Research Advisory Committee Hears From Gun Policy Stakeholders

November 12-13, 2018

The Research Advisory Committee of the National Collaborative on Gun Violence Research held its inaugural meeting in Washington, D.C., focused on setting research priorities for the $20 million to $50 million in grant funding that it will award over the next four years.

The committee’s selection of research priorities will be informed by experts and advocates from across the spectrum of perspectives on gun policy. This week, several such groups provided their recommendations to the Research Advisory Committee. Representatives from four groups—the National Rifle Association, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, Everytown for Gun Safety, March for Our Lives—and Alan Leshner, CEO emeritas of the National Association for the Advancement of Science, talked with the committee about areas where new and better research could help inform decisions about fair and effective gun policies.

In addition to these in-person discussions, the committee also reviewed written recommendations submitted by the Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence, the Major Cities Chiefs Association, the Police Executive Research Forum, the London-based Action on Armed Violence, and from Philip J. Cook and Jens Ludwig.

First Request for Proposals to Award Up to $10 Million

The Research Advisory Committee focused its second day of meetings on strategic planning for the collaborative and on establishing the scope and other details for the first request for proposals, which will be issued in early January 2019. Among other decisions, the committee determined that the first round of funding would award up to $10 million in research grants and four $25,000 dissertation awards for Ph.D. candidates in relevant scientific disciplines who have completed their coursework and are planning to conduct scientific research on gun violence or gun policy in the United States for their dissertations.

The committee approved an aggressive timeline for issuing the request for proposals, conducting the scientific merit review, and selecting grant recipients, with an expectation that the first awards will be made in late May or early June 2019. As described in the committee’s published governance plan document (PDF), the proposal process will be staged, beginning with a request for letters of intent. After reviewing these letters, the committee will invite selected researchers to submit full proposals.

Strategic planning for the collaborative will continue over the next six months, with the final plan to be published in July 2019.