Grant Applications

The Tennessee Office of Criminal Justice Programs (OCJP) announces grant opportunities on this webpage. 

 How to Write an Application: Project Narrative Overview *NOTE: This Power Point  was used during a live WebEx training. Some slides may lack specific context without the addition of the webinar live recording. OCJP is working to publish the training in its entirety as soon as possible. Once published that training will be available under the Grants Management Resources section of our website.

FAQs NOTE: All questions must be sent to the email address. Questions will be answered on this page under either the FAQ section or under the solicitation itself – so it is very important to include this information in your email. 

Turn around for posting responses to questions is 2-3 business days. OCJP can elect not to respond to questions which are too specific to an agency’s application. All solicitations posted on this page are open and competitive, and as such, agencies should reference the available solicitations materials, General FAQs, and the OCJP Subrecipient grants manual available online prior to submitting a question.


Upcoming Funding Opportunities


Intent to Apply due 12/1/2023: click here

Applications due 12/1/2023: click here

The purpose of this solicitation is to seek projects which meet the listed goals: 1) Reducing gun crime in the jurisdiction and 2) implementing gang activity reduction strategies and supporting gang taskforce work.

Preference will be given to applicants whose projects encompass both of the goals noted above.

Preference will be given to those applications that can: 1) identify locations within the district that have the most significant issues with violence; 2) show the ability to identify the offenders who are driving the violence in those areas; and 3) demonstrate strong relationships allowing for prosecution of those offenders to provide the most certain and appropriate sanctions.

Preference will be given to projects that develop Significant Offender Lists (SOLs) throughout the district as continued collaboration and intelligence sharing is key to attacking the violent crime problems in East Tennessee.

All applications are subject to approval by the East Tennessee Project Safe Neighborhood sub-recipient selection committee lead by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Tennessee.

Project Support: Agencies can apply for up to $48,015.00 in funding.

Year 1: February 1, 2024 – June 30, 2024

Year 2: July 1, 2024 – June 30, 2025


Completed Intent to Apply and Application Due: 11/30/2023

Intent to Apply: click here

Application: click here


Eligibility for funding varies depending upon the application type. Please review the items below to determine your agency’s eligibility for funding and method of application.

1)     The University of Tennessee is eligible to make a single application on behalf of all members of The University of Tennessee system. Funds awarded under this application shall be managed for the benefit of member universities and distributed in accordance with their assessed needs.

2)     Tennessee Board of Regents is eligible to make a single application on behalf of all members of The Tennessee Board of Regents College System of Tennessee. Funds awarded under this application shall be managed for the benefit of member community colleges and TCATs and distributed in accordance with their assessed needs.

3)     All institutions that are eligible for the Tennessee Lottery Scholarship Program as defined by TCA 49-4-902 (11) and who are not a member of the Tennessee Board of Regents or the University of Tennessee System may make an individual application on their own behalf.

Length and Amount of Project Support

Funding under this solicitation shall be available for allowable expenses from the period of January 15, 2024 to June 30, 2025. See “Program Purpose” for more information on qualifying expenses.

Funding shall be determined by a formula that is based upon the number of in-person students enrolled in the Fall 2023 semester. Applications which represent multiple entities will include aggregate population numbers for the entities they represent. The formula shall be calculated as follows:

1)     Non-Variable Amount: A portion of available funds shall be reserved and distributed as a non-variable amount that will be added to each award.

2)     Variable Amount: Remaining funds shall be allocated by a formula in the following manner.

a.      The total number of in-person students enrolled in Fall 2023 shall be totaled to create the total applicant population.

b.      Each applicant’s individual population shall be divided by the total applicant population to calculate each applicant’s population percentage.

c.      Each applicant’s population percentage shall be multiplied by the available funds to get the variable amount for each application.

3)     Total Award: Shall be the sum of each agency’s Variable Amount and Non-Variable Amount.

