This report presents the purpose and proceedings of the 2022 National Institute of Justice (NIJ) Forensic Science Research and Development Symposium, with the goals of promoting collaboration and improving the transfer of knowledge gained by NIJ-funded research.
The Symposium featured the products of and input for the NIJ Forensic Science Research and Development (R&D) Program, which funds both basic or applied R&D projects that will 1) increase the body of knowledge relevant to forensic science policy and practice, or 2) result in the production of useful materials, devices, systems, or methods with the potential for application to forensic science work. In addition to funding the research projects, NIJ also invests in ways to promote and implement sponsored research findings and products into the practical work of forensic crime laboratories and other criminal justice agencies. The Symposium sought to promote the transfer of knowledge gained and knowledge needed from research applicable to forensic science and the development of highly discriminating, accurate, reliable, cost-effective methods for the identification, analysis, and interpretation of physical evidence that improves criminal justice outcomes. During the R&D Symposium, researchers and practitioners met to discuss, discover, and share new approaches and applications for increasing the impact of forensic science and elevate its status. The structure and content of the Symposium facilitated information-sharing that will facilitate bringing research from theory to practice. Topics discussed in the four Symposium sessions were 1) impression and pattern evidence/trace evidence; 2) seized drugs and toxicology; 3) forensic biology/DNA; and 4) forensic anthropology and forensic pathology.