Federal Cultural Funding Opportunities for HBCUs

Do you want to learn more about applying for federal arts/cultural/humanities grants or other funding opportunities for your university or research?

Will you be in Washington D.C. for the 2019 HBCU annual conference? Do you want to know more about applying for federal arts/cultural/humanities grants or other funding opportunities for your university or college?

Get the inside scoop straight from three federal agencies that offer grants, on how YOU can increase successful applications for funding opportunities.

Attend Dream It – Achieve It: Federal Cultural Funding Opportunities for HBCUs, a day-and-a-half workshop hosted by Arts and Humanities agencies.

WHEN: September 10: 8:30 AM – 5:30 PM & September 11: 8:30 AM – 12:30 PM
WHERE: Meeting Room 16, Renaissance Hotel, 999 9th St., NW, Washington, DC 20001

Workshop attendees are invited to attend an exclusive tour of the National Museum of African American History and Culture – BEFORE the museum is open to the public!

At the workshop you will:

  • Learn about the various funding opportunities available within the arts/cultural/humanities sector at the federal, state, and local levels.
  • Learn how to address challenges in obtaining funding in these fields.
  • Hear success stories of recent grant awardees.
  • Find out about career opportunities for students in arts and humanities majors.
  • Learn how to prepare successful grant applications during one on one question and answer session.

Register for this workshop when you register for your sessions at the conference!

DOE-NE Releases FOA for Radiochemistry Traineeships

The Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Nuclear Energy has released an FOA that will establish DOE-sponsored Institution of High Education (IHE)-led traineeships as a mechanism for graduate-level training critical to DOE mission-driven workforce needs. This will be accomplished through a focused academic graduate program that delivers unique, innovative curriculum, coupled with a rigorous thesis or dissertation research requirement in the area of radiochemistry. The total Government funding available for any single award under this FOA shall not exceed $3 million over five (5) years, subject to availability of funds.

Applications are due March 28, 2016.

DOE Traineeship in Nuclear Radiochemistry (DE-FOA-0001369)

A copy of the application package can be found here.

Historically Black Colleges and Universities Undergraduate Program (HBCU-UP) Letter of Intent Due July 26, 2016

Historically Black Colleges and Universities Undergraduate Program (HBCU-UP)

 

The National Science Foundation’s updated Historically Black Colleges and Universities Undergraduate Program (HBCU-UP) solicitation was released on Friday, February 12, 2016.   HBCU-UP is committed to enhancing the quality of undergraduate STEM education and research at HBCUs as a means to broaden participation in the nation’s STEM workforce. To this end, HBCU-UP provides awards to develop, implement, and study evidence-based innovative models and approaches for improving the preparation and success of HBCU undergraduate students so that they may pursue STEM graduate programs and/or careers. Support is available for Targeted Infusion Projects, Broadening Participation Research Projects, Research Initiation Awards, Implementation Projects, Achieving Competitive Excellence Implementation Projects, and Broadening Participation Research Centers; as well as other funding opportunities.

 

Below is a link to the solicitation.

 

Available Formats: HTML: http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2016/nsf16538/nsf16538.htm?WT.mc_id=USNSF_25&WT.mc_ev=click Document Number: nsf16538

 

 

How HBCUs Can Get Federal Sponsorship from the United States Department of Health & Human Services

By: Ivory A. Toldson, Tracy Branch, & DeShawn Preston

Highlights

  • The United States Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) provides more financial support to HBCUs than any federal agency aside from the Department of Education; typically accounting for more than $150 million annually to HBCUs.
  • In FY 2014, HHS awarded $18.4 billion to Institutions of Higher Education (IHEs) with $166.1 million awarded to HBCUs. Less than 1 percent of the funding HHS awards to all IHEs go to HBCUs.
  • In FY 2014, HHS awarded more than $111.6 million to HBCUS for research and development.
  • For FY 2016, President Obama requested $83.8 billion, an increase of $4.8 billion from FY 2015 to help 1) make health coverage affordable; 2) decrease long-term health care cost; 3) improve care for citizens of the United States of America; 4) train new health care providers; 5) address public health priorities; 6) assist vulnerable populations; and 7) support medical research.
  • Of the operating divisions within HHS, the National Institutes of Health, Health Resources and Services Administration, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration provided the largest percentage of funding to institutions of higher education in fiscal year 2014.

For more than a century, Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) have conducted research, implemented programs and provided advocacy on a range of issues relevant to the health and wellbeing of all people, but especially underserved communities. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) supports the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities’ (WHIHBCUs) efforts to connect HBCUs to the resources necessary to develop and maintain first-rate health and educational programs.