Program Purpose

The Higher Education Safety Grant provides financial reimbursement to qualifying public and private institutions of higher education who invest in the purchasing of non-recurring equipment, technology, and/or training with a focus on strengthening physical security and enhancing accountability in their respective safety protocols. Building and campus improvements are allowable if they demonstrate they align with the principles of the Best Practices for Higher Education Facility Design. Purchases should align with their organizational safety improvement plan which must be submitted to the grantor agency by April 15, 2024.

These plans will be submitted to the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security, which may contact your institution to discuss if you would like the Department of Homeland Security to provide any additional assessment. This additional assessment is not required as a condition of the grant program and is offered as a service from the State.

We strongly encourage universities to leverage the Best Practices for Higher Education Facility Design when planning improvements.

Purchases must fall into one of the allowable categories below.

Allowable Uses

1)     Building physical security improvements. Examples include but are not limited to: locks, doors, electronic access control, security window film, and other barriers.

2)     Campus physical control improvements. Examples include but are not limited to: bollards, physical barriers, lightning, fencing, gating, electronic access control, and landscaping.

3)     Security / Monitoring / Communication improvements. Examples include but are not limited to: camera and video systems (does not include body-worn cameras), campus radio upgrades, bi-directional amplifiers and repeaters.

a.      Restriction: Radio systems purchased with grant funds for law enforcement purposes must meet P25 CAP Encryption Requirements, which have no encryption, have AES 256 algorithm, and have AES 256 algorithm along with any other non-standard encryption algorithms.

4)     Emergency notification improvements. Examples include but are not limited to: campus safety phones, electronic notifications via app, SMS, or telephone call.

5)     Threat / Intelligence analysis. Examples include but are not limited to: analytic software or software subscriptions and similar.

6)     In-State Training. Examples include but are not limited to: training for certified law enforcement, security personnel, staff or students in the area of campus safety or safety response.

7)     Construction or renovation to meet security needs. Construction or renovations less than $250,000 total per project.

Unallowable Uses

The following items are expressly prohibited uses of this funding regardless of whether it can be tied to an allowable use category.

1)     General law enforcement equipment:

uniforms and duty gear;


body armor and ballistic shields;

mobile data terminals including tablets;

body-worn cameras; and

police radios not associated with an overall improvement to campus radio infrastructure.

2)     Weapons and ammunition. Including but not limited to: Firearms, less-than-lethal weapons, ammunition.

3)     Personnel costs.

4)     License plate readers and facial recognition.

5)     Drones and other autonomous vehicles.


1. Does the funding for this grant (Higher Education Safety Grant) come from or is linked to any federal level funding.

    No, this is state funding which was allocated for Higher Education Safety.

    Please see section 1.1 of our solicitation which can be found here:

This SOLICITATION seeks units of local government interested in planning, developing, and establishing a Family Justice Center in their community. A Family Justice Center is a co-location of a multi-disciplinary team of professionals who work together, under one roof, to provide coordinated services to victims of family violence which must at a minimum address victims of domestic violence, but can also include sexual assault, child abuse, human trafficking, and elder abuse. Co-location of services is defined as having adequate space for the provision of services by public and private entities, insuring victim safety and confidentiality.

Funds for this project will be used for the following

·  Establishing a position to be funded for the purpose of ensuring the activities of the grant are implemented as indicated

·  Promoting and educating the community on the concept and benefits of establishing a Family Justice Center

·  Coordinating the activities involved to assess the community readiness for creating a Family Justice Center

·  Assist with creating a strategic plan and the implementation process for that plan

·  Building partnerships between public and private entities to aid in supporting the FJC

·  Must provide services from a location by the third year of funding

Contracts for this project are expected to be 3 years and have a maximum liability of $240,000.

Applications under this solicitation shall be considered on a “rolling” basis and shall be first-come-first-served with respect to application review and consideration for award.

The state reserves the right to stop taking project proposals at any time. Once all funding has been awarded, the state reserves the right to stop considering project proposals regardless of where an applicant might be in the application progress.

