Visiting Fellows Program FY 2021 Solicitation Webinar
DARYL FOX: Good afternoon, everyone, and welcome to today’s webinar, FY 2021 Visiting Fellows Program, hosted by the Bureau of Justice Assistance. At this time, I would like to introduce today’s presenters, Betsi Griffith, Associate Deputy Director; Ruby Qazilbash, Associate Deputy Director; Kristie Brackens, Acting Associate Deputy Director; Vince Davenport, Associate Deputy Director; and Becky Rose, Senior Policy Advisor, all with the Bureau of Justice Assistance. Becky is going to be starting us off today. Becky?
BECKY ROSE: Thank you so much, Daryl, and hello, everyone. Thank you so much for joining us. It is great to see the participants on the line, and I am joined by my team colleagues here, as you can see on this list of presenters, and we will get to hear from all of them throughout the presentation. So today, we are going to touch on a couple of things. We are going to just give you a quick overview of OJP and BJA, just in case some of you are unfamiliar with our organization. We will talk a little bit about the Fellows Solicitation and kind of from an overview perspective, and then we will talk a little bit about eligibility, and then we are going to dive in--and this is where we will hear from our colleagues about the areas of focus. As you can see in the solicitation, there are just 12 different areas of focus, so we will talk a little bit more in detail about those. And then I will wrap this up with some grant requirements and just a quick review of application sections before we get to the question and answer session. We have left a good amount of time at the end for Q&A, so as you are hearing the folks present on this webinar, please feel free to, you know, kind of jot those questions down or type them in the Q&A section, and we will get to that at the end of the presentation. So just some quick overview on kind of who we are, what is the Office of Justice Programs. It is a division within the U.S. Department of Justice. We--our primary goals are to provide grant funding, training, research, and statistics to the criminal justice community. There are several divisions within OJP, but OJP is one of the three grantmaking components of the Department of Justice, which also includes the Office on Violence Against Women, and the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, or otherwise known as COPS. Now, BJA is one of the divisions within OJP. One--and our mission is to provide leadership and services in grant administration and criminal justice policy development to support local, state, and tribal justice strategies to achieve safer communities. As a--as a--if you are interested in becoming a fellow and you are not that familiar with BJA, we definitely strongly encourage you to visit this website to learn more about all the work that we do across the criminal justice system, and with our partners at the state, local, and tribal level. Now, what we are talking about here today. On July 2nd, we released the Fellows Solicitation. It is called the Visiting Fellows Program. Mentioning the deadlines upfront here, we will talk about them again at the end, but there are two deadlines, and I will talk about the two-step application process at the end, but the two deadlines that you need to make note of are the Grants.gov deadline on August 2nd and the JustGrants deadline on August 16th, and I will talk a little bit later about what that means. Now, just to dive into some kind of overview information and background information on the Visiting Fellows Program. So BJA has identified a need to address emerging issues and build capacity within the administration of criminal justice. We launched--initially launched this program back in 2012 and we have, you know, kind of had it throughout the year since then. Not every year, but have had it available throughout the years since then. The overall intent is to leverage state, local, and tribal subject-matter expertise to assess areas of need and to develop strategies and different policies, and really, to collaborate with BJA and the field to benefit--to provide an overall benefit to the criminal justice field. The purpose of each fellowship is to make important policy and programmatic contributions, make these recommendations to BJA, and help us prioritize, you know, direction in some of these priority areas for our criminal justice practice in the field. You will collaborate closely with BJA and DOJ staff to provide this outreach and this research, and, you know, most importantly, the subject-matter expertise to inform the development of new BJA strategies and programs to benefit the field. Now, for this particular year, we are so excited to be able to host up to 12 fellows on--with our current year’s funding. We will collaborate with--we hope that we will collaborate with practitioners, advocates, and researchers to build capacity to address gaps in priority and emerging issues in the criminal justice field. We strongly encourage, as is demonstrated across these 12 different program areas, we strongly encourage applicants from a broad range of disciplines to consider how their work in those areas might relate to these--to these different areas, anticipated areas of focus, which we will talk a little bit more in detail about in a minute. In general, our fellows that we work with are expected to be what we--what we describe as self-starters, that you can, you know, kind of take action on the work that, you know, we-- we have discussed, and can work in a fast-pace environment. Additionally, fellows must be proactively be able to manage their planned work while collaborating with BJA staff, and of course, adjusting to the needs of the project and work areas across BJA, as the needs arise during the fellowship period. [Coughing] Excuse me. You will be expected to produce specific deliverables that can address priority issues. We will talk a little bit more about deliverables in a minute. And also, you know, the expectation is that as a fellow, you would help BJA in enhancing strategies and building capacity, and bringing their fellowship experience back into the field. And that is a critical piece that, you know, I want you all to think about as you are considering applying for this funding, is that not only are we looking for you to bring your subject-matter expertise to us, but we hope in the end that you can bring kind of your experience and engagement with BJA back to the field once the fellowship is complete. So overall program objectives, and these are all listed in the solicitation, but to highlight a few of them. Number one is to enhance the BJA capacity and expertise to assess the technical assistance, training, and capacity building needs in the areas of focus. We really want you all to bring that real-world experience and knowledge to us at BJA. As a grantmaking component, and as a component that provides a lot of training and technical assistance, that real-world experience will only help us and enhance our ability as staff members to deliver relevant and effective tools to the field. We also hope that you will support the development of criminal justice practitioners, researchers, and BJA and OJP staff to advance the mission of BJA and OJP--advance and translate knowledge about criminal justice issues and strategies that will help us to promote innovation. Now, eligibility. You will see on the--kind of the cover page in the second page of the solicitation, there is a lot listed there about eligibility. But the most important thing to note is that eligible applicants are limited to individuals, as well as individuals within state, tribal, local government organizations or academic institutions seeking to provide federal-level experience for one of their staff members. So if you are affiliated with a national, you know, organization, for example, you know, you can come kind of as a--as a member of that staff and sponsored by that national organization. So organizations, here as it is noted, seeking to place an employee as a fellow under this program will not have programmatic oversight of that staff person, that will, you know, be maintained by BJA, nor those activities conducted as part of the fellowship. But again, it is kind of providing that real-life experience to BJA, and then hopefully bringing that back to the organization, or the individual department that you might work with. A couple other program requirements, and then we will talk a little bit about deliverables, and then we are going to get into the program areas’ specific information. But each fellow will be expected to complete a major set of deliverables that will address these, you know, kind of critical or emerging issues in the criminal justice field and build capacity, which we have said that word quite a bit, but you can understand the emphasis on that. We really want you to help us, you know, think about, grow, innovate, and build the capacity of our existing programs or topic areas. And then in order to enhance the knowledge-building work of BJA, fellows will be expected to participate in a wide range of work, potentially with the BJA Director and other BJA staff across the portfolios. You will provide subject-matter expertise that kind of really gives us the--a kind of exposure to what that looks like in the field so it helps us at BJA and DOJ understand what are those critical issues facing the field and the current practices that are in place, and where there are gaps. So you will have a wide range of opportunities to participate in high-level policy discussions and processes that inform practice and you will be expected to take this expertise, as we have talked about, back to share with the field again. Okay. So touching on the deliverables a little bit, I want to note that these are all listed in detail on page 7, and a little bit onto page 8 in the solicitation. But each fellow will be expected to complete a major set of deliverables that will address some of those emerging issues, which we will talk about in a minute, in the criminal justice field, and address one of the areas of focus. In addition, all fellows will be expected to engage in the following kinds of activities. Assess BJA’s current training and technical assistance resources, using data to assess needs of the field, examining and translating research and evidence into programmatic and policy implications for practitioners; plan and implement, or enhance strategies to engage in regular dialogue with the field; create at least two major TTA deliverables, at least two, that is the expectation, but it most likely would be more. Participate in internal and external meetings, forums, conferences, et cetera. Prepare detailed reports, speeches, and articles at the request of OJP and BJA management. Participate in professional development and training activities, obviously in consultation with BJA management, and then potentially travel to support the execution of the above activities. We will talk a little bit about budgeting later in the call today. So that just, again, gives you kind of a high-level overview of the expected deliverables. We do expect that there, you know, would be deliverables specific to the different program areas that we are going to talk about in a minute. Okay. So now, we are getting into the bulk of the presentation here, but you are going to-- we are going to hear from our colleagues. So as I mentioned in the beginning, there are-- there are 12 different areas of focus for BJA fellows for this year. And those are all listed in the solicitation starting on page 8. In the solicitation, they are listed in order. We are going to go a little bit out of order, but they are numbered. The numbers correspond to what is in the solicitation, but just for ease of presentation, we are going to have the Associate Deputy Directors talk about those areas of focus that fall within their current portfolio. So you will see kind of a little bit number ordering out of order, but again, it is all listed on page 8, and our--my colleagues will go through those details. So at this time, I am going to turn it over to Betsi Griffith to talk about our first set of areas of focus.
