26, 2015.

For more information regarding MOO Solicitation, please visit the NASA EONS page on NSPIRES http://nspires.nasaprs.com/external/

2014 NASA EONS Solicitation New Appendix

NASA’s Office of Education is accepting new proposals under the Education Opportunities in NASA STEM (EONS) 2014 NASA Research Announcement for MUREP Educator Institutes (MEI) appendix.  MEI is designed to engage with MSI(s) to bring high performing undergraduate students, who plan to teach STEM, to NASA Centers for one week to interact with NASA missions and SMEs; engage participating future educators with NASA experts to collaborate and provide the most advanced and innovative pre-service/alternate route experiences possible; inspire future educators to help NASA communicate with students for years to come; and reach underserved and underrepresented populations and institutions.

The specific objectives of the MEIs are to engage future educators enrolled in MSIs in NASA-unique, authentic STEM experiences affiliated with NASA missions and facilitated by NASA SMEs and train these future educators in the use of evidence-based instructional practices that provide students with rich, NASA-unique STEM learning opportunities.

Proposals are due June 30, 2015.

For more information regarding MEI Solicitation, please visit the NASA EONS page on NSPIRES http://nspires.nasaprs.com/external/

 

 

How HBCUs Can Get Federal Sponsorship from the United States Department of Justice

By: Ivory A. Toldson & Amanda Washington

Over more than 150 years, HBCUs have provided students with the tools to meet the challenges of a changing world.  These institutions are hubs of opportunity that lift up Americans and instill in their students a sense of who they are and what they can become.  Their campuses are engines of economic growth and community service and proven ladders of intergenerational advancement. – President Barack Obama, 2014 Proclamation

Highlights

  • Office of Justice Programs (OJP) typically makes more than 3,500 grant awards to criminal and juvenile justice organizations and victim service providers at the national, state, local, and tribal level, totaling more than $2 billion.
  • The FY 2016 Federal budget requests $154 million in additional funding for DOJ grant programs (Office of Justice Programs, Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, and Office on Violence Against Women), for a total grant program request of $2.7 billion.
  • In 2012, the U.S. Department of Justice awarded $40,019,662 to Institutions of Higher Education with $822,596 of the grant funding specifically awarded to HBCUs.
  • In 2014, eleven HBCUs applied to receive grant funding through Office of Justice Programs.
  • In 2014, less than 10 percent of HBCUs applied for any funding from the DOJ and less than 3 percent received funding.

Introduction

Recent high profile interactions between the Black community and law enforcement officials underscore the need for criminal justice research, programs and advocacy at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) awards over $40 million to institutes of higher education, but HBCUs receive only a small percentage of this revenue. The reasons for HBCUs receiving less money are complex. Many contend that HBCUs are smaller institutions with less university personnel to deliver high quality proposals, while others identify systemic biases that may influence raters’ judgments of HBCU’s proposals.

Despite the challenges, some HBCUs have produced successful proposals to the DOJ. As an assistant professor at Southern University A & M in Baton Rouge, Dr. Ivory A. Toldson, the co-author of this article, received a grant from DOJ to study police misconduct. More recently, Howard University, Lincoln University and Elizabeth City State University received grants to address sexual violence. The purpose of this article is to provide information relevant to HBCUs who are interested in securing federal sponsorship for their research and programs through the DOJ.

This series is designed to expand Federal support of HBCU research, programs, and outreach through competitive grants and contracts. HBCUs receive approximately $287 million per year for research and development from 32 federal agencies. However, this is only a fraction of the more than $25 billion awarded to all institutions of higher education. The White House Initiative on HBCUs (WHIHBCUs) believes that increasing revenues to HBCUs from federal grants and contracts is vital to the long term sustainability of our institutions. By developing innovative proposals, working with HBCU liaisons at federal agencies and taking advantage of federal funding opportunities, HBCUs can increase the resources necessary to initiate and sustain vital programs.

The U.S. Department of Justice Overview

The U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs (OJP) provides innovative leadership to federal, state, local, and tribal justice systems, by disseminating state-of-the art knowledge and practices across America, and providing grants for the implementation of these crime fighting strategies.  For FY 2016, President Obama requested $28.7 billion for the DOJ; an increase of approximately $2.5 billion over the previous year. The DOJ’s FY 2016 request includes 118,001 positions including 26,274 Agents, 12,519 Attorneys, 20,921 Correctional Officers, and 4,613 Intelligence Analysts. The FY 2016 budget also request $154 million in additional funding for DOJ grant programs (Office of Justice Programs, Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, and Office on Violence Against Women), for a total grant program request of $2.7 billion.

Specifically, FY 2016 request:

  • For OJP totals $2.7 billion, including $1.6 billion for discretionary grant programs and $1.1 billion for mandatory grant programs. It includes $427.1 million in discretionary enhancements, including increased funding for an indigent defense initiative, Second Chance Prisoner Reentry, Justice Reinvestment, and juvenile justice programs.
  • For Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) totals $303.5 million. The COPS request includes $249.5 million for the COPS Hiring Program, with $5.0 million targeted towards increasing diversity in law enforcement, and $35.0 million for Tribal Law Enforcement.
  • For the Office of Violence Against Women (OVW) totals $473.5 million. OVW’s budget includes a total of $50 million in enhancements. Protecting students from sexual assault is a top priority for this Administration, and the Budget includes a $14 million increase to the Campus Violence Program to better meet the need on college campuses.

White House Initiative on HBCUs’ Liaison to the U.S. Department of Justice

As the liaison between the White House Initiative on HBCUs (WHIHBCUs) and OJP, Kevin Jenkins (kevin.jenkins@usdoj.gov) works with the WHIHBCUs to organize efforts to strengthen the capacity of HBCUs through increased participation in appropriate Federal programs and initiatives.

Specifically, Mr. Jenkins helps the WHIHBCUs to:

  1. Establish how the department or agency intends to increase the capacity of HBCUs to compete effectively for grants, contracts, or cooperative agreements and to encourage HBCUs to participate in Federal programs;
  2. Identify Federal programs and initiatives in which HBCUs may be either underserved or underused as national resources, and improve HBCUs’ participation therein; and
  3. Encourage public-sector, private-sector, and community involvement in improving the overall capacity of HBCUs.

Kevin Jenkins serves as the Intergovernmental Affairs Specialist at the Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs. He has been with the Department since March 2008 and has spent his entire professional career in public service working for non-profit organizations, as well as local, state, and federal government agencies, focusing on issues such as mental health, homelessness, transportation, community planning, and advocating for developmentally disabled persons in the criminal justice system.

What opportunities are there for HBCUs to compete for grants/contracts through the agency?

In fiscal year 2011, OJP made more than 3,500 grant awards to criminal and juvenile justice organizations and victim service providers at the national, state, local, and tribal level. These awards include a total of more than $2 billion to support public safety and justice initiatives in every part of the United States[i]. This federal agency offers several grant opportunities for Institutions of Higher Education to implement and strengthen innovative programs. In 2012, the U.S. Department of Justice awarded $40,019,662 to Institutions of Higher Education with $822,596 of the grant funding specifically awarded to HBCUs.

Several bureaus and offices within the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs provide funding and award opportunities to Institutions of Higher Education. In the year 2014, ten HBCUs applied to receive grant funding through the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), and the Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering and Tracking (SMART).

The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) provides the most amount of money to higher education and provides significant funding and award opportunities to HBCUs. The NIJ funds physical and social science research, development and evaluation projects about criminal justice through competitive solicitations. The focus of the solicitations varies from year to year based on research priorities and available funding[ii]. In 2014, Texas Southern University, Claflin University, Alabama State University, Bowie State University, Howard University and Clark Atlanta University applied for grants within the NIJ.

The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) also provides discretionary funding to organizations to implement various programs including strategic enhancement to mentoring, community initiatives to increase child safety, and programs that discourage youth gang membership. In 2014, Clark Atlanta University, Hampton University, Florida Memorial University, Alabama State University, and Dillard University applied for grants within the OJJDP.

The Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering and Tracking (SMART) provide jurisdictions with guidance regarding the implementation of the Adam Walsh Act, and provide technical assistance to the states, territories, Indian tribes, local governments, and to public and private organizations. The SMART Office also tracks important legislative and legal developments related to sex offenders and administers grant programs related to the registration, notification, and management of sex offenders. In 2014, Johnson C. Smith University applied for a grant with SMART.

In recent years, how successful have HBCUs been in obtaining grants/contracts from DOJ?

According to Mr. Jenkins, many HBCUs have expressed that they are unaware of the resources at the U.S. Department of Justice, and only a small percentage of HBCUs have applied for funding. Recently, Howard University, Lincoln University and Elizabeth City State University received grants to address sexual violence, with total awards ranging from $300,000 to $35,000 through the Office on Violence Against Women.

What advice does DOJ give to HBCUs in order to be more competitive in obtaining grants and contracts?

  1. Get involved. OJP is always seeking qualified individuals to join the pool of subject matter experts they call upon to review the strengths and weaknesses of applications for grant funding. More HBCU scholars should join the pool. If you are interested, start the enrollment process by e-mailing ojppeerreview@lmbps.com.
  2. Make connections. Contact the program officer in charge of a request for proposals before starting the application. Find out about administration priorities and application imperatives. If you have difficulties identifying the program officer, contact the HBCU liaison or Ivory A. Toldson (toldson@ed.gov), the Deputy Director of WHIHBCUs.
  3. Start early. Institutions should apply for grant funding early while also striving for the proposal to be collaborative, evidence-based, measured, and comprehensive. Build in an initial rejection and revision into the expected time between starting the application and getting funded.
  4. Collaborate. The U.S. Department of Justice urges Institutions of Higher Education to apply for grants as the primary fiscal agent while also identifying partnerships with local and national agencies, regional organizations and a variety of relevant affiliates.
  5. Ground your proposal in research. In addition, successful grant proposals provide in-depth scholarly work and consist of concrete action plans.
  6. If at first you don’t succeed, try again. If your institution is denied grant funding, it is important to follow up with the Office of Justice Programs to assess the strengths and weaknesses of the proposal. The agency suggests that denied applicants utilize this feedback to revise grant proposals and reapply in the next application season.

Conclusions

The process of obtaining a grant from the Federal Government can be daunting, but there’s only one way to guarantee that a proposal will not be funding – not to apply. Currently, the DOJ funds HBCUs at a level that is less than the average for all Federal agencies. However, this is partially attributed to the low numbers of HBCUs, which have applied. Nationally, 6 HBCUs have law schools, most have criminal justice programs and all offer classes that are relevant to law and justice. In addition, HBCUs have students and faculty members should take leadership in shaping justice-relevant research, policy and practice. In partnership, government officials and HBCUs can expand support to HBCUs through the DOJ.

Specially, the WHIHBCUs should regularly produce reports such as this, which has information regarding the agency’s HBCU liaison, background facts, funding trends, existing HBCU relationships, and agency emphasis. The WHIHBCUs should also work with Federal partners to provide technical assistance to HBCUs who are interested in applying for funding.

HBCUs should work with the President’s Board of Directors on Historically Black Colleges and Universities and the WHIHBCUs to identify institutional strengths and establish partnerships with federal agencies. HBCUs should also build their institutional capacity to produce competitive grants. Members of Congress can help HBCUs to network with key personnel at federal agencies. Members can also help HBCUs connect with corporate and philanthropic partners to strength collaborative efforts.

Links/Resources to Opportunities

[i] http://ojp.gov/grants101/index.htm

[ii] http://ojp.gov/partnerships/partnerships.htm

 

Ivory A. Toldson, Ph.D., was appointed by President Barack Obama to be the deputy director of the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities. He is currently on leave from his position as associate professor at Howard University.

Amanda Washington is an M.A. degree student in Education Policy at the EPSA department at Teacher College Columbia University. She graduated from Spelman College.