Forensic Psychology Research Institute

Grant Guidelines/Application Procedures

The purpose of the Forensic Psychology Research Institute (FPRI) at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York (CUNY), is to create and foster research opportunities in forensic psychology for qualified faculty and students so that they may acquire and enhance their research skills and capabilities. The FPRI funds research undertaken by psychology faculty and graduate students.

Who Can Apply?

1) Faculty Researchers: Any member of the John Jay College Psychology faculty who is conducting research addressing an issue appropriate to the field of Forensic Psychology is eligible to apply. The research project must engage students as research assistants.

2) Student Researchers: Any John Jay College Forensic Psychology master’s student (with at least a 3.0 G.P.A.) completing a master’s thesis or any student in CUNY’s doctoral program in Forensic Psychology completing a first doctoral exam or dissertation project may apply for FPRI support.

3) Faculty/Student Collaborators: Faculty and students working together as research collaborators are eligible to apply. The research must address an issue appropriate to the field of Forensic Psychology and the nature of the collaboration must be described in detail in the proposal, with the roles of the student and faculty member clearly defined. Collaborative grants cannot be used to fund dissertation research or dissertation-related pilot studies.

What Will Be Funded? 

The main purpose of the FPRI is to provide seed money for reasonable research expenses related to faculty research projects, master’s theses, first doctoral exams, and doctoral dissertations. It is hoped that FPRI funds for faculty research will be used for pilot or foundational work to assist in the preparation of applications for external funding. 

Reasonable research expenses include participant fees, costs of materials and measures, other specialized research-related equipment, and/or faculty release time.

Budgetary Considerations: 

Overall Budget:

  • Each faculty member may receive up to $10,000 per academic year in support from FPRI. This includes all proposals submitted as an individual faculty and faculty/student collaborations. Individual faculty proposals will be capped at $5,000 per project. 
  • Doctoral students may request up to $1,500 to support research for their first doctoral examination and doctoral dissertation. 
  • Master’s students will be able to request up to $750 to support their Master’s thesis research. 


  • Funding requests for travel associated with FPRI funded research will be considered for first author accepted conference papers and/or poster presentations. Travel funds for faculty and students will be capped at $500 per academic year and will not be counted toward the overall FPRI annual budget allocation. Proposals for travel should include an abstract of the project funded by the FPRI, discussion of the applicant’s benefits of attending and presenting at the conference, the applicant’s need for the award, and a copy of the conference program listing the presentation. Travel awards will be provided in the form of reimbursement, based upon receipts submitted.


  • The FPRI will not fund student requests for Research Assistant (RA) or data entry funds or requests for computers, laptops, and/or other related computer equipment including computer related software and programs. Should a student or faculty member request funding for specialized computer software and/or program(s), the psychology department will have sole ownership and such programs will be utilized through the department computer laboratory where all faculty and students have access.

Who Decides? 

The FPRI is governed by a Steering Committee that consists of seven members: the Founder of the FPRI; John Jay College of Criminal Justice President, Dean of Research, Psychology Department Chair, Forensic Psychology Master’s Program Director, and two appointed psychology department faculty members. A subcommittee of the Steering Committee, the Proposal Review Committee, appointed by the Dean of Research and including the FPRI Director, will make final funding decisions. The FPRI Director will coordinate the application and review process and prepare annual reports for the Steering Committee. The current FPRI Director is Cathy Spatz Widom, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor of Psychology.

When to Apply: 

FPRI applications may be submitted and will be reviewed throughout the academic year.

How to Apply:

Prepare a grant proposal that contains the following components:

  1. FPRI Grant Submission Face Page, click here.
  2. a) Project Description (Limited to a maximum of (10) single-spaced pages):

    b) Abstract: A 250-word structured abstract that includes the purpose, hypotheses, methods, sample, potential results, and significance. 

    c) Background/Review of the Literature: A clear, concise overview of the pertinent literature, placing the project in the perspective of the discipline and the significance to Forensic Psychology. 

    d) Purpose/Objectives: A description of the purpose of the proposed project and hypotheses. 

    e) Project Design: A description of the overall project design to include description of participants, detailed methods, instruments (a copy of the instruments that will be utilized in the study should be included in the proposal), data to be obtained, procedures, statistical analyses planned, and a detailed timeline of the project. 

    f) Products and Future Plans: A description of the products that will result from this research including some discussion of the ways in which this FPRI award will assist the applicant in seeking external support or other career objectives. 

    g) Other Funding Support: The applicant should indicate whether he/she has applied for (or received) other funding for this project and, if so, the name(s) of the funding agencies and the extent of overlap with the current proposal. 

  3. Institutional Review Board (IRB) for the Protection of Human Subjects Approval: Disbursement of the FPRI award is contingent upon approval by the John Jay College IRB. The research proposal should include proof of IRB submission or a copy of the approval form. FPRI monies will not be dispersed until an approval letter from the IRB is submitted to the Committee. 
  4. Budget: A proposed project budget must be submitted that is divided into broad cost categories (e.g., equipment, supplies, faculty release time, and research assistant compensation). All expenses must be justified and clearly explained in detail within the proposal. 
  5. For faculty proposals, a curriculum vita is required. For student proposals, a current transcript, letter from the faculty advisor, and curriculum vitae is required. Letters of support should discuss the faculty’s willingness to serve as a research advisor, as well as the student’s academic ability, time, and maturity to conduct the research project.
  6. All FPRI award recipients will be required to provide an annual progress report to the FPRI Committee by November 1st of each year. 
  7. FPRI projects should be completed within 2 years of receiving the award. A request for an extension and additional time to complete the project can be made in writing to the FPRI Committee.

Submit one electronic version and one hard copy of the completed grant application packet to Dr. Widom, 631 T Building, email:

The FPRI Committee strongly encourages applicants to consult with experienced department faculty or members of the Committee prior to submitting the proposal. For additional information, please contact Dr. Widom, preferably by email: or by phone: (212) 237-8978.

Procedures for Submitting Project Expenditures and Report Summary

Upon completion of the funded FPRI project, the principal investigator(s) must submit the following to the FPRI Director:

  1. A 1000-word (maximum) overview of the project including the purpose, hypotheses, results, and significance. In addition, a brief description of the products that resulted from the research including any external funding received.
  2. The original and one copy of the project budget summary of expenditures and all receipts which reflect the original project approved by the Committee.

Please contact Dr. Cathy Widom for more information at, or by phone at (212) 237-8978.