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Best Practices for Publicly Funded Forensic Laboratories

The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) is seeking applications for research and evaluation studies to produce practical knowledge that has the potential to improve the examination and interpretation of physical evidence in forensic science laboratories.

With this solicitation, NIJ seeks proposals for research and evaluation projects that will identify and inform the forensic community of best practices through the evaluation of existing laboratory protocols; and have a direct and immediate impact on laboratory efficiency and assist in making laboratory policy decisions.

Proposals are expected to identify the forensic science disciplines intended to benefit from the project, for example:

  • DNA and forensic biology
  • Forensic crime scene analysis
  • Forensic anthropology and forensic odontology
  • Controlled substances
  • Fire debris analysis and arson scene investigations
  • Firearms and toolmark identification
  • Latent print
  • Shoeprint/tire tread examination
  • Questioned documents
  • Trace evidence
  • Forensic toxicology
  • Medicolegal death investigations, including forensic pathology

The forensic science operational needs discussed at the FY 2015 TWG meeting may be helpful for development of proposals, and can be found on

Applicants are limited to publicly funded forensic science laboratories that are currently accredited by an independent accrediting or certifying forensic science organization. Publicly funded forensic science laboratories include State, regional, county, municipal, and tribal agencies. This solicitation excludes federal agencies.

Further details are available via Funding Opportunity Number: NIJ-2017-11610. The closing date for Applications is Feb 27, 2017.

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