BETSI GRIFFITH: Thank you, Becky. And thank you for making time today, and we are very excited to see your interest, and hope you will consider applying for a fellowship at BJA. Again, I am Betsi Griffith, and I oversee the courts, communities, and strategic partnerships team. So obviously, it is clear we do a lot of work with courts, and the communities that are such a key part of the work we do around community safety and public safety. The team also does quite a bit of work to engage with researchers and others in multifaceted partnerships that really can kind of tackle tough issues. And so I will talk about a couple of those priorities today. One area where we do this kind of collaborative work that is in the court system is through our Drug Court and Veterans Treatment Courts Program. And so our first fellowship is really seeking to enhance those strategies to help us effectively support the field in managing crime related to substance use disorders, through strategies, including the drug court program. This fellow will work with us to support our Drug Court and Veteran Treatment Court Training and Technical Assistance Program and activities, and we have a set of providers that we work with on that. Also, to generally provide that training and technical assistance to the field in ways that can help support the implementation or enhancement of the operations of drug courts, the thousands of drug courts across the country. These courts integrate evidence-based substance use treatment, mandatory drug testing, incentives and sanctions, and transitional services. And so we really want to have someone come in and dig in with us on these issues, and help us think more strategically and more deeply about how we can continue to improve this proven program. And then in particular, work with us to focus on key issues, including the impact of pandemic on the operation of courts in the problem-solving setting, ensuring fairness in our courts through access to treatment for everybody, access to recovery support services, including medically assisted treatment, and thinking about how problem-solving courts and other strategies with people with substance use disorders can serve as alternatives to our incarceration, and ensure that equity and access, as I mentioned, not just to the program, but also to the kinds of services that folks receive, and the responses of the courts to those persons. And we have got a couple of good tools that are out there we would like to be able to build on. And also to increase collaboration with other partners, including law enforcement. We are looking for somebody who really has direct experience working with drug court operations and research, and would be able to bring their experience and knowledge to work with us on this, um, and really encouraging, uh, you know, whether it is someone who is a practitioner, an advocate, um, and in particular, folks who are in recovery or who have been drug court graduates. We really value your perspective and encourage you to consider applying as part of this work. And as I mentioned, you know, this is something where you will work very intensively with not only our partners, but a strong network of state drug court coordinators that we have across the country. The second fellowship that we are looking for on our team is an effort to really focus on another aspect of operations of courts, and that is the responsibilities relating to the Sixth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, and really enhancing efforts of state, local, and tribal courts to be able to enforce the requirements and provisions of the Sixth Amendment. We have a national training and technical assistance program so this fellow would work with us and that set of providers, where we really support state and local governments, helping them build the capacity that they need, and also providing tools there to be able to meet these obligations that we talked about. This includes ensuring access to justice and fairness in the system through improved court operations and capacity to really think about, and strategize, and improve those systems. Also making sure that courts and their partners are thinking about the right to speedy trial, and enhancing the right to counsel, right to defense counsel, particularly at first appearance, which also can be part of the strategy around equity and access to everybody for the system. Again, we recognize pandemic has had a big impact on court operations and would want this fellow to be considering those things as part of the work and to support and highlight collaborative efforts that are happening across the country, to be able to support the role of public defenders as part of this Sixth Amendment work. And for this reason, we are really seeking somebody who does have direct experience working in public defense, and someone that has the ability to bring their experience and knowledge to be able to support this work around the Sixth Amendment. The third area that the team is going to be focusing on is our work with communities and we are really trying to connect several programs that we have in the portfolio that I will be talking about today, with the goal of building the capacity of community leaders to really be working with their partners, including law enforcement, to enhance community safety and also to build trust, trusting long-term relationships. So the fellow that we are seeking would be able to support BJA’s strategies around community capacity building, and also making sure that we are kind of developing and elevating models of how community leaders can serve as active and effective partners in being able to maintain, improve--and improve community safety, including work around community violence interventions. The fellow would work in conjunction with programs we have in our team, including the Byrne Criminal Justice Innovation Program. And so if you have questions, I encourage you to also research that on our websites. And as part of that work we are doing to develop a community trust training, where we are working with law enforcement and communities together to sort of think about the best ways to accomplish that, and as part of that, supporting this work by helping to build listening sessions, and assess strategies to assess community capacity to be able to inform that work in the future. It will also be someone who will help us think about that community perspective and other projects, including our work in location, where we bring courts into a community, through community courts; our work around restorative justice and community conferencing through our National Center on Restorative Justice; and work that we are doing under our Emmett Till Cold Case Investigations that includes working with communities that have been impacted by civil rights-related homicides and lynchings prior to 1979. So, really going back and kind of working with these communities and understanding the history to be able--be able to build that trust and relationship moving forward. The fellow will focus on issues facing these communities. Think about how we can build communication and partnership strategies that build that trust and co-define strategies together for safety in neighborhoods. We note here, that these relationships cannot be built overnight. And so really, we want folks who are interested in working with us on going to the communities where there is the greatest need and where we can build strategies that can be sustained over time. So we are really looking for somebody who has direct experience in building community capacity. And working to--or has had experience working on community justice or community violence interventions and can bring that experience to the table in the work that we are doing and work with our TTA providers. And the last one for my team is looking for someone to support a new portfolio that we have that we are building this year at the Bureau of Justice Assistance, and that is to advance strategies that prevent and respond to hate crimes. We are currently issuing new funding opportunities at BJA under the Matthew--I am sorry--Matthew Shepard James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Act, and we will be identifying a new training and technical assistance provider to work with us as part of that program and also are offering site-based funding. And so we are really looking for someone to come and help us build this project as we are launching it this year and build it from the ground up. Working with us in trying to think about how we accomplish the goals of the program, which would include working with state, local, and tribal law enforcement and prosecutors, and their community-based and nonprofit partners to be able to support outreach, education, and really engagement of those impacted by hate crimes. Crimes that can be associated with one’s actual or perceived national origin, race, religion, gender, sexual orientation or identity, or disability. And so the person would work with us to really develop strategies to support the investigation and prosecution of hate crimes and really that outreach to really understand the challenges to reporting; the challenges to engagement of victims; and ways that we can effectively implement these programs and create a culture where there is trust and willingness to work between victims, and law enforcement, and prosecutors; as well as training for the staff, capacity building of the staff to be able to effectively pursue these cases. And because of that, it would also not only require coordination with our new training technical assistance provider, but some of the other department of justice components that are working on the Hate Crimes Initiative of the department. And so we are really looking for somebody who has experience in preventing and addressing hate crimes and can bring that experience to BJA and thoughtfulness and energy. And so with that, I will turn it over to Ruby Qazilbash, my colleague, to talk about other fellowships.