In fiscal year (FY) 2014, HHS committed $175,227,288 to support 54 HBCUs and 11 predominately-Black institutions’ (PBI) efforts to increase workforce diversification and improve educational and health care access to underrepresented racial and ethnic minority populations. In total, HHS provided $18,429,409,906 in support to all institutions of higher education. HBCUs received $693,506,518 in funding while PBIs received $9,049,140. These funds were awarded through grants, contracts, services, and in-kind resources in 2014.

Investments in HBCUs and PBIs help to establish best practice models, address health disparities, provide tuition assistance and training opportunities for students, as well as grants and loan repayment to faculty. In FY 2016, HHS plans to support MSIs in the following programmatic areas: (1) research and development; (2) program evaluation; (3) training; (4) internships, traineeships, and recruitment; (5) student tuition assistance, scholarships, fellowships, and other aid; (6) direct institutional subsidies; (7) third-party awards; (8) administrative infrastructure; (9) economic development; (10) facilities and equipment; (11) private-sector involvement; and (12) other activities.

The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Overview

The mission of HHS is to enhance and protect the health and well-being of all Americans. This mission is fulfilled by providing effective health and human services and fostering advances in medicine, public health, and social services. HHS was established in 1980 by combining offices from several federal agencies. HHS’s 77,000 employees work under three main branches; Operating Divisions, which is comprised of 11 operating division, including 8 public health agencies and 3 human services agencies; Office of the Secretary Staff Divisions, which provides leadership through 17 offices that oversee operations, provide guidance, and ensures laws are followed fairly; and Regional Offices, where 10 regional offices oversee programs at the local level.

For FY 2016, President Obama requested $83.8 billion, an increase of $4.8 billion from FY 2015 to help 1) make health coverage affordable; 2) decrease long-term health care cost; 3) improve care for citizens of the United States of America; 4) train new health care providers; 5) address public health priorities; 6) assist vulnerable populations; and 7) support medical research.

Specific line items in the FY 2016 budget request include:

  • For National Institute of Health (NIH), $638 million for Alzheimer’s research , $135 million for the BRAIN Initiative, and a $100 million increase for antimicrobial resistance;
  • For the reauthorization of the Health Profession and opportunity Grants, an increase of $4 million; and
  • An increase of $40 million for a competitive, value-based graduate medical education program.

White House Initiative on HBCUs’ Liaison to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services

The Office of Minority Health (OMH) is the HHS lead agency on the WHIHBCUs. Dr. J. Nadine Gracia is the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Minority Health and the Director of the Office of Minority Health at HHS. OMH provides funding, training, and in-kind services to HBCUs and PBIs to support programs and organizational and professional development that improve academic institutions ability to increase the number of underrepresented individuals’ ability to complete a college degree and enter the workforce.

As the HBCU liaison for HHS, Dr. Rashida Dorsey works with the WHIHBCUs to organize efforts to strengthen the capacity of HBCUs through increased participation in appropriate Federal programs and initiatives. Specifically, Dr. Dorsey 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 where HBCUs may be either underserved or underused, and improve the Participation within those areas; and (3) Encourage public and private sector, as well as community involvement in improving the overall capacity of HBCUs. Dr. Dorsey is the director of the Division of Policy and Data in the Office of Minority Health. Her email address is Rashida.Dorsey@hhs.gov.

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

Of the operating divisions within HHS, the National Institutes of Health, Health Resources and Services Administration, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration provided the largest percentage of funding to institutions of higher education in fiscal year 2014.

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

As the nation’s leading biomedical research agency, NIH funds research that has the potential to enhance human health, lengthen life and reduce illness and disability. NIH is the largest funder of HBCUs within HHS. For active funding opportunities, see the NIH Guide to Grants and Contacts’ Funding Opportunities and Notices. HBCUs are encouraged to subscribe to the NIH Guide listserv for current opportunities available from each of NIH’s 24 grant-making Institutes and Centers (IC). NIH offers several types of grant opportunities, including Research Grants, Career Development Awards, Research Training and Fellowships, Program Project/Center Grants, Resource Grans, and Trans-NIH Program Grants.

There are three standard due dates annually for competitive grant applications with other targeted opportunities announced throughout the year. NIH’s ICs each publish an annual funding strategy, including research priorities and award policies. HBCUs can also attend NIH Regional Seminars. These seminars help with the application and review process, clarify Federal regulations and policies, and highlight current areas of special interest or concern.