Interested applicants should submit an Intent to Apply and Commitment Questionnaires for key agencies (list provided at the link).

Applicants will then be contacted for a readiness assessment and those selected to apply will complete the Application.

Q: I submitted my application’s intent to apply under the wrong category. Do I need to submit a second intent to apply?

A: Please email with an official request to change this information on the Intent to Apply document.

Q. How is match calculated?

A: Match can be calculated two ways:

            (STOP /JAG) Federal $ / .75 x .25 = ____________   

            (VOCA) Federal $ / .80 x .20 = ___________

            (examples: $40,000 x .25 = $10,000)    or   ($40,000 / .80) x.20 = $10,000)

For match in cash, the match amount will go in the line item. For match that is in-kind, it will go in the in-kind line item. Any items purchased over $5000 will go under Capital Expense. For more information on match please see the Grants Manual Ch. 3 Section 1. Match Requirement.

Q: No one at our agency has been trained in uniform guidance and my agency does not have a policy for this. If I don't have this is this going to knock out my application, or can I do some sort of online training pretty quickly?

A: While this will not prevent any application from moving forward in the process, if the agency application is funded, training on Uniform  Guidance is required within the first 6 months.

Q: Regarding the “Other Grant Funds Table”.  We are requesting equipment for this VOCA request.  Are you asking for grants we have received that are not related to our enhancement application?

A: Yes. This table is meant to represent all grant funds that your agency receives or anticipates that is will receive in FY 2019 for all criminal justice or victim service projects.

Q: How do we notate salary, benefits, and taxes on the budget form? Do we separate out each item?

A: There are several ways this can be noted on the budget form. Examples are below:

            Salary estimated at $____________ approximately __________% of time dedicated to project.

            Salary and benefits estimated at $___________ approximately ________% of time dedicated to project.

            Salary estimated at $ _________ Benefits estimated at $ ___________ approximately _________% of time dedicated to project.

            EX.: Salary and benefits estimated at $10,000.00 approximately 25% of time dedicated to project.

Q: Do we need to purchase an accounting system if we do not have one?

A: OCJP Grants Manual, Chapter III, Accounting Criteria ( ) states the subrecipient is free to use any accounting system that the subrecipient has established if the  system meets the following minimum criteria [located below in the chapter].”

Q: We get a lot of questions about supplanting. Does everyone understand what that is?

A: “Supplant” means to “replace” or “take the place of.” Federal law prohibits recipients of federal funds from replacing state, local, or agency funds with federal funds. Existing funds for a project and its activities may not be displaced by federal funds and reallocated for other organizational expenses. This is illegal.

Ex: You are awarded this volunteer coordinator position and you promote Dorothy to this position, you must backfill the position so there is an  increase in FTEs.  In the event your agency is facing a loss of funding, make that clear in your application.

Q: How do we know what our intended outputs will be if we never received VOCA funding before?

A: Intended outputs should be a projection, what you plan to serve. For example, if you know you get 500-600 clients through your door every year you can safely assume that you will serve between 400-700 clients next year. Use this information to establish a baseline of services.

Q: Is it reasonable to base numbers off of what you know and where you think your program will go? 

A: Look at what your agency did this last fiscal year, and where you are today, then project what these grant monies will allow you to do in the next year i.e. – expanding services.

Q: The Authorized Official for non-profit agencies is the Board Chair, correct?

A: For federal purposes, your authorized official is your board chair. The project director and fiscal director should be someone who is willing to take on the responsibilities of the projects implementation.  These duties are listed in the OCJP Grants Manual located:

Q: We would like to use donated space as match. Is this allowable?

A: This is allowable under VOCA. You can find more information in the OCJP Grants Manual Chapter III. Financial Requirements (located at ) states “The value of space may be used as in kind match if space is 100% owned by the agency (either through donation or it has been paid for) and used 100% for victim services.  In this case, you may use the fair market value of the space as in-kind match.  The value may not exceed the fair market value of comparable space as established by an independent appraisal of comparable space and facilities in a privately owned building in the same locality.  Agencies must obtain at least 3 comps from an independent Realtor and the use the average as the fair market value.  The basis for determining the value of personal services, materials, equipment and space must be documented."

