Project Grants are the centerpiece of SJI’s efforts to improve the administration of justice in state courts nationwide. Project Grants are intended to support innovative education and training, demonstration, and technical assistance projects that can improve the administration of justice in state courts locally or nationwide.
Project Grants may ordinarily not exceed $300,000 or 36 months in duration. Examples of expenses not covered by Project Grants include the salaries, benefits, or travel of full-or part-time court employees. Funding may not be used for the ordinary, routine operations of court systems.
Applicants must contribute a cash match of not less than 50 percent of the total cost of the proposed project. This means that grant awards by SJI must be matched at least dollar for dollar by grant applicants. For example, if the total proposed project is $200,000, SJI provides $100,000 in funds and the applicant match must be at least $100,000. Applicants may contribute the required cash match directly or in cooperation with third parties.
HOW TO APPLY
In addition to the criteria detailed below, SJI will consider whether the applicant is a state or local court, a national court support or education organization, a non-court unit of government, or other type of entity eligible to receive grants under SJI’s enabling legislation; the availability of financial assistance from other sources for the project; the diversity of subject matter, geographic diversity; the level and nature of the match that would be provided; reasonableness of the proposed budget; the extent to which the proposed project would also benefit the federal courts or help state or local courts enforce federal constitutional and legislative requirements; and the level of appropriations available to SJI in the current year and the amount expected to be available in succeeding fiscal years, when determining which projects to support.
Project Grant applications will be rated based on the criteria set forth below:
- Soundness of the methodology
- Demonstration of need for the project
- Appropriateness of the proposed evaluation design
- If applicable, the key findings and recommendations of the most recent evaluation and the proposed responses to those findings and recommendations
- Applicant’s management plan and organizational capabilities
- Qualifications of the project’s staff
- Products and benefits resulting from the project, including the extent to which the project will have long-term benefits for state courts across the nation
- Degree to which the findings, procedures, training, technology, or other results of the project can be transferred to other jurisdictions
- Reasonableness of the proposed budget
- Demonstration of cooperation and support of other agencies that may be affected by the project