RUBY QAZILBASH: Thank you, Betsi. As Betsi said, my name is Ruby Qazilbash. I am also an associate Deputy Director with the Bureau of Justice Assistance. And I am privileged to lead a team of folks that focuses on corrections, reentry, and justice systems reform. And I am going to talk about three of the corrections-related fellowships that we have available this year. The first one I am going to talk about is improving--a fellowship that is going to focus on improving corrections and reintegration under the Second Chance Act. And here we are looking for a fellow that has significant reentry policy and practice experience. And including, you know, as a policy advocate, or legal or social services provider, or perhaps an academic that has focus on successful reintegration of people coming home into communities from a period of incarceration in jail or prison. We are looking for the fellow to be formerly incarcerated themselves, so someone who can bring the unique perspective of lived experience within the justice system, and having returned home and gone through the reintegration process coming home into their community from a period of incarceration in jail or prison to the role. In fact, anyone without that experience, lived experience, will be screened out at the basic minimum requirements phase of the review process. We are looking for potential fellows and those that are interested in applying are--they are strongly encouraged to propose their own strategies and innovations on how BJA can improve our investments within reentry and reintegration. BJA, under the Second Chance Act, offers a number of grant programs available to states, localities, tribes, also nonprofit service providers in the reentry, treatment, housing, and employment related services space. And we are looking to innovate and make improvements, and we are looking to see what are the needs of the field and innovative ways that we can address them. So an applicant with significant experience in leading reentry policy efforts at the state, local, or tribal level might be interested, for instance, a reentry coordinator or a reentry advocate with experience in collateral consequences of criminal conviction, and that could be in any number of spaces. For instance, the collateral consequences with regard to securing housing, education, employment, health care, accessing their voting opportunities and rights. You could propose, as a perspective fellow, innovative ways that BJA could be more responsive around those issues within our funding opportunities and our technical assistance provision. We would also be looking for you to propose ways that you could review and then document successes of those efforts as we would seek to implement them. We really do strongly encourage applicants to submit innovative proposals. We want you to think about BJA’s national efforts to date and ways that you could add to those in ways that we could improve those. Also want to note that the individual would have an opportunity to provide strategic guidance, not just to the Corrections Policy Team here at BJA, but also to the Bureau of Justice Assistance Director to the Office of Justice Programs Leadership, and potentially to inform federal interagency policy efforts around reentry and could assist in removing federal barriers to successful reintegration. So that is our Second Chance Fellowship. On the next slide, I am going to talk about the second corrections-related fellowship that is available. And this has to do with BJA’s efforts and the department’s efforts on improving sexual safety within confinement facilities. And that is through the Prison Rape Elimination Act that was passed many years ago back in 2003, 2004 timeframe. The PREA standards were implemented in 2012. So, we are going on 10 years of pre-implementation efforts. And we are looking for a fellow who has got substantial expertise here as a policy advocate, or perhaps as a legal or victim services provider and academic, or criminal or juvenile justice practitioner that has focused on preventing, detecting, and/or responding to sexual victimization of people who are incarcerated. So here, we are looking for a fellow that can support and enhance the ongoing efforts of BJA’s PREA management office. So the PREA management office resides at the Bureau of Justice Assistance, and we have responsibility and oversight for pre-implementation efforts around the country. And those requirements are really defined by the PREA statute and some amendments that have been passed to that statute in recent years: the national PREA standards, as they relate to all covered confinement facilities, and the “PREA Auditor Handbook” that BJA has published in 2017. And we really encourage you to look back at some of those resources to get a handle on what all of the requirements, statutory, regulatory, and programmatic that BJA had--BJA has. Here, we are strongly encouraging applicants and perspective fellows to submit, again, innovative proposals on ways to address a number of PREA challenges. I will not go into all of them, but they are all enumerated within this section in the solicitation. So, I would really encourage you to take a look at what we feel would be most beneficial for the field in terms of challenges that we have spotted over the last 10 years that are preventing all of the covered facilities in jurisdictions from becoming fully compliant with the PREA standards. Here, also, the--it is expected that the PREA fellow would be integrated into a team. So, in this case, the PREA Management Office, but could also have the opportunity to participate in the Department of Justice PREA working group and provide strategic guidance around PREA implementation to BJA and OJP leadership. The third corrections-related fellowship that we have--Thanks, Becky--is on enhancing corrections spaces and cultures. So here, we are looking for a fellow that is going to initiate their own project to focus on how to best support corrections agencies’ efforts across the country to transform jail and prison environments, including physical spaces, staff culture. And the purpose here is to create environments, and cultures, and spaces that make it more likely to ensure that people who are incarcerated or detained there are better prepared for successful reentry and reintegration into communities. We are looking for the fellow specifically to address the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on corrections populations. And in particular to focus on the practices and innovations that successfully reduced correctional populations and to look at which ones are possible and worth sustaining. The fellow we are looking to have a deep experience within corrections, including with correctional populations, perhaps with corrections physical plant challenges, and innovations on correctional culture change initiatives, and have the ability to bring that experience, and lived expertise into the--into the fellowship and to provide recommendations and to support innovative projects within any one of those spaces. Here, we are also looking the fellow could bring the unique perspective of having been a formerly incarcerated individuals themselves and have lived experience within the system and within a correctional facility. And lastly here, the fellow would have the ability to coordinate and integrate with BJA policy members and help inform our training and technical assistance practices. So that wraps up our three collections-related fellowships, and I am going to pass the baton to my colleague, Kristie Brackens.
