The National Collaborative on Gun Violence Research, a philanthropic fund that will support scientific research on gun policy, announced today that it will release its first request for proposals in early January 2019 and award up to $10 million in research funding during its first round of grantmaking.
The collaborative also announced the appointment of an advisory panel that will guide the group’s efforts.
The request for proposals will seek researchers’ ideas for projects designed to broaden agreement on the facts associated with gun policy and support development of fair and effective policies that recognize individuals’ rights to own guns. The collaborative will award between $20 million and $50 million in research funding on these topics over the next five years.
The 12-member research advisory committee will guide the collaborative’s efforts, defining research priorities and ultimately choosing which research projects receive support. Details about the committee are included on the collaborative’s website.
“We’re committed to supporting research that will help address some of the many gaps in knowledge that exist about gun policy in the United States,” said Frank M. Clark, chairman of the collaborative’s board. “This effort will be nonideological and nonpartisan and will focus on improving what we know about the causes, consequences, and prevention of gun violence.”
Clark currently serves as president of the Chicago Board of Education and is a former chief executive officer of ComEd, an electric utility.
The collaborative’s research advisory committee is composed of research experts and practitioners from across the nation, including representatives from law enforcement, government, community, education, health, the private sector, and academia. The group will meet periodically to guide the collaborative and make decisions about research proposals.
The committee held its first meeting earlier this week and received comments about priorities for gun research from several groups, including Everytown for Gun Safety, the National Rifle Association, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and March for Our Lives.
Founded by the Laura and John Arnold Foundation, the National Collaborative on Gun Violence Research is administered by the RAND Corporation under direction of the collaborative’s research advisory committee. The Arnold Foundation has pledged $20 million to the collaborative to support high-quality gun violence research over the next five years and is seeking additional donors to ultimately grow the fund to $50 million.
“The massive problem of gun violence is a concern to all Americans,” said Jeremy Travis, executive vice president of criminal justice at the Laura and John Arnold Foundation. “Yet, for many years the federal government has underfunded research on policies and interventions aimed to reduce injuries and deaths, both suicides and homicides, by firearms. For this reason we are thrilled to see the National Collaborative on Gun Violence Research launch.”
Once the initial request for proposals is released and research requests are received, the proposals will undergo merit reviews conducted by RAND staff members before being considered by the research advisory committee for final decision-making. RAND researchers are not eligible to compete for the funding.
“We hope to hear from a wide variety of stakeholders as we identify those gun violence topics that are most in need of high-quality research,” said Andrew R. Morral, the collaborative’s director and a senior behavioral scientist at RAND. “We invite experts on gun policy and gun violence prevention to submit suggestions on which topics or research areas the collaborative should focus on. We want the research funded by the collaborative to have the greatest chance of guiding the public and policymakers to fair and effective gun policies.”
Researchers with suggestions about priority gun violence research topics should submit the ideas at the collaborative’s website.
Morral said the collaborative is structured to ensure high-quality research that is transparent and scientifically defensible. As a result, donors provide funding for research but the decisions about what projects to support are made by the research advisory committee, an independent, nonpartisan group of advisers.
Other members of the research advisory committee are Dr. Regina Benjamin, a former U.S. surgeon general; Reginald Brothers, a security expert and business leader; John D. Graham, a public policy professor; Patrick E. Higginbotham, a federal appeals court judge; Guido Imbens, an economics professor; James P. Lynch, a criminology professor; Sally C. Morton, a professor of statistics; Kathleen M. O’Toole, a retired police chief; Barrye L. Price, a retired Army general; Dr. Jeffrey W. Runge, a medical practice leader; and Regina B. Schofield, a nonprofit research administrator.