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NSF 13-007

Dear Colleague Letter: National Science Foundation and National Institute of Justice Collaboration in the Social, Behavioral and Forensic Sciences

Date: 10/22/2012

National Science Foundation
Directorate for Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences (SBE)
Division of Social and Economic Sciences (SES)

NSF is pleased to announce that on September 10th, NSF's Directorate for the Social, Behavioral & Economic Sciences and the Department of Justice's National Institute of Justice, (NIJ) signed a Memorandum of Understanding that outlines a framework for cooperation and collaboration in the social, behavioral, and forensic sciences. NSF and NIJ have distinct but complementary missions. NSF focuses on promoting the progress of science to advance the national health, prosperity and welfare and to secure the national defense, while NIJ seeks to provide objective and independent knowledge and tools to reduce crime and promote justice, particularly at the state and local levels. By working together, the two agencies can build on one another's strengths and leverage resources to identify and support innovative, cutting-edge social and forensic science research on crime, violence and victimization.

The MOU provides an opportunity for joint review and co-funding, and for seamless communication with PIs whose work may better fit the mission of the other agency. As initial steps to facilitate this partnership, NSF's Law & Social Sciences Program will coordinate with NIJ to share information about workshops and symposia of common interest; identify reviewers and workshop participants from the other agency's network of scholars; co-sponsor sessions at professional conferences; and share information about the other agency's programs with our communities. Future directions include jointly funding topical workshops and research proposals, and development of new initiatives designed to catalyze high-quality, original scholarship in the area of criminology and criminal justice.


Myron P. Gutmann
Assistant Director, National Science Foundation
Directorate for Social, Behavioral & Economic Sciences

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Marjorie S. Zatz, Law and Social Sciences Program,, 703-292-7808

Susan Sterett, Law and Social Sciences Program,, 703-292-7267

Katrina Baum, Office of Research Partnerships, NIJ,, 202-307-5889