KRISTIE BRACKENS: Good afternoon, everyone. I am Kristie Brackens. And I am associate--I am acting right now as Associate Deputy for the Law Enforcement Innovation and Crime Prevention Division. Similar to my colleagues, we have four potential fellowship opportunities. So, I am going to talk about our first one, which is in our Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program. This fellowship opportunity is looking--well, first of all, the program itself provides funds and services to jurisdictions to support cross-system collaboration to improve public safety, responses, and outcomes for individuals with mental illness, and co-occurring mental illness and substance abuse who come in contact with the system. And so, this particular fellowship will be looking for someone to help us develop products and information to share with practitioners and law enforcement professionals. So we would be looking for someone that can help us work across those different disciplines, as well as help us convene focus groups, meetings, webinars. We are looking for someone that actually has direct experience in behavioral health in criminal justice court. So, someone that could bring both those things to bear for us and that can use that information to support national TTA. Similar to some of the things that have already been said, I would encourage you to look at, you know, the justice and mental health solicitation, training and technical solicitation that is out there to give you an idea of the sorts of things that we do related to training and technical assistance in this program. The next fellowship opportunity would be a fellow to support the National Law Enforcement Knowledge Lab Initiatives. This is a, I think, a great opportunity, because this is a completely new program that we are standing up. The solicitation actually for National Initiatives is currently available online, so I would encourage you to take a look at that solicitation. It is Area One of the National Initiatives that is currently posted. But what we really want to do, just like I said, is a--is a--is a brand new program for BJA. And so this is- -the fellow in this program would assist us with promoting outreach, communication, and engagement activities to law enforcement agencies and stakeholders that increases awareness of BJA’s--of this particular lab. And since it is brand new, it is really an opportunity to have your--to help us build something great. So the fellow would work with experts to help us develop trainings and assessments in various products. They would assist us again with the launching of a knowledge learning lab. And the person that we are interested in as far as this fellowship opportunity would have significant knowledge and experience with law enforcement training with evidence-based practice, constitutional policing, civil rights reviews, consent decree processes, policy development, project implementation. And so those are the sorts of things that we are looking for as far as the fellow, but again this one, unlike some--this particular fellowship is very focused on helping us develop a new program. So it is like building something from scratch as far as the National Law Enforcement Lab Initiatives. The next fellowship opportunity is related to violent crime. You know, you cannot turn on the TV without hearing about the different spikes in violent crime that we are seeing across the country. Every--almost every major city across the country is experiencing spikes in violent crime, and places that did not have violent crime problems before are experiencing increases in violent crime. And so this fellowship opportunity would be to help BJA coordinate a lot of our violent crime and prosecution initiatives, as well as some of the community violence initiatives that we have. So you would--your--the activities would include, you know, working with some of the providers that we currently have, helping us do a better job of communicating the resources that are out there and engaging with our traditional partners but also with non-traditional partners around activities to better help those--better address in response to violent crime. We want to work with local law enforcement on how to implement programming that better addresses violent crime, the importance of use of crime analysis tools, of the social networking analysis, looking at the different resources that are out there that--to help drive violent crime strategies. And then looking at how we can, you know, coordinate our federal efforts with local efforts in looking at helping jurisdictions come up with city-wide strategies to help them better address violent crime. When we think of the ideal person for this fellowship, we are looking for someone that has extensive experience in combating violent crime at a local level that is familiar with evidence-based practices and that has law enforcement experience. Because this would--this would be key in helping us develop some deliverables out of this fellow which would be training for law enforcement, engaging with practitioners in different listening sessions to help us inform some of the TTA products, or some of the things that we hope to do. And then, you know, as we work with jurisdictions, we want someone that is able to work with us on how to assess law enforcement programs and strategies that they are doing, but also in their capacity to combat violent crime or crime in general, but also in working with communities. So this fellow would be someone that has extensive, again, experience in combating violent crime at the local level, and familiarity with evidence-based programs. The final fellow that we are--that we are looking for is someone to assist us in our prosecution work, and so similar to the violent crime work in engaging with law enforcement, this person would be engaging with our prosecutorial stakeholders. You know, violent crime, when crime goes up, it not only affects law enforcement, it impacts all--every aspects of the court system. And so we would be looking for fellow that can work specifically with prosecutors who are--who are in these jurisdictions that are experiencing increases in violent crime, and help them, you know, increase awareness of the different BJA resources, the TTA that is out there, that can help them navigate this unprecedented terrain that we are now in. As well as help us in developing resources for them, publications, or guides that can--that can help them better address the increases in violence, you know, navigate the reopening of the court system, things of that nature. Also organizing events, you know, whether it be focus groups, whether it be in-person meetings or webinars, things of that nature, or even marketing materials such as podcasts. So we really look for this fellow to come to us with ideas on the types of events that would be supportive in this area, the types of materials that would also be supportive of this group. As far as the knowledge that we are looking for, for this particular fellowship, we want someone that has experience with social media platforms and has the ability to effectively communicate with Prosecutors’ Offices. And with that, I will turn it over to Vince Davenport to talk about the fellowship that he has in his…
VINCE DAVENPORT: Thank you, Kristie, and I want to again thank everybody for taking time to join us today. This is really important. The work that we do here at the Bureau of Justice Assistance, you know, is carried out by some really dedicated professionals who have a lot of experience with the Department of Justice, with the BJA, and other walks of life by having had a real experience [INDISTINCT] and to making sure [INDISTINCT] reaching people we need to reach and addressing the issues that we really need to address. That is really so important. So thank you all. And we look forward to seeing applications, hopefully, from everybody on the call. So I am from the Law Enforcement Operations Division, and we deal with a variety of issues, and we are looking for one particular fellow to help us to develop information-sharing strategies and protocols with law enforcement across the country. I will just tell you just a little bit about--a little bit about the division. We deal with a variety of issues, including officer safety and wellness. We have a big portfolio there. We deal with justice information sharing, forensics, law enforcement training, technical assistance, and any number of other issues that affect law enforcement agencies. BJA--we are very fortunate to play a major role in the delivery of federal resources to state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies. One of the most important aspects of our work is that the information and the resources have to reach those who actually need them, and who can actually apply them for the benefit of the agencies and for the benefit of the communities. And as you might imagine with roughly 18,000 law enforcement agencies across the country, this presents some real complex challenges and requires some innovative approaches. We work with a lot of national, and regional, and local stakeholder organizations and associations, but getting the word out in a timely manner to agencies and communities that need these resources, and that can benefit directly from these resources, you know, it is a perennial challenge. And we are really hoping that this fellow can help us to improve our processes and really kind of take things to the next level to ensure that the information that is needed, in terms of--for local law enforcement actually reaches them. So this fellow will assist in promoting this outreach, communication, and engagement activities with law enforcement agencies and other stakeholders to spread the news and to this--and to enhance the awareness, and to grow the awareness of BJA resources for law--to law enforcement. And also to help kind of create this really important information--so that we are constantly not only sharing information but we are hearing information back across these same mechanisms, so that we know really what is happening in the field for one important purpose, and that is so that we can be responsive to it. We want to know what their needs are all the time. And having a really effective communications network, and in many cases kind of these redundant network processes, communication processes between BJA and the law enforcement community across the country, that redundancy is important to ensure that not only information goes out but that information comes in, so that we can tweak programs if necessary in response to what we are hearing so that they are most effective and meet the needs of the field. The fellow will work to strengthen our existing lines of communications and to establish new pathways for sharing information in a timely manner. Not only information about funding resources but information about training, technical assistance, all of these things that we know the federal government does well in terms of supporting state and local law enforcement, we want to make sure that the information and the opportunities, especially the funding opportunities, get out to the field. This fellow can expect to work with any number of national stakeholders. We work regularly with the International Association of Chiefs of Police, National Sheriffs’, and a lot of other stakeholders who have vested interests in ensuring that this communications network works between the Bureau of Justice Assistance and the field. This particular fellow really should have significant demonstrable knowledge and experience with regard to social media platforms and other means of peerto-peer communication within law enforcement communities. And this is, again, one of the big challenges of law enforcement over the years, is sharing information. Sometimes, you know, jurisdictions that are right next to each other do not do a good job of sharing information. So we want to make sure that we are addressing that and that we are providing information in a timely manner to the field every time we have it to offer. And so we are excited to have somebody from the field that has this experience to help us to grow and to build out this really important function within the Bureau. And so with that, I am going to turn things back over to Becky.
