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NIJ Announces $1.3M to Fund Research in Public Forensic Laboratories

Since 2015, NIJ has administered a dedicated program to support research within publicly-funded forensic laboratories.

On January 11, 2022, NIJ announced $1.3 million in funding to support 5 new projects under its Research and Evaluation for the Testing and Interpretation of Physical Evidence in Publicly Funded Forensic Laboratories (Public Labs R&E) program. Through its funding of forensic science grants, NIJ, a component of the Office of Justice Programs, continues to improve the examination and interpretation of physical evidence across the community of practice and supports the development of new knowledge and tools to address the challenges of crime and justice in the United States.

“These awards offer unique opportunities to assess emergent technologies in crime labs” said Lucas Zarwell, director of NIJ’s Office of Investigative and Forensic Sciences. “NIJ appreciates the direct involvement of crime laboratories in research projects and encourages these types of future collaborations and commitment to strengthening the forensic sciences.”

Funding Highlights for Fiscal Year 2021

Since 2015, NIJ has invested over $9 million in 34 projects under its Public Labs R&E program.  The program was developed specifically to enable research at public forensic laboratories in order to identify efficient, accurate, reliable, and cost-effective methods. The goal is to use evaluation and improvement of existing laboratory protocols, or the comparison of an existing protocol to an emerging method, to develop techniques or protocols that can be shared with the forensic community and benefit or aid decision making by lab directors.

Projects funded in fiscal year 2021:

Date Published: January 11, 2022