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January 4, 2023

For Immediate Release

Media contact: Talia Rivera,

Fund for a Safer Future Doubles Down on Solutions to Gun Violence, Announces Nine New Grants for Gun Violence Prevention Research

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to Join Donor Collaborative, Committing $5 Million for Gun Violence Research Through 2026

Boston, MA (January 4, 2023) – The Fund for a Safer Future (FSF), the nation’s largest philanthropic collaboration dedicated to reducing gun violence, today announced it will award $2 million in new grants to nine research initiatives aimed at helping the public – and policymakers – better understand and take action on a broad range of challenges and solutions to America’s worsening gun crisis.

With funding from FSF, research experts across nine American universities will explore topics such as: the traumatizing community impacts of gun violence; the efficacy of extreme risk protection orders on suicide outcomes; the connection between social media and violence prevention; and strategies to improve understanding and support for non-law enforcement policy solutions to gun violence, specifically community violence intervention.

The Fund for a Safer Future also announced that The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) will become its newest member, and has pledged $5 million to support additional research projects over the next five years. With RWJF’s commitment, FSF expects to award no less than $1 million in new gun violence focused research grants annually through 2026.

“We are honored to welcome RWJF, the nation’s largest philanthropy dedicated solely to health, to our growing table of grantmakers working to reduce gun violence,” said Tim Daly, director of Gun Violence Prevention & Justice Reform at The Joyce Foundation and chair of the Fund for a Safer Future. “Philanthropic support for research is vital to understanding, and solving, this uniquely American crisis. FSF-funded research projects have already demonstrated the effectiveness of state firearm removal policies; quantified the relationship between substance abuse and firearm violence; and developed new and important insights about the characteristics of illegal gun markets. We know that quality research can reveal vital solutions, and we need to keep going.”

The Fund for a Safer Future awarded nine new grants, ranging in size from $174,000 to $242,000. The projects include:

Grant Recipient

Grant Purpose, Principal, Term

Boston University To assess the effectiveness of a hospital-based violence intervention program against violence-related reinjury and violence perpetration in Boston, MA.
Principal Investigator: Jonathan Jay, DrPH, JD.
Grant Term: January 2023 – December 2024.

Johns Hopkins University To assess and test the impact of gun violence prevention navigators in two practice settings (a hospital and a community crisis response center) in Baltimore City, Maryland.
Principal Investigator: Shannon Frattaroli, PhD, MPH.
Grant Term: January 2023 – December 2024.

Northeastern University


To develop a survey that will advance the field’s understanding of many aspects of firearm ownership and use among racial and ethnic minorities. It will also provide the first rigorous in-depth assessment of who divests from gun ownership and why.
Principal Investigators: Deborah Azrael, PhD; Matthew Miller, MD, ScD, MPH.
Grant Term: April 2023 – March 2025

SUNY Albany


To improve gun violence prevention and research by expanding understanding and support for America’s foremost non-law enforcement policy solution to gun violence: community violence interventionists.
Principal Investigator: David Hureau, PhD.
Grant Term: March 2023 – May 2025.

Temple University


To systematically explore the informal and formal assessment and engagement strategies that Cure Violence workers utilize when making decisions about who to engage and how.
Principal Investigator: Peter Simonsson, PhD, MSW, LCSW.
Grant Term: January 2023 – December 2025.

Chapin Hall, at the University of Chicago


To better understand specific ways in which gun violence impacts community members, not only in terms of immediate injury but in terms of the long-term effects associated with trauma, community disinvestment, and relationships with public agencies, including law enforcement.
Principal Investigator: Gretchen Cusick, PhD.
Grant Term: January 2023 – June 2024.


University of Colorado


To better understand and operationalize law enforcement officers training for Extreme risk protection orders.
Principal Investigator: Christopher Knoepke, PhD, MSW, LCSW.
Grant Term: January 2023 – December 2024.

University of Pennsylvania


To develop community-informed violence prevention and intervention strategies that use ethical online engagement to prevent violence, resolve conflict, and promote safety and healing.
Principal Investigator: Elinore Kaufman, MD, MSHP.
Grant Term: January 2023 – December 2024.

University of Washington


To examine the risk of subsequent firearm and non-firearm violence perpetration among individuals with a former felony or domestic violence misdemeanor conviction who had their firearm rights restored.
Principal Investigator: Ali Rowhani-Rahbar, MD, MPH, PhD.
Grant Term: January 2023 – December 2024.

“We are thrilled with the important questions this round of grants will explore. The new knowledge we gain through this research will be vital to inform the development of specific programs and policies to reduce the relentless toll of gun violence in our communities” said Sarah Burd-Sharps, senior director of research at Everytown for Gun Safety who chaired the FSF’s research committee.

Founded in 2011, the Fund for a Safer Future is a funder collaborative that helps reduce gun violence in the United States by supporting evidence-based policies at the local, state and federal levels. FSF invests in organizations, research institutions, and advocates to strengthen policies that reduce the toll of gun violence, and we engage new donors in the movement.

The addition of RWJF brings the total number of foundations and individual donors currently participating in the Fund for a Safer Future to 35. These donors convene at least three times per year to learn from GVP experts, discuss policy solutions and make grant decisions. Since its inception, the donor collaborative has made more than $20 million in grants to reduce gun violence. It directly grants more than $3 million a year from pooled resources, and FSF partners have made more than $134 million in aligned grants since 2011.

For more information, or to inquire about joining the Fund for a Safer Future, visit or follow us on Twitter @fundsaferfuture.