BECKY ROSE: Wonderful. Thank you, Vince. Thank you so much. And thank you to all of our Associate Deputy Directors for walking through all of those different program areas. I know that I am really excited about these opportunities at BJA and hope that you all are getting excited as well in hearing all of these different--12 different purpose areas to be able to potentially engage with us on. So I am going to go over a little bit--a few more logistics on kind of the nuts and bolts of the solicitation. And then we will get to Q&A. I do see some folks have been posing some questions in the Q&A box. So please keep those coming in. And as soon as I wrap up kind of some of these other nuts and bolts, I will get to those questions that have been asked. So thank you for those questions so far. So a little bit--some basics on kind of award information. As we have talked about, we make-- we expect to make up to 12 awards, one per focus area. The maximum award amount is capped at $350,000. So that is per award. Total amount, 4.2 million. The grant start date, we would plan for a grant start date of October 1st, 2021. And the period of performance would be 24 months. A note here about kind of hours. Fellows are generally required to spend a minimum of 1,500 hours during the duration of their fellowship onsite at BJA, though BJA will consider shorter periods of time where the applicant makes the case that they still satisfactorily accomplished the goal of the solicitation. During the fellow’s--the residency period, BJA will provide workspace, equipment, including telephone, computer, office supplies, and internet access. I want to just kind of point out, there is a bit more detail about the residency requirement in the solicitation on page 5 into page 6. So we also talk about kind of, you know, kind of the current landscape in terms of pandemic issues and other considerations. Basically, there is flexibility built into this. So we have had some questions leading up to this webinar, once the solicitation was released about the residency requirements. We do request that you consider the residency requirements. But please propose what you think is best in terms of your--what you are able to do and also would really help us accomplish the goals of your fellowship. So please keep that in mind. And again refer to pages 5 and 6 for some more information about residency as well. So on the budget information. The funding level for each visiting fellow will largely be determined by kind of the total package submitted in the application. That can include salary and expenses, housing expenses, travel and other limited administrative expenses. We will not fund salary or cost for any person other than the person to be placed in the fellowship with the following exception. So BJA will fund small costs for a support staff person or contractor to perform support functions in completing research and/or analysis, meeting support, or document development insofar as--to address a core need to accomplish the goals of the fellowship. I see a question in the Q&A that I am going to go ahead and address right now, asking us to define small. We do not define it in the solicitation, and there is not any other information we can provide, but, you know, you present what you think is reasonable in terms of, you know, under those functions to provide those support functions, and we will consider that in the application. So there is not a definition of small, but we want it to be reasonable and tied to the program goals that you propose in your application. So, again, the needs, whether it is salary or housing expenses, travel, limited administrative expenses, those must all be fully documented in the budget worksheets and the budget narrative, which are part of the application process in JustGrants. A little note about travel here. Travel can include travel associated with the fellowship’s duties, travel from the fellow’s home to BJA and back for the fellowship residency, depending on how that looks for what you proposed, and also up to two trips to travel home during the period of the residency. This travel will not include local travel between the fellow’s local residence and the office or meetings during the period of residency at BJA. Excuse me. Proposals primarily to purchase equipment, materials, or supplies will not be funded. And just a note, there is no match requirement for this--for this solicitation. So the different application sections are listed here. I am not going to go over every one, but you can see the different ones that are required and also if applicable depending on your unique situation, your unique application. A couple more details about the application sections. We are asking for a time-task plan. This time and task plan will outline your goals and objectives of the fellowship and just summarize the major activities, the expected date of completion, again, with--assuming a October 1st start date, and responsible agency or responsible person for that major activity. We are also asking, of course, for resumes and job descriptions, so please provide the proposed fellow resume. And also letters of support, so--or MOU. So we ask that you attach relevant letters of support and/or MOUs between key partners to the project to reflect support, roles, agreements about collaboration, et cetera. And then if applicable, research and evaluation independence and integrity is another attachment that would be required. The abstract is an important piece of this, and the required document is part of your application. You actually will be submitting this through an online form in JustGrants. But what we ask for is that your proposal abstract is no more than 400 words and that summarizes the project, including the primary activities, the deliverables, and products. The service area is very important to include in that. The program area that--one of the--which 12 areas you are--which of the 12 areas you are applying for, and who will benefit from the proposed project. There is a bulleted list here on this slide that you can see. Make sure to hit all of these bullets, please. This is a very helpful information to us, and we use our program abstract for a number of reasons, especially during the initial BMR--or the initial review process. The program narrative. Please note the page limit is 20 pages, so please do not exceed 20 pages. And we do ask for a 12-point font with 1-inch margins. The scoring is important for you to pay attention to here. So, as these applications go through review, this is the guidance that we provide to peer reviewers on how to score your application. For each section of the solicitation, we provide details on what you should provide--I am sorry. For the application narrative, we provide details on what you should provide under description of issue, project design and implementation, and so forth. And so as we are providing guidance to peer reviewers, we are asking them to look for that information by section. So if you go to page 14 on the solicitation, this gives you the details of what is expected in the program narrative. And each--the peer reviewer is then asked for each section and the weighting of each section is listed here. So you can see the sections that have the higher weightings. That means that we want you to really kind of pay attention to those and provide a good amount of narrative that--you know, that fits within each of those criteria that we list on page 14. So please pay attention to the scoring that we list because that will really kind of drive the review process as well, and help you put together your application, and emphasize those sections that are most important. So budget and budget narrative. This is a 24 project--24-month project period, so we want--we will be asking for an itemized budget for each year of the grant. So that is something you can prepare for. And then just a quick note about kind of processes at BJA. Prior approval, planning, and reporting of conference, meeting, and training costs will be required. You do not have to seek prior approval before submitting an application. So please go ahead and propose in the application, you know, your meetings and conferences and trainings that you want to do, but before they can actually be executed, we will seek prior approval internally. Some tips for you all. So we have a couple deadlines, and I might have mentioned this later in the--in the presentation again, but just do not wait until the deadline to apply. There is a number of steps that need to happen for you all to get registered in Grants.gov. The Grants.gov deadline, again, is August 2nd, and the JustGrants deadline is August 16th. But we really--if you look at the first bullet here, in Grants.gov, you will be submitting the SF424 and the SF-LLL. If those sound like a foreign language to you right now, we please encourage you to get online and try to get familiar with what the requirements are for Grants.gov. We really encourage you to submit your applications