NIH provided $17,095,532,583 in funding to all IHEs during fiscal year 2014, of that funding $117,181,426 supported HBCUs and $8,192,549 supported PBIs in the form of grants and contracts. All of the funding made to HBCUs and PBIs in FY 2014, supported research and development, and training activities. FY 2016 projects to allocate $31.3 billion to support biomedical research at NIH, providing over 1,200 more new Research Project Grants that will aid in better understanding the fundamental causes and mechanisms of diseases.

An increase of $200 million has been proposed for the Precision Medicine Initiative. Precision medicine is an emerging approach for disease treatment and prevention that takes into account individual variability in genes, environment, and lifestyle for each person. President Obama unveiled the Precision Medicine Initiative (PMI) — a bold new enterprise to revolutionize medicine and generate the scientific evidence needed to move the concept of precision medicine into every day clinical practice.

Some specific NIH programs worth noting are:

  • Research Centers in Minority Institutions Programs (RMCI) – RCMI programs develop and strengthen the research infrastructure of minority serving institutions through the expansion of human and physical resources for conducting basic, clinical, and translational research.  Funding supports institutions with health professions, health related, and doctoral degree programs in the basic, biomedical, and applied sciences.
  • Loan Repayment Program (LRP) Extramural LRP supports researchers by furnishing student loan repayment for a commitment to the conduct of biomedical, behavioral, social, and clinical research. These health professionals are required to commit a minimum of two years to conducting qualified research funded by a U.S. nonprofit organization or government entity in exchange for NIH’s repayment of $35,000 maximum per year of qualified student loan debt. Loan repayment benefits are offered in addition to the institutional salary earned for the research.
  • Biomedical and Cancer Education to Middle/High School and Undergraduate students– This program funds existing programs at HBCUs and other MSIs to sustain and expand the training and education programs to attract middle and high school students into biomedical sciences early, and encourage increased graduation of undergraduate students as well as ensure their successful progression through the education path.
  •  Research Supplements to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research- The program is designed to improve the diversity of the research workforce by recruiting and supporting high school and undergraduate students, post-doctorates, and eligible investigators from traditionally underrepresented populations into research internship and training opportunities.
  • Center of Excellence (COE) Program is a congressionally mandated program that creates centers within colleges and universities to address health disparities. The program focuses on the fundamental strategies of research, training a diverse scientific workforce, and community engagement.
  • Research Endowment Program is a congressionally mandated program that supports research infrastructure and capacity-building at eligible academic institutions.
  • Building Research Infrastructure and Capacity (BRIC) Program, formerly the Research Infrastructure in Minority Institutions (RIMI) program provides grants to enhance the research capacity, educational programs, and curricula of colleges and universities that serve students from health disparity populations.
  • Resource-Related Minority Health and Health Disparities Research Initiative supports health disparities research activities using a cooperative agreement which requires substantial Federal scientific or programmatic involvement. The initiative focuses on bioethics research, global health, data infrastructure and information dissemination, and research on healthcare for rural populations.
  • Science Education Initiative (SEI) supports educational, mentoring, and career development programs for individuals from health disparity populations that are underrepresented in the research sciences. The program consists of five separate initiatives ranging from kindergarten through early-stage investigators and an outreach component.
  • Transdisciplinary Collaborative Centers (TCC) for Health Disparities Research – TCC programs support regional coalitions of academic institutions, community organizations, service providers and systems, government agencies and other stakeholders focused on health policy research, social determinants of health and men’s health research.

For 2016, the NIH awarded major awards to Howard University, Meharry Medical College, North Carolina Central University and Savannah State University.

Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)

HRSA has a number of funding opportunities under the Bureau of Health workforce. HRSA provided $660,984,499 in funding to all IHEs during fiscal year 2014; of that funding $35,966,274 supported HBCUs and $753,001 supported PBIs in the form of contracts and grants. All funding made to HBCUS and PBIs in fiscal year 2014, supported research and development, training, student tuition assistance, program evaluation, and other activities.

Some specific HRSA programs worth noting are:

  • Scholarships for Disadvantaged Students – The purpose of this program is to promote diversity among health professions students and practitioners by providing scholarships to full-time students with financial need from disadvantaged backgrounds enrolled in health professions and nursing programs.
  • Nursing Workforce Diversity (NWD) Program – The purpose of NWD is to increase nursing education opportunities for individuals who are from disadvantaged backgrounds, including racial and ethnic minorities that are underrepresented among registered nurses. Grant activities and partnerships will focus on supporting education, training, licensure, and career placement of health professions students from disadvantaged backgrounds, including racial and ethnic minorities underrepresented among health professionals.
  • Area Health Education Centers (AHEC) Program – The purpose of this program is to enhance access to high quality, culturally competent health care through academic-community partnerships that improve the distribution, diversity, and supply of the primary care professionals who serve in underserved health care delivery sites.
  • National Health Service Corps Outreach to Minority Serving Institutions – HRSA’s Bureau of Health Workforce plans to continue to engage in outreach and recruitment visits to HBCUs to educate medical and health professions students and residents about opportunities to participate in and apply for the NHSC and NURSE Corps Scholarship and Loan Repayment Programs.
  • Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training Professional/paraprofessionals – The training program is to assist in developing and expanding the mental health and substance abuse workforce, who after training, will focus on children, adolescents, and transition-age youth at risk for developing, or who have developed, a recognized behavioral health disorder.

