SJI has issued its new FY 2o12 Grant Guideline.
The important news, as summarized in the current SJI E-News is as follows:
Special Interest Categories: Project Grants, SJI has temporarily suspended, any prioritization on special areas of interest. The SJI Board will continue working to further encourage innovative ideas, as well as the exploration, adaptation, and improvement of policies impacting the state court community. Applicants should focus on how their project not only impacts their courts and stakeholders, but also addresses national court issues.
This seems like good news, suggesting that under the new Board both that SJI is systematically planning for the future and that they will continue to put a focus on national court issues. It would seem an encouraging message for those innovating in a wide variety of areas.
The next practicable deadline (one is this week) is February 1, 2012.
Note also that the former scholarship program has been changed and is now called Education Support Program, described here.
Beginning October 1, 2011, SJI will support the enhancement of skills and knowledge through training and education by awarding funds to individuals through the Education Support Program (ESP). ESP differs from the scholarship program in several ways, most notably in the maximum amount of an award and approved use of the award.
ESP awards are for full-time judges of state, trial, and appellate courts; full-time professional state or local court personnel with management responsibilities; and supervisory and management probation officials in judicial branch probation offices, in the amount of $1,000 for tuition only. Conferences, mid-year or annual state/local association meetings, or symposia are not eligible educational programs for the ESP.
The ESP maximizes SJI investments with limited funding. Through ESP, SJI will encourage mechanisms that educate a greater number of judges and managers, respond more rapidly to the changing needs of those participating in educational programming, and support distance learning. Consistent with the scholarship program, ESP applications are due quarterly on the first day of November, February, May, and August. In addition, ESP awards on a “first-come, first considered” basis.
I think the effect will be to spread this money around to more folks, but in also to require a travel and hotel match.