at least 72 hours prior to the application due date just in case there is any technical issues that you may need to address. Any--there is also several layers or rounds of kind of registrations that you need to set up before getting actually registered in Grants.gov. So please visit all of that. And we have some links to different guidance that we provided out there on the application process. So here we are getting into some trainings that have been developed for all of--all applicants to BJA. So, as I mentioned, the second deadline is--to apply, to submit your kind of full application materials into JustGrants. So there are a lot of resources available for you, if you are not familiar with it yet, on how to apply through JustGrants. So all these links here. And this--again, we will share the slide deck afterwards. But all these links here, we will post it, provide you kind of just quick trainings and checklists on how to apply in JustGrants. So I encourage you to take a look at this stuff now. There is also a great resource. If you guys are not familiar with this, I would definitely suggest bookmarking this, but this is called the DOJ Application Submission Checklist. So we have a couple checklists built into the solicitation, but this checklist really provides kind of an overview guidance to all the applicants, potential applicants, explains the two-part application process in Grants.gov and JustGrants. It includes all these great kind of little tidbits of information. What do you need to do know as you are considering applying? What does it mean to get registered in Grants.gov? How do you get, you know, all set up in JustGrants? What happens in that 2-week time period between Grants.gov and JustGrants, and some other useful tips. So definitely take a look at this now as you are preparing. And here is some important contact information. So because we do have the two-step process, you have two different help desk or technical support centers. So Grants.gov, if you are having technical issues in that first round of submission, for the August 2nd deadline, this is the Grants.gov information here. And then JustGrants technical support, it is the second link--number and email listed here. This is when you are submitting the full application. And then, finally, we have what we call the OJP Response Center. So this is, as you are kind of looking at the application, you know, have questions about kind of programmatic requirements and things like that, you know, as a followup to this webinar, this is your place to go, is the OJP Response Center. And they will, you know, address any questions that you might have as you are, you know, going through the application process, preparing your application materials. And if there are programmatic questions that need to be referred to one of us, we will--they will get in touch with us to address those questions. Okay. So, again, I am kind of emphasizing this quite a bit, but it is a very important process, and we want to make sure you are prepared. You have a couple weeks before the first August 2nd deadline, but is a 2-step application process, and it is new this year. That is why we have so much emphasis on this. So in the Grants.gov, you will be submitting these two forms, and then you will have your full application submission into JustGrants by August 16th. Okay. So just a note, we are--just to remember, we are utilizing this new system this year at JustGrants. If you run--come into any technical issues, you should reach out to the help desk, at either JustGrants or Grants.gov, as soon as possible. It is really important that you document all your technical issues and that you also notify the help desk, the technical help desk, as soon as possible so they can try to help you before these deadlines come up. So keep that in mind as you are going through this process. And then as you submit your application, make sure that if you do have technical issues as that deadline is approaching, that you also contact us at the OJP Response Center to document all the issues that you have been--if you have had issues, what the issues are. You know, note that you have contacted the help desk, and they are working on those issues. So just be in touch with us a lot through all those different technical help desk numbers that I provide in that OJP Resource Center. So this is just a way for you to stay connected. Hopefully, you are pretty connected to BJA already. You heard about this webinar. But if you are not following us on social media or you are not getting your email updates from BJA directly, please be sure to do that. You know, if there are any changes to deadlines in the solicitation or any changes to--you know, how things are listed in the solicitation, we will announce it through all these mechanisms. So make sure that you are connected. Okay. So now we are going to get to Q&A. And I am going to go ahead and moderate the Q&A. I am going to just kind of read out some of the questions that I see here. I see quite a few questions here. So let me--bear with me as I navigate through some of the questions. The--one of the--one of the first things I have seen asked a little bit, and just to re-emphasize this, it has--and it has been answered but it has also been shared in the chat boxes that you will--the PowerPoint presentation and the recording of the webinar will be posted, and I think the link has been shared in the chat box and in the Q&A. So be sure that this will--this will all get out to you as soon as--as soon as possible. So be in the lookout for that. And then I just should note, you know, every word, almost every word that was in this PowerPoint is pulled from the solicitation. So you heard me reference page numbers and different things like that. So, you know, hopefully, you can go back to the solicitation, and refresh your memory on what we talked about today as well. Okay. So a couple of general questions. One, just a question about kind of, “Can you be--you know, do you have to be affiliated with an organization, or can you be a contractor, or can you be an individual just in terms of eligibility?” A general answer to that is that you--we are looking for individuals. You do not have to be affiliated with an organization to qualify for this fellowship. So it can go either way. But we are seeking individuals to serve in this fellowship role. Okay. I am going to get to a couple of questions from Stefan. So the first question are, “Are the work of past fellows available for your review--or for review?” I actually, in the chat box, earlier in the presentation did put up some links in there. So what the links I have included, the chat starts with “To learn more about past fellows’ visit,” and then there are three links there. In the past, we have offered this fellowship program I think in 2012, ’13, and 2015. And we actually have program descriptions on each of these links. So if you click on those links, you can find the program descriptions for the fellows that we have awarded under each of those solicitation years. Another way to find past funding history is just to go to OJP or bja.gov, and you can look under funding and then past awards, and you can search by solicitation, or keyword, or whatever it might be. But I did include those direct links in there for you. The second question is “What guidance can you provide on budgeted salaries?” And additional questions about, “Can you provide guidance on allowable travel expenses?” The only information we have on salaries is what I went over in the--in the presentation today. But just please note that all of that is listed under the budget information in the solicitation—sorry--excuse me, on page 12. So under budget information, we talk about salaries, the number of hours expected. There is no--there is--in the solicitation, there is no mention of cap on salaries, so, you know, you propose what you think is reasonable for the project. But there is a little bit more information, just about kind of, you know, what the salaries--what that could cover, and then also the administrative expenses that I mentioned as well. So, again, that is on page 12 in more detail. And then the guidance on allowable travel expenses, you will need to abide by the federal travel guidelines, so when you are planning your budget for travel expenses, you know, the travel--you know, the cost estimates that you would include would be based on the federal travel guidelines. So you can Google that and take a look at that, but that’s for the--you know, looking at federal hotel rates in cities for DM rates, and things like that. And that would be for in the U.S. only. The next question is what guidance…
RUBY QAZILBASH: Thank you. Just to chime in, that is through the--those are through the General Services Administration. And you can Google GSA per diem rates. And that would give you the amount that is allowable for hotel and then also meals and incidentals on a daily basis for travel to specific jurisdictions within the U.S.