Most of the HBCU awards from HRSA for 2016 have been committed to medical colleges, including Meharry Medical College, Morehouse School of Medicine and Howard University Medical School. Notable exceptions include, Southern University Shreveport, which received funding for the Health Careers Opportunity Program (HCOP): Skills Training and Health Workforce Development for Paraprofessionals, and Tougaloo College, which received more than $1 million for its Delta Health Partners Healthy Start Initiative-Eliminating Perinatal Health Disparities.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

CDC provided $513, 816,419 in funding to all IHEs during FY 2014; $3,553,954 of the funds awarded to HBCUs was in the form of grants. FY 2014 funding supported research, disease prevention, surveillance, and training programs for undergraduate students through post-doctoral professionals in a variety of health disciplines.

Part C Early Intervention Services funds comprehensive primary health care for individuals living with HIV disease. Screening programs provide risk-reduction counseling, antibody testing, medical evaluation, and clinical care. Health care programs provide antiretroviral therapies (ART), medical, oral health, nutritional, psychosocial, and other care services for HIV-infected clients. Social services provide case management to ensure access to services and continuity of care for HIV-infected clients and attention to other health problems that occur frequently with HIV infection, including tuberculosis and substance abuse.

For 2016, the CDC awarded its largest grants to HBCUs to Morehouse School of Medicine to increase access to chronic disease prevention, risk reduction, and management opportunities, and Morehouse College to support an 8-week summer internship to encourage undergraduate students’ interest in minority health. They also awarded $206,108 to Tuskegee University support an annual commemoration of the Presidential Apology for the U.S. Public Health Service Syphilis Study at Tuskegee, Alabama and promote public health ethics.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

SAMHSA provided $36,381,339 in funding to all minority-serving institutions in fiscal year 2014; of that funding $7,998,000 supported HBCUs and 99,878 supported PBIs in the form of grants. All funding made to HBCUs in FY 2014 supported training and other activities.

The Historically Black Colleges and Universities Center for Excellence in Behavioral Health is housed under SAMHSA Programs and Initiatives. This program: (1) Promote student behavioral health to positively impact student retention; (2) Expand campus service capacity, including the provision of culturally appropriate behavioral health resources; and (3) Facilitate best practices dissemination and behavioral health workforce development.

Minority Serving Institutions in Partnership with Community-Based Organizations (MSI CBO) Program is also under SAMHSA. MSI CBO reaches students in minority serving institutions and individuals in neighboring communities who are at risk for substance abuse and new HIV infection transmission. MSI CBO programs provide students with access to behavioral health services that are culturally, linguistically, gender, and age appropriate. For 2016, SAMHSA has committed awards of $250,000 or more to 33 different HBCUs under the MSI CBO program.

What advice does the Department of Health & Human Services give to HBCUs in order to be more competitive in obtaining grants and contracts?

  1. Attend Seminars. Various organizations within HHS provide seminars to give insight into current issues within their organization including the state of current funding; new and current policies and procedure; and pertinent administrative issues. Officers representing each organization within HHS will also be present to provide up-to-date information about various funding opportunities and to answer any questions. OMH facilitates the Higher Education Technical Assistance Project (HE-TAP) Regional Training program. The program supports institutions of higher education, to include HBCUs, through in-person regional trainings that provide attendees with training, information, and resources to support college and university fiscal development goals. Visit this link to learn more about the HE-TAP program.
  2. Get involved. The various organizations within HHS are always seeking qualified individuals to participate in the reviewing process of applications for grant funding. Working in such positions will provide a better understanding of how to compose an effective proposal, as well as more insight to how HBCUs can receive more funds.
  3. Make connections. Contact the program officer in charge of each division within the directorate before starting the application. Find out about administration priorities and application imperatives. If you have difficulties identifying the program officer within the divisions, contact the assistant director of each directorate.
  4. 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.
  5. Collaborate. The Health and Human Services recommends IHEs apply for grants as the primary fiscal agent, in addition identify partnerships with local and national agencies, regional organizations, and a variety of relevant affiliates.
  6. Ground your proposal in research. Successful grant proposals provide in-depth scholarly work and concrete action plans. Consult the program director for each division to understand the accepted validated standards for HHS programs.
  7. If first you don’t succeed, try again. If your institution is denied grant funding, it is imperative to seek counsel from the organizations within HHS to determine the strengths and weaknesses of the proposal. The agency suggests that denied applicants capitalize on this feedback to revise grant proposal and reapply in the next application season.

