Researcher Development Institute


We strongly encourage eligible doctoral students and tenure-track faculty from Historically Black Colleges and Universities to apply.

Application checklist

Applicants will submit application materials using the online portal. In addition to the online application, the following documents should be uploaded as PDFs using the following formatting guidelines:
Personal statement

(1 page maximum, 12-point font, single spaced, 1-inch margins):

Tell us about yourself- in particular, your academic and research background, your career trajectory and your motivation and rationale for applying for this fellowship. What accomplishments and achievements are you most proud of? Describe any work that you do is related to the field of criminal justice and how you see your work impacting your wider community. Explain how the fellowship will advance your career goals.

Research Writing Sample

(12 point font, single spaced, 1 inch margins)

Candidates are asked to submit either a sample of your recently published work or an essay (2 pages maximum) detailing a research project that is reflective of the need for culturally-sensitive and responsive research approaches in the field of criminal justice or either a closely-related field of study. Successful candidate submissions will provide their research background and interests in the field of criminal justice or a closely-related field of study.

Note: References cited should be added on a separate additional page that will not count towards the 2 page maximum.

Two Letters of Support

Letters should endorse the suitability of the applicant for the Fellowship Program by addressing the applicant’s commitment and experience with (i) culturally-responsive research and (ii) criminal justice-based initiatives/efforts. Letters of support can come from, but are not limited to, current/previous employers; mentors; mentees; teachers; community members who have been impacted by the applicant’s work; or collaborators. Letters of support should be sent directly to The name of the applicant should be included in the subject line of the email.

Curriculum Vitae

(2- page maximum)

Highlight your significant and meaningful experiences within the field of criminal justice and your commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice.


Submit official transcripts from each post-secondary institutions that you have attended. Electronic transcripts can be sent via email to

Video Summary

In addition to the PDF submission, applicants will provide a YouTube URL to their posted Video Summary. The Video Summary (2-minute maximum) should tell us why you are interested in the fellowship and how you hope to contribute to advancing culturally-relevant research in criminal justice or other closely-related fields.

Note: The video should be equivalent to or less than 2 minutes, clearly audible, and you should be visible with a neutral background. Videos should be spoken in English. Submissions will be evaluated on the quality of the content and ability for you to orally discuss your research background and interest in the fellowship. You will not be evaluated on the quality of videography (lights, audio, fancy cameras, or any special editing). Videos exceeding the time allotment will lead to disqualification of the application.

Please note: All applications are due by 11:59 p.m. CST on February 29, 2024.