BECKY ROSE: Thanks, Ruby. “What guidance can you give on the amount allowed to subcontractors for research? The RFP says “small.” I did reference that specifically in the- -in the presentation just now. We do not define small. And so we leave it up to you to propose something that aligns appropriately with what your application--what you are proposing in the application. The last question I might need a little help from my colleagues here. The--in this set of questions. “Can a fellow seek to obtain a cooperative agreement from government organizations, including federal agencies, as part of the application?” Betsi, can you remind me, is this--do we typically award these as cooperative agreements?
BETSI GRIFFITH: Yes. These are generally issued as cooperative agreements, which is signaling our intent for substantial federal involvement. You know, we might expect to see some adjustments as we work together on the project. And I think one other thing I would mention, I would definitely spend some time, particularly around pages 5 and 6, to look at some of the more--more of the details around our expectations that this is really intended to be a very collegial kind of relationship during the residency period. You know, we tried to offer some flexibilities there. But one of the things we mentioned is we accept about 30 percent of your time when you are in the residence portion of your project, is going to be focused not just on things relating to your proposed projects but actually working and engaging with us in a collaborative manner on related projects where we could use your expertise and perspective. So for those reasons, we really want to--want to see these as a cooperative agreement relationship.
BECKY ROSE: Wonderful. Thank you, Betsi. I am going to ask if you could answer the next question too, but--“Does the fellow have to designate a hundred percent of their time to the fellowship, the 1FTE, or can part of the fellow’s time be used for other activities as long as the 1,500 hours of residency are met?” So, for example, 70 percent towards the fellowship project and 30 percent towards non-fellowship activities such as regular duties with their host organization? And is there a limit to how much time--what the split of time would be?” So, Betsi, if you would not mind addressing that.
BETSI GRIFFITH: Yeah. And I want to make sure I am understanding the distinction. I think we would not pay for activities that are not within the scope of the fellowship, whether that is the things that are proposed or this portion of time during the residency that went up to about 30 percent of the fellow’s time would be spent on other related activities for BJA. If you look, we specifically talk about, you know, just wanting to get to an average, you know, overall of kind of intensive full time. Try to offer a little bit of flexibility. Maybe it does not have to be a hundred percent time, but we do want you here and engage enough that you are not pulled in multiple directions. And to have some consistency, we do require minimum of 1,500 hours being committed to being in the residency period where you are really focused with us. So we will consider other things, but if it starts to sort of feel like you are being pulled in multiple directions and cannot be available to really engage fully with us, those would be things we would be considering in making our decisions.
BECKY ROSE: Great. Thank you, Becky.
BETSI GRIFFITH: But, again, I do not--I do not--you know, I know you have asked for like a--in the question, there was a--you know, a percentage of time of say 30 percent. I do not necessarily want to set one line or another. We do not have a set line. But what I will do is just reference kind of what we talk about in the solicitation. Again, this is I think around pages 5 and 6, and it says during this period of residency, it--it is estimated, as I mentioned, about 30 percent will be devoted to collaborative work along with implementing your fellowship activities. We will consider a period for less than 9 months full-time residency as long as we have that 1,500 hours minimum, or a part-time schedule for a longer period. But the applicant has to make the case that the goal of the solicitation can still be accomplished with the approach. So really it--it is a matter of how you are presenting that information and then our evaluation of it.
BECKY ROSE: That is great. Thank you, Betsi. A similar question, just about hours and requirements, but how many hours are fellows expected to commit per week? I think the same response. I mean, there is some flexibility built in. We do not specify how many hours you have to commit per week, but we will--you know, we ask that you propose how much you can commit, and we will work with you to see--to see what will work for the project and the execution of the project. So there is some flexibility built in there. And the expectation is that, you know, once awarded, we will work with you to, you know, accommodate schedules and kind of navigate and make decisions about, you know, number of hours per week. And it might be on a case-by-case basis--or it will be on a case-by-case basis and project basis, right? So each--you know, each individual associate here will work with the fellows once selected to work out those schedules. The next question is just about the SF-LLL. “May we just state not applicable if we do not engage in lobbying?” I do not--I am not familiar with the form, but I would assume there is a--there is a checkbox for not applicable if you not--do not engage in lobbying. So I would encourage you to take a look at the form and see if that is--there is a checkbox for that. Please know that it is a requirement to submit that form whether or not you engage in lobbying. So if you have questions about, you know, how to answer that form, I would definitely reach out to the Grants.gov help desk as Daryl has up on the screen here. Also DUNS number for the fellowship is a follow-up question. “Will we need our own DUNS number or SAM number in order to submit an application in Grants.gov?” You actually will need to register for a SAM number and a DUNS number. And actually if you go to page 2 of the solicitation, that just shows you--gives you the link, you know, where to register in Grants.gov. And part of that registration process, you will need to obtain a DUNS number, which is the Data Universal Numbering System, and the SAM number, which is the System for Award Management, registration, or renewal if you already have it. So please, yes, you make sure that those--you have met those requirements in order to submit your application in Grants.gov. A question here about kind of partnering with other organizations or entities. You know, the purpose of this solicitation is to seek fellowships that will work with BJA in partnership to execute the goals of the--the different purpose areas. So, you know, we are not talking about kind of any other opportunities other than this solicitation right now to engage in working with those fellowships with that subject matter expertise and that field experience. So definitely would encourage you to take a look at the programmatic goals as outlined in the objectives as well. And then I…
BETSI GRIFFITH: Becky, may--this is Betsi. If I could jump on that--jump to add two other points on that. What I would say is this is a very unique program. A lot of times, we are either seeking to implement, you know, state, local, tribal demonstration programs or to fund national-level projects every few years along with the fellowship program. We also have what we call our Field Initiated Program, where we encourage the field to submit their ideas, to test new ideas, or fill gaps in the field. So if you are looking to fund those kinds of activities, that is not what the fellowship is for. And so if you start to sort of think to yourself, “Oh, I really kind of need two people on this project,” not necessarily a small amount of help for me as a fellow. Or, “I really think this is a collaborative project to--that has to happen with a couple of other folks.” I would encourage you to keep that. We do not anticipate issuing a field initiate this year, but we probably will in future years, and that would be exactly the kind of project you would probably want to consider for that funding opportunity.