All institutions of higher education are eligible to apply for competitive funding opportunities posted by HHS agencies. Information on funding opportunities can be found on the agencies funding website or by visiting one of these websites.

  • OMH Resource Centercan provide tailored funding searches free of charge to organizations and institutions;
  • Grants.gov – can provide tailored funding opportunity searches free of charge, also sign up for email notification when new funding meeting your criteria is announced; and
  • Bid Contract – posts federal, state, and local government contract opportunities.

Opportunities are also available for individuals willing to serve as peer reviewers for grants. Serving as a peer reviewer provides individuals with the opportunity to learn the nuances of the grant writing process and the level of detail that grant reviewers are looking for in grant application submissions. Follow the links below to sign up to be a peer reviewer.

Conclusion

HHS has boundless opportunities for HBCUs for advance health research, practice and policy through grants, contracts, fellowships and many other forms of financial and in-kind support. Although HHS provides more financial support to HBCUs than any other federal agency aside from the Department of Education, less than one percent of the funding HHS awards to all IHEs go to HBCUs. The percentage and the total revenue of funds to HBCUs from HHS will increase with coordinated efforts between federal agency officials and HBCU leaders to (1) increase the total number of applications that HHS receives from HBCUs; (2) identify and mitigate any barriers to HBCU participation within HHS; and (3) improve the overall competitiveness of HBCU applications and proposals. The WHIHBCUs will continue to provide 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 is here to work with Federal partners to provide technical support to HBCUs who are interested in applying for funding from HHS.

 


Ivory A. Toldson, Ph.D., is the executive 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.

Tracy Branch is a commander for the U.S. Public Health Service and public health advisor to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Minority Health.

DeShawn Preston is a doctoral student in Higher Educational Leadership at Clemson University. He holds a B.A. in History from Oakwood University in Huntsville, Alabama. His dissertation topic examines the role/influences HBCUs play in assisting African Americans with enrollment into doctoral programs.

Funding Opportunities- June

Department of Education: First in the World Competition

The First In The World program is designed to support the development, replication, and dissemination of innovative solutions and evidence for what works in addressing persistent and widespread challenges in postsecondary education for students who are at risk for not persisting in and completing postsecondary programs, including, but not limited to, adult learners, working students, part-time students, students from low-income backgrounds, students of color, students with disabilities, and first-generation students. Learn more.

Department of Agriculture: Farmers’ Market SNAP Support Grants

The United States Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) announces, through this Request for Applications, the availability of $3.3 million in competitive grant funds, to be awarded through the Farmers’ Market SNAP Support Grants in fiscal year (FY) 2015. As approved by Congress in the President’s FY 2014 budget request for FNS, these funds are intended to support “the participation of farmers’ markets in SNAP by providing equipment and support grants to new markets and those currently participating in the program.” The goals of the FMSSG program are to increase SNAP accessibility and participation at farmers’ markets, and support the establishment, expansion, and promotion of SNAP/Electronic Benefits Transfer services at farmers’ markets. This is a new program, which may continue in subsequent years. Grant funds must be used to conduct tasks that are necessary for SNAP to operate at farmers’ markets, and to increase the number and effectiveness of farmers’ market participation in SNAP. Read more.

Department of Health and Human Services: New Pathways for Fathers and Families

The Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Family Assistance is announcing its intent to competitively award demonstration projects that support activities promoting responsible fatherhood as enacted by the Claims Resolution Act of 2010. The Responsible Fatherhood initiative is designed to help fathers establish or strengthen positive parental interaction by providing activities that develop and improve relationship, communication and parenting skills, and contribute to the financial well-being of their children by providing job training and other employment services. Responsible Fatherhood activities also help fathers improve relationships with their spouses, significant others, and/or the mothers of their children. ACF is particularly interested in organizations that have the capacity and proven record of accomplishment in helping low-income fathers, and comprehensive fatherhood programs that integrate robust economic stability services, healthy marriage and relationship activities, and activities designed to foster responsible parenting. Learn more.

For more opportunities, please visit Grants.gov

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.