Editor’s Note: The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) has canceled the Comprehensive School Safety Initiative. With the enactment of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018, the funding planned for these solicitations is no longer available for research and evaluation. Instead, it will be used for other purposes under the Stop School Violence Act of 2018. NIJ will post updates on school safety funding.
The 2018 Comprehensive School Safety Initiative program is awarding up to $50 million in grants, with no matching required, to organizations researching ways to make schools more secure and students safer.
City and local governments and districts are eligible to apply for the CSSI grants, which are a joint venture through the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), the Office of Justice Programs (OJP) and the National Institute of Justice (NIJ).
Funding from CSSI grants may not be used primarily to purchase equipment, material or supplies, unless they are used in conjunction with conducting research related to the grant focus.
Past funded projects include $4.1 million to research the importance and effectiveness of school principals on the safety of their students in Columbia, Missouri, and $3.8 million to research how to reduce disciplinary referrals in the framework of racial justice at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia.
Organizations interested in applying for a CSSI grant are strongly encouraged to focus their application in one of seven areas:
#1 School Shootings
NIJ is interested in supporting projects likely to provide credible and objective knowledge that schools may use to more effectively prevent and respond to school shootings and other incidents involving mass violence.
#2 School Resource Officers
Research on School Resource Officers (SRO) programs are limited, and the NIJ is interested in the examination of SRO selection and training, SRO involvement in school discipline and costs associated with SRO program implementation.
#3 School Discipline and School Coordination with the Justice System
NIJ encourages applicants to develop and evaluate programs and practices that involve working together to address issues related to school safety and violence. The research should include working with local entities, such as law enforcement, public defenders and child and family welfare system personnel.
#4 Disinvestment in Ineffective School Safety Programs
This is a new area of study, and applicants should propose to answer questions surrounding the implementation of evidence-based plans (EBP), and the challenges of disinvestment from ineffective programs.
#5 Bullying and Cyberbullying Intervention and Prevention
Applicants should seek to examine instances of bullying and cyberbullying, with a focus on multicomponent, school-wide programs aimed at reducing bullying and improving school safety.
#6 School Safety in Non-Classroom Settings
Research is needed for how to promote safety in non-classroom settings, such as cafeterias, hallways, playgrounds, bathrooms, bus loading zones, buses, parking lots and other areas without constant supervision.
#7 Implementation and Translation of School Safety Research
Research of successful school safety programs is needed to determine what factors ensure their continued success, and how to implement them uniformly across all schools in a district and location.
CSSI funding grants fall into five categories, with each category allotted a certain amount of funding.
- Developing Novel and Innovative School Safety Programs, Practices and Strategies: $5 million
- Demonstration, Evaluation and Validation Tests for School Safety: $11 million
- Expanding the Use of Effective Interventions Through Scaling-Up: $13 million
- Research on School Safety: $7 million
- Translation and Dissemination of Comprehensive School Safety Initiative Findings: $3 million
For more information on CSSI grants, download the 2018 funding eligibility information guidelines from the NIJ website.
Applications are due by May 7.
Read more about how schools are addressing safety issues: