Many agencies and labs have found that applying for and receiving grant money is a good way to finance their purchase of an M-Vac® system. We want to help our customers learn where to look for these grant opportunities as well as how the process works. Grants are often available for only a short window of time (often two or three months from initial posting to the application deadline) so it is important to look at the websites often. There is also some preparatory work that can be done anytime in order to make the specific application process go faster once an opening shows up.
A change was made for grant applications for 2021 which involves having two deadlines for every application. The first deadline is with the Grants.gov and it is for submitting the SF-424 (a 3-page basic information form) and the SL-LLL (a 1-page lobbying activities disclosure) forms in grants.gov. The second deadline is for submitting the full application in JustGrants. You won't be able to submit the main application in JustGrants if the grants.gov forms aren't already submitted.
Here are links to likely grants that are currently open:
- OVW Fiscal Year 2021 Research and Evaluation Initiative Solicitation. Grants.gov deadline is May 10, 2021; JustGrants deadline is May 14, 2021. The grant information is presented as a PDF so you just go to the Office on Violence Against Women Open Solicitations page (click here,) then click on the grant name (currently the fourth selection from the bottom of the main list) to have the several-page PDF grant overview download for you. The OVW wants to fund research that will give knowledge and support in one of several areas, one of which is Justice, including "ways to effectively pursue and achieve justice in cases involving domestic/dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking; with justice broadly understood to include autonomy for victims, accountability for offenders, procedural fairness for all, and restorative justice." The M-Vac® definitely helps achieve justice for victims, so this grant should be a good fit for funding its purchase.
- Research and Evaluation for the Testing and Interpretation of Physical Evidence in Publicly Funded Forensic Laboratories, Fiscal Year 2021. Grants.gov deadline is June 3, 2021; JustGrants deadline is June 10, 2021. They are looking for "applications for research and evaluation studies to produce practical knowledge that has the potential to improve the examination and interpretation of physical evidence in forensic science laboratories." This is open to several entities such as city or county governments, universities, non-profits, and more. The Program Description describes several potential ways that research and evaluation of the M-Vac® could qualify for these funds.
- FY 2021 DNA Capacity Enhancement for Backlog Reduction (CEBR) Program. Grants.gov deadline is June 8, 2021; JustGrants deadline is June 22, 2021. This program is to give "funds for processing DNA samples with the hope of reducing "the number of forensic DNA and DNA database samples awaiting analysis and/or prevent[ing] a backlog of forensic and database DNA samples." They want the results uploaded to CODIS and NDIS. This grant has been used successfully for purchasing M-Vacs® more than once so we're glad to see it available again!
- FY 2021 Project Safe Neighborhoods. Grants.gov deadline is June 22, 2021; JustGrants deadline is July 6, 2021. The program outline describes building trust between law enforcement entities and the community by focusing on enforcement, prevention and intervention efforts. One major way that law enforcement can build trust with their citizens is to make sure justice is meted out to criminals. When justice is regularly fulfilled, citizens feel safer, criminals are deterred, and victims can feel safe again. The M-Vac® can be a great tool in this process.
- FY 2021 National Sexual Assault Kit Initiative. Grants.gov deadline is June 22, 2021; JustGrants deadline is July 6, 2021. The description of grant funding purposes includes "Improving investigation and prosecution in connection with evidence and cases resulting from the testing process." If you have evidence that could be sampled using the M-Vac® in any cases associated with Sexual Assault Kits, you have a strong justification to use this grant to purchase an M-Vac®.
- FY 2021 Prosecuting Cold Cases Using DNA. Grants.gov deadline is June 22, 2021; JustGrants deadline is July 6, 2021. The funding for this grant is meant to "support the prosecution of violent crime cold cases, where DNA from a suspect has been identified (suspect(s) may be known or unknown)." Additionally it says "Provided that DNA attributed to a known or unknown suspect has been identified, funding support includes investigative activities and crime and forensic analyses that could lead to prosecuting violent crime cold cases." So even though DNA may have already been identified in one aspect of the case, the M-Vac® could be purchased and used to help with supporting evidence or other aspects of the cold case.
- FY 2021 Postconviction Testing of DNA Evidence. Grants.gov deadline is June 22, 2021; JustGrants deadline is July 6, 2021. The overview states that funds are available to defray costs including "postconviction DNA testing for violent felony offenses (as defined by state law) in which actual innocence might be demonstrated." Funds can also be used to find and review suitable cases and evidence. This would be a great opportunity to buy and use the M-Vac®.
- FY 2021 Paul Coverdell Forensic Science Improvement Grants Program - Competitive. Grants.gov deadline is June 24, 2021; JustGrants deadline is July 8, 2021. This is a grant that has been successfully used for M-Vac® purchases several times (see the link at the bottom of this Grants page to a successful grant awarded last year.) This program "awards grants to states and units of local government to help improve forensic science and medical examiner/coroner services."
- FY 2021 Paul Coverdell Forensic Science Improvement Grants Program - Formula. Grants.gov deadline is June 24, 2021; JustGrants deadline is July 8, 2021. This grant has several objectives that would fit with buying an M-Vac® or funding the training of personnel to work with the M-Vac®. Entities can apply for both the Formula and the Competitve funds of this grant, but it does require separate applications.
Here are some key places to look often for new postings. Several of these have the option to subscribe to a periodic email update service that helps you stay apprised of new openings.
Here are some websites that help explain the various government agencies' processes:
- DOJ Grants Financial Guide - This Guide gives a lot of definitions and tips for all parts of the DOJ's grant process. Don't miss the first Appendix, which is a guide to all the government's acronyms, so you can keep your DHS apart from your HHS or know your BJA from your JABG!
- OJP Grant Application Resource Guide - This explains a lot of the rules and regulations for applying for OJP Grants and even goes through the process step by step.The OJP is the first of three subsets for grants under the DOJ.
- OVW Grants - A page that explains the process for applying for OVW grants. The OVW is the second of three subsets for grants under the DOJ.
- COPS Grants - A basic page that explains the process for applying for COPS (Office of Community Oriented Policing Services) grants. COPS is the third of three subsets for grants under the DOJ.
- Grants.gov - This robust site leads to several helpful blogs (linked on the Home tab) with articles of interest to those applying for government grants as well as to the Grants Learning Center (Learn Grants tab) and several other helpful webpages (various other tabs.)
- Just Grants (Justice Grants System) - This is a new website which combines the resources for all three grant making branches of the DOJ mentioned above.
Here is an example of a recent grant that was awarded specifically for implementing the M-Vac®:
We would appreciate feedback
on your successes in getting grant monies awarded for purchasing the M-Vac®
System. Your tips could help others succeed as well.