Request for Proposals

Funding Agency:
National Collaborative on Gun Violence Research

The mission of the National Collaborative on Gun Violence Research (NCGVR) is to fund and disseminate nonpartisan scientific research that offers the public and policymakers a factual basis for developing fair and effective gun policies. An early mandate for NCGVR’s independent Research Advisory Committee was to seek testimony from a wide range of organizations and individuals about gun policy and gun violence research priorities. A consistent message from these diverse stakeholders was that the federal government has underinvested in gun violence research for at least two decades, with the result that the public and policymakers lack basic information on which to base their decisions about gun policies and violence prevention. Indeed, by one estimate, the government spends about $100 million a year less on gun violence research than it does on other leading causes of death that kill similar numbers of people, such as motor vehicle crashes, liver disease, and hypertension (Stark and Shah, 2017). 

There is reason, therefore, to suspect that important contributions to understanding and preventing gun violence remain to be discovered across a wide range of study types. NCGVR recognizes that an important consideration for this research will be the effects of gun policies on the interests of different stakeholders, including gun owners, and that these effects bear on the fairness and feasibility of many policies or interventions.

To begin addressing this underinvestment in gun violence research, NCGVR is issuing more than $20 million in research grant funding over a fiveyear period (July 2018 to June 2023). NCGVR seeks to fund research that will produce scientific knowledge that can be used to save lives and reduce injuries due to gun violence while minimizing harms to gun owners and other stakeholders. In developing this request for proposals (RFP), the NCGVR Research Advisory Committee has drawn on research priorities suggested not just in the testimony it received from multiple organizations but also in the findings of earlier studies of where critical gaps in knowledge exist (e.g., National Research Council, 2005, 2013; RAND Corporation, 2018) and in the many suggestions offered to the committee by gun policy researchers. 

In addition to its focus on areas in which critically important information is not yet available, the Research Advisory Committee has concluded that the scientific research it funds must have direct relevance to firearm violence reduction in the United States and must pursue a rigorous scientific research protocol. Within these parameters, the committee wants its portfolio of funded research to include projects examining a range of outcomes— for instance, firearm injuries, suicide, defensive gun use, firearm crime and its prosecution, and public attitudes. 

This RFP is the second issued by NCGVR. The application process involves two steps. Short letters of interest (LOIs) describing proposed research must be submitted by the deadline listed in “Key Activities and Timeline,” below. NCGVR’s Research Advisory Committee will review these letters and will request full proposals from among the LOIs that describe research that the committee believes offers the greatest likelihood of producing rigorous scientific information that will help to inform fair and effective gun policies—and thereby reduce deaths and injuries. Full proposals can be submitted only by applicants invited by the Research Advisory Committee to do so after all LOIs are reviewed. Three types of awards will be made: research project awards, dissertation awards, and postdoctoral research fellowship awards. 

Deadline for Receipt of Letters of Interest: 8:00 p.m. EST, February 4, 2020

Agency Website

Areas of Interest

For this RFP, NCGVR will fund two categories of studies: (1) descriptive or basic research studies and (2) applied or policy research studies. Research in the descriptive or basic research category will improve our understanding of the characteristics of various aspects of firearm violence. Under this category, five main areas of interest are prioritized: urban gun violence, domestic gun violence, mass shootings, gun suicides, and officer-involved shootings. 

NCGVR also encourages proposals from multidisciplinary teams, combining, for example, public health, medical, and criminology researchers. These teams could be from the same or different institutions. 

Eligibility Requirements

Eligible organizations include 501(c)(3) tax-exempt charitable organizations2 in good standing with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Organizations whose tax-exempt status has been suspended are not eligible.

International organizations, public universities, and public agencies that meet the same requirements as a U.S.-based 501(c)(3) public grantee under U.S. tax law and can demonstrate capacity to carry out the research funded by NCGVR are also eligible.

Eligible organizations can submit more than one LOI. Individual researchers may be included in multiple LOIs but may only be listed as principal investigator or co-principal investigator on a single research award LOI. There is no requirement that individual researchers have a doctorate degree, though researchers without doctorate degrees will need to demonstrate their research experience and expertise. NCGVR especially encourages researchers from underrepresented communities to submit applications. 

Amount Description

NCGVR expects to issue up to $9.5 million (including $1.5 million set aside for Missouri-relevant research as described below) to fund ten to 25 research grant awards, six or more dissertation awards, and two or more postdoctoral fellowship awards through this second of four planned RFPs. There are no maximum or minimum project cost guidelines for research awards. Dissertation awards are fixed at $25,000. Postdoctoral research fellowship awards are fixed at $50,000.

Funding Type



Grad/Prof Students
Post Doctoral Fellows


Medical - Basic Science
Medical - Clinical Science
Medical - Translational
Social Sciences

External Deadline

February 4, 2020