Resources for Forensic Researchers

The NIJ’s investment in forensic science R&D advances new technologies that improve the objective collection, analysis, and interpretation of evidence. The NIJ supports a portfolio of grantees developing techniques, tools, and processes to advance forensic science. FTCoE works closely with these researchers to facilitate adoption and dissemination of these innovations.

• Do you need help applying your research to practice?

• Do you need help better connecting to forensic practitioners?

• Do you need a partner to help you develop the technology?

• Do you need real-world validation and testing partners?

The FTCoE leverages the robust technical expertise and connections of its staff as well as academic and industry partners to transition researchers’ work into the community and effectively “close the loop” from research to practice.  These advancements provide significant impact to the forensic community when they are implemented in casework, a process that challenges researchers to iterate, validate, and ultimately drive adoption of their solutions.

How Can We Support YOU?
The FTCoE supports NIJ-funded researchers by to:

Engage and inform stakeholders. The FTCoE participates in stakeholder meetings to understand needs and connect and engage the forensic innovation ecosystem. The FTCoE also highlights research, techniques, and opportunities for researchers to connect to the community.

Enable products and processes. The FTCoE performs in-field evaluation and validation studies so that researchers develop solutions that better meet end user  needs. The FTCoE also helps connect researchers to development partners and provides licensing and other commercialization support.

Promote the success of researchers. The FTCoE documents metrics and “success stories” of researchers positively impacting the forensic community with their work.

Check Out Our Resources
The FTCoE has developed resources specifically tailored to researchers developing forensic innovations. Consider how these resources may help you drive your research into practice. For more information on each resource, click on the titles below.

Education on Innovation and Technology Transfer

Transition to Impact Webinar: Learn the steps you can take to improve the likelihood of your research impacting practice, with input from three researchers who have successfully transitioned their technology into the community.
Innovation in Forensics: A Community Effort In-Brief: Read this summary about the path of technology transition, the roles of stakeholders within the forensic innovation ecosystem, and the FTCoE’s role in supporting technology transition.
The Researcher’s Role in Technology Transition In-Brief: The brief offers pathways and steps for successful transition of research into the forensic community.
NIJ R&D Portfolio Management and Technology Transition Support: This report documents the purpose and processes related to FTCoE’s support in transitioning NIJ’s R&D portfolio towards greater impact in forensic applications.

Resources for Forensic Innovators

A Landscape Study of Federal Investment in Forensic Science R&D: A detailed overview of sources of federal and foundation funding for forensic research.
Forensic Laboratory Needs Technology Working Group: The Forensic Laboratory Needs Technology Working Group (FLN-TWG), established by NIJ in 2018, provides a forum for forensic practitioners and researchers to develop coordinated approaches to addressing technology implementation challenges. The FLN-TWG goals are summarized in the report of their first meeting.
LEAP Program: The Laboratories and Educators Alliance Program is a partnership of the American Society of Crime Lab Directors (ASCLD) and the Council of Forensic Science Educators (CFSE), which provides partnership opportunities between universities and forensic labs.
NIJ Grantee Database: Contact FTCoE Customer Service (forensiccoe@rti.org) to get your credentials and update the status of your research.

Examples of NIJ Research Transitioning to the Community
The FTCoE promotes adoption of forensic technologies to the community through knowledge transfer activities, including the following:

NIJ R&D Symposium: Access the program, proceedings, and presentations from the annual NIJ Forensic Science Research and Development Symposium — an opportunity for NIJ-funded researchers to present their research across a variety of disciplines.
Emerging Forensic Research Webinar Series: Consider how this emerging research impacts you, or if you have research to highlight, contact us.
Success Stories: Learn from, and about these newly developed products and techniques resulting from NIJ-supported research.

Engage With Our Team:
If you have an NIJ-funded grant and are looking for help transitioning your technology, please contact the FTCoE at forensiccoe@rti.org.