This report reviews the features, impact, and funding amounts of the National Institute of Justice's (NIJ's) forensic science research and development.
Through funding for external research, NIJ's forensic science research and development program intends to increase the body of knowledge needed to guide forensic science policy and practice. Funded projects are producing useful materials, devices, systems, and methods that have the potential for forensic application, as well as developing further understanding of the science that underlies the forensic science disciplines. Between 2009 and 2014, NIJ issued 23 solicitations that invited proposals for research-and-development projects related to forensic science. It awarded $116,670,798 to fund 269 research projects. The nature and impact of this funded research is described in this report under various forensic science domains and functions. These include the strengthening of crime laboratories; the advancement of forensic technology in the field, validation of the accuracy of firearm examiners, confirmation of the accuracy of bloodstain pattern examiners, the examination of human factors in fingerprint analysis, and standardization of broken-glass analysis. The overall effect of this research and development has been to assist law enforcement agencies in their investigations and improve public safety, while facilitating accuracy and justice in the processing of criminal cases. Three figures show funding by fiscal year (2009-2014); the distribution of funding for research awards by discipline; and grantee dissemination activities.