Q: What if we submit a budget which is not accurate?

A: OCJP can only encourage agencies to complete the budget using the knowledge and resources available.  OCJP cannot say at this time if budget modifications after applications are reviewed will be accepted or will impact funding determinations.

Q: What is a State (Edison) Vendor ID?

A:  Please visit the State of Tennessee's website regarding Procurement/Supplier Information at

Q: Regarding the “Other Grant Funds Table”.  We are requesting equipment for this VOCA request.  Are you asking for grants we have received that are not related to our enhancement application?

A: Yes. This table is meant to represent all grant funds that your agency receives or anticipates that is will receive in FY 2019 for all criminal justice or victim service projects.

For VOCA funded projects:

Q: The SAR report is required for each organization that receives VOCA funding. The information in the report is a projection of how funding will be allocated to victim services for the year. Do we wait until June 1st, 2020 to complete this form or do it prior to submission NOW, since we know the amount we are applying for?

A: SARS should be completed as part of the application process. This is a projection of how the funds will be allocated based on the project narrative.

For DV projects (VOCA funded)

Q: Since budget amounts were reduced, is the expectation that we continue to fund the same activities as the previous grant term?  Or restructure grant-funded activity to align to the reduction in funding?

A: Agencies should present programming that is victim centered and the level of services should take into account the reduction in funds and the amount of other funds the agency has available. OCJP anticipates that the majority of the reduction will come out of agency travel and supplies. The goal of targeting these areas is to minimize the service impact to victims but how an agency is impacted will vary depending upon their specific grant budget.

Q: Can we to use our shelter building as part of match for our two grants?

A: Please the OCJP Subrecipient Grants Manual Chapter XIV: Allowable Costs, Part 7 Space - The cost of space in privately - or publicly - owned buildings used for the benefit of the program is allowable subject to the conditions stated.

Q: Will VOCA Pay for Administrative Costs associated with the grant?

A: Please the OCJP Subrecipient Grants Manual Chapter XVI Cost Allocation regarding the definition of allowable costs. The grant cannot pay for any costs associated with preparing the application itself.

Q: We were wondering, is it okay to include salary positions in our budget for one fiscal year and not the next in response to the reduced federal allocation amount? 

A: Agencies should apply for what is needed to support the proposed project.

For Law Enforcement Victim Coordinator projects:

Q: Who qualifies as a Volunteer? How many hours are volunteers required to work?

A: The Fair Labor Standards Act defines volunteer as “an individual who performs hours of service for a public agency for civic, charitable, or humanitarian reasons without promise, expectation, or receipt of compensation for services rendered…” 29 CFR 553.101(a). “The1985 Amendments provide that employees may volunteer hours of service to their public employer or agency provided ‘such services are not the same type of services which the individual is employed to perform for such public agency.’ The phrase ‘same type of services’ means similar or identical services.” 29 CFR 553.103.

For more information please see the Subrecipient Grants Manual Section III> Financial Requirement.

There is no minimum threshold of hours provided. Only that an agency who is granted VOCA funding utilize volunteers.

Q:  What is the Department of Revenue registration or exemption process?

A:  See this presentation for guidance.

Q: Is there a page limit on applications?

A: There is no page limit; However, we encourage agencies to clearly and concisely explain the problems and needs of communities they propose serving and how their project will address those needs through the described activities, inputs, etc.

Information and statistics that are global, national, or in other ways is outside the scope of your particular project is not necessary

Q: I am a government agency. Do I need to turn in a Cost Allocation Plan, Indirect Cost Rate, or De Minimis?

A: No, those items are for non-profits that might apply for a grant.

This Page Last Updated: November 2, 2023 at 1:18 PM