BECKY ROSE: That is great, Betsi. Thank you for that. And I should also note that we do have many, many other solicitations open right now that are available for funding. So please visit, you know, bja.gov and look under the funding tab to see all of our different openings--open solicitations. You can see BJA’s website right here. Different funding opportunities that are available right now. To Betsi’s point, if there is, you know, kind of this more in-depth project that you are looking for your jurisdiction, definitely take a look at all those different funding opportunities that are available. And, at this time, I think I have gotten through all of the questions that have been asked. I do want to acknowledge a couple of the comments that have been made. Thank you for--to some of you who have just made some general comments and acknowledgments of, you know, the different priority areas. Thank you for all of that. I really do appreciate those comments, and we will take those to note. Let me just look through one other box here. Okay. Well, let me just ask my colleagues here on the phone if there are any other comments you would like to make before we wrap up. Betsi, I will ask you first.
RUBY QAZILBASH: Becky.
BECKY ROSE: Oh, yeah. Go ahead, Ruby.
RUBY QAZILBASH: Oh, just see one question that was specific to one of the fellowship opportunities. It says, “Can you provide some of the motivating factors for identifying enhancing corrections basis in cultures as a priority area?” So I am happy to address that one. I think it was just one really great one.
BECKY ROSE: Yup. Sure. No, go ahead. I saw that as well. Go ahead, Ruby.
RUBY QAZILBASH: Okay. Sure. So in response to that, I would say that we still have some pretty stubborn recidivism rates both when you look at arrest levels and reincarceration levels for people coming out of incarceration when you do a 3-year look- back. And then the Bureau of Justice Statistics has done even longer look-backs depending on release cohorts. So when we look at those stubborn recidivism rates, it begs the question, what can we do differently to improve them? And so we invest a lot in reentry programs and using federal funds to incentivize what the research shows works to impact reentry, both what you can do behind the walls prior to release and post-release when people are back out in the community. In 2019, we funded several projects that are looking at training and correctional staff health and wellness. And this is one area that we have not looked into. So the physical spaces and the cultures that they engender within jails and prisons, and how do those contribute to the successful reintegration efforts and outcomes for people. So that is really the motivating factor. It is something that I think we have been interested in looking more at, and have touched on it around the edges, but there also seems to be a lot of innovation and testing of new ideas with regard to changing spaces and addressing correctional cultures. And that is something that BJA wanted to invest further in.
BECKY ROSE: Wonderful. Thank you, Ruby. Actually, I see a question in the chat just sent to me. So sorry, Tammy, for just seeing this. But there was a question about how an applicant may find housing during their residency. So, Betsi, I hate to come to you again, but I just wanted if you could talk about past experiences maybe with the fellows that you worked with and how, you know, they have tackled finding residency. I do not think we provide that support from BJA, but any tips for the applicant to think through that?
BETSI GRIFFITH: Well, first of all, I think--please note that we really tried to structure this. We do not expect you to be starting onboard with us in the residency period on day one. You know, there is a period of time we recognize sometimes within your job or maybe if you are working in an academic setting, you have got to kind of be able to plan accordingly. So please recognize that, you know, having a multiyear award was really designed to kind of give you some time to prep to be able to transition and then, you know, move forward. So we are hoping through that that you will have time to be able to, you know, arrange for different things. We do not, unfortunately, support--and honestly this is the largest cohort we would ever have of fellows, so, you know, we intended to have a couple of fellows that will fund in each round. So, for that reason, we have not necessarily had a lot of formalized supports for them. But what I would say is, you know, when you are budgeting, you can think about, you know, some of those costs and being able to build that within, you know, sort of your cost around your salary and expenses. And also really encourage you to think carefully with regard to your travel-related expenses to make sure you are building, you know, resources in to be able to travel in to start the residency. And I believe we allow for several trips during the period of the residency to be able to go back and forth and then come back at the end. I think the other thing I will say is I will acknowledge that, you know, given the pandemic, the federal government currently is in a full-time telework status that may change in the near future, but we recognize that there are some uncertainties there and it could be, you know, a period of time before we would actually be able to host anybody physically in-person. But, unfortunately, we do not--on the sort of support for the housing piece, we are not able to offer any direct assistance.
BECKY ROSE: Great. Thank you, Betsi. Okay. I think I have gone through everything. Let just open it up very quickly since we have a few minutes. Is there any of the--my colleagues who want to say just anything else to add to their comments on the webinar today?
BETSI GRIFFITH: Well, I think the only thing I would just say is the breadth of what BJA does is very, very, very broad, and we have a very committed and hardworking and talented staff, but I think we continue to get better and deeper in our work when we have that opportunity to work closely with folks who are out there coming fresh off of having done work in the field. Kind of building on Ruby’s point about, you know, kind of the vision behind one of her fellowships. We are always looking for, you know, new ways of thinking and fresh ideas, and particularly when we are in the transition of a new administration, really kind of opening up that thinking. So we are really excited to get your applications and your creative ideas on ways that we can continue to keep our work fresh and relevant to what the field needs.
VINCE DAVENPORT: Okay. I will just add to that. First off, obviously, you know, thank you again for joining us today. And, you know, now that you have heard the information that you have heard today and you have had a chance to look at the solicitation, and if it seems like a good fit and you can make this happen and contribute to a bigger cause, that is wonderful, and we really look forward to seeing your application. But if you make the judgment that it is just not a good fit for you or it just cannot work for right now, that--that is fine too. And if that is the case, you know, we want you to keep doing what you are doing out there, and we want you to know that we appreciate everything you are doing out there. We know it is not easy to be anywhere in the criminal justice space today. You know, our nation is trying to figure things out. And as we move forward, you know, we are going to try to be, you know, as collaborative as we can. And we do need people like you, whether you join us here at BJA for a residency and fellowship or whether you keep holding down the fort and doing the great things that you are doing out there, we just want to say thank you and we want you all to be safe.
BECKY ROSE: Wonderful. Well, thank you all so much and…
KRISTIE BRACKENS: This is Kristie…
BECKY ROSE: Oh, go ahead, Kristie.
KRISTIE BRACKENS: I am sorry, Becky. This is Kristie. I do not think there is anything that I can add that has not been said already, especially after what Vince just said, but I would encourage you all to really take a look at it. You know, we learn best from people that are outside of us most often, and so we would--we could really benefit from the expertise that you would individually bring to the different fellowship opportunities. So thank you for your attention today.
BECKY ROSE: All right. Well, thank you all so much. And we are so excited about this here at BJA. So we hope that you, you know, if you do have any interest after learning all about, you know, kind of all the details of the solicitation, submit an application by those two deadlines. Really love to have you here and join us to be a fellow here at BJA. So thank you all very much for participating on this webinar today. Thanks to my colleagues for presenting great information and getting us excited about this fellowship program, and we look forward to hearing from you all soon. Take care.
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