Advancing Science: News from the NIJ Director

NIJ Conference 2024

ICYMI – The 2024 NIJ National Research Conference will be September 16 – 18 in Pittsburgh, PA. Registration will open soon. Be sure to sign up to be notified when that happens.

We have reserved 25 scholarship slots for undergrad and grad students to join us at the conference with all travel costs on us. I encourage students with an interest in criminal justice research from all disciplines to apply.

Applications are due April 22, but don't wait!


California Grantees

Earlier this month, I joined the Western Society of Criminology at their annual conference in Long Beach, CA, to share NIJ research updates and priorities. It was also a fantastic opportunity to check in with NIJ grantees at some nearby universities to witness their work in action.

Here are a few highlights from my tour!

Meeting with students at UC Irvine

In the lab at California State University, LA

Meeting with early-career researchers at UCLA

Dear Colleague Letter

Research solicitations for FY24 have steadily rolled out. We currently have 21 open opportunities!

As you work on crafting your proposals, I wanted to share a letter I penned for prospective applicants that outlines what we look for in successful research proposals, as well as common weaknesses and missed opportunities that can help applicants avoid potential pitfalls in their submissions.


It’s been some time since I shared staffing updates at NIJ. I wanted to highlight a few of our newest members who joined us in January. We also have a few job openings closing soon. Be sure to check them out and share with your networks!

Jamaal Lemon

Jamaal Lemon, Writer-Editor

Jamaal Lemon joins us as a writer-editor on the NIJ team to help share important news about NIJ-supported research through his storytelling lens. Before joining NIJ, he spent the past decade with the Social Security Administration. Jamaal is a 2023 James Beard Media Award recipient for the “Foodways” category and also a freelance journalist and columnist for the craft beer industry. As a storyteller and columnist, he has led social initiatives to promote conversations on diversity and inclusion through brewing collaborations with Saint Joseph’s University, the City of Charleston, and the Heurich House Museum.

Brannon Green

Brannon Green, Social Science Analyst

Brannon Green is our newest social science research analyst in the Office of Criminal Justice Systems. Brannon previously worked as a law enforcement data analyst for the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) in Washington, DC.

Brannon is no stranger to NIJ – he spent two years with us as an AAAS Science and Technology Fellow. While at NIJ, he collaborated with science staff to formulate, develop, and support several solicitations for new research in the areas of artificial intelligence, big data, police officer health and wellness, juror decision-making, and eyewitness identification evidence. He also served as a subject matter expert on criminal justice topics relating to neuroscience and psychology.

Jared Gardner

Jared Gardner, Technology and Standards Advisor

Jared Gardner joins NIJ as a technology and standards advisor in the Office of Technology and Standards. Jared has spent the last 17 years working for the U.S. Army Aberdeen Test Center and the U.S. Army Research Laboratory in Aberdeen, MD. His work has focused on research, development, testing, and evaluation of protective apparel for our military personnel, including body armor, helmets, and related equipment.

While at Aberdeen, Jared was the lead engineer for a dozen significant research projects for the U.S. Army. He has authored numerous academic journal, conference, and technical papers and conference presentations and is widely recognized as a subject matter expert within the equipment testing community. He is also an inventor, co-holding U.S. Patent 10178888 for a head restraint system.