Requirements related to Research

Updated as of July 2017

This webpage is intended to identify some significant additional conditions that OJP may include in FY 2017 awards, in order to address various matters related to research, protection of human subjects, and confidentiality. These additional conditions are used as appropriate to supplement the "General Conditions" included on virtually all OJP awards made in FY 2017.

Research and the protection of human subjects

DOJ regulations (28 C.F.R. Part 46, "Protection of Human Subjects") protect the human subjects of federally-funded research. In brief, the regulations require that, unless an exemption applies, OJP-funded research projects that involve human subjects must be reviewed and approved by an Institutional Review Board (IRB). Before a recipient will be permitted to use OJP funds for any research activity involving human subjects, the recipient must submit to OJP documentation of IRB approval that is sufficient to demonstrate compliance with the requirements of 28 C.F.R. Part 46.

OJP has developed a decision tree to assist OJP applicants and recipients in determining whether an activity planned to be undertaken with OJP funds constitutes research involving human subjects.

Data privacy and confidentiality requirements

DOJ regulations (28 C.F.R. Part 22, "Confidentiality of Identifiable Research and Statistical Information") require recipients, and any subrecipients under an OJP award, to protect the privacy of individuals by requiring that information identifiable to a private person obtained during an OJP-funded research or statistical program may only be used for the purpose for which the information was obtained.

Applicants that propose to conduct a research or a statistical project that will collect personally identifiable information must submit an acceptable "Privacy Certificate" as part of the application. The Privacy Certificate must include a complete description of the policies and procedures that the applicant will use to ensure the confidentiality of identifiable data. The eight elements required for a Privacy Certificate are outlined at 22 C.F.R. 22.23.

An application that lacks an acceptable Privacy Certificate may result in restrictions that preclude use of award funds until an acceptable certificate is submitted.

A model Privacy Certificate can be found here: Standard Forms and Instructions.

Emphasis on Evidence-Based Programs or Practices

OJP strongly emphasizes the use of data and evidence in policy making and program development in criminal justice, juvenile justice, and crime victim services. OJP is committed to:

  • - improving the quantity and quality of evidence OJP generates;
  • - integrating evidence into program, practice, and policy decisions within OJP and the field; and
  • - improving the translation of evidence into practice.

OJP considers programs and practices to be evidence-based when their effectiveness has been demonstrated by causal evidence, generally obtained through one or more outcome evaluations. Causal evidence documents a relationship between an activity or intervention (including technology) and its intended outcome, including measuring the direction and size of a change, and the extent to which a change may be attributed to the activity or intervention. Causal evidence depends on the use of scientific methods to rule out, to the extent possible, alternative explanations for the documented change. The strength of causal evidence, based on the factors described above, will influence the degree to which OJP considers a program or practice to be evidence-based.

OJP's web site is one resource that applicants may use to find information about evidence-based programs in criminal justice, juvenile justice, and crime victim services.

Return to "Overview of Legal Requirements Generally Applicable to OJP Awards - FY 2017"