Justice Department Awards More Than $29 Million To Forensic Science Research And Development

Oct 06, 2015, 12:23 ET from Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs

WASHINGTON, Oct. 6, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Office of Justice Programs' National Institute of Justice (NIJ) today announced that it has awarded more than $29 million in research and development funding to over 60 recipients who proposed work designed to strengthen forensic science and advance criminal justice policy and practice.

"These awards support NIJ's mission to provide objective, independent, evidence-based knowledge that gives policymakers and practitioners tools to identify suspects, solve crimes, and bring justice to victims and communities," said NIJ Director Nancy Rodriquez. "We want the findings from basic science to improve measurement, accuracy, and methods so that forensic science can be as reliable and cost-effective as possible."

The awards listed in the table below are just a sample of those announced today.  They demonstrate the diversity of NIJ's forensic science research and development portfolio and its commitment to solving through scientific research the practical challenges facing forensic scientists and law enforcement.

These projects will apply scientific methods to expand or deepen our understanding in several areas of forensic science, including improving methods to estimate the age, sex and ancestry of skeletal remains; studying the bacteria on the human body to gain more biological evidence than can be gleaned from human DNA alone; and improving the detection of drug exposure and activity as well as identifying new and "designer" drugs.  Two of the projects address rape kits: one seeks to improve the kinds of evidence to be obtained from the kits; the other looks to streamline the analysis of sexual assault evidence, including DNA analysis. Another grantee will examine ways to improve scientific methodologies in arson investigations, while another seeks to broaden forensic analysis of firearms discharge residue by including organic as well as inorganic compounds in the investigations.





Office of the Director, Sacramento County, CA,

Improving the sexual assault workflow – efficient sample selection and data interpretation



Denver Police Department, City and County of Denver, CO

Optimized, Semi-Automated Differential DNA Extraction



The Florida International University Board of Trustees

Novel Blood Protein Modification Assay for Retrospective Detection of Drug Exposure



Idaho State University

Development of Modern Subadult Standards: Improved Age and Sex Estimation in U.S. Forensic Practice



Michigan State University

A Macromorphoscopic Databank: Establishing the Statistical Analysis of Macromorphoscopic Data in Forensic Anthropology



Center for Forensic Science Research and Education

Monitoring Changes in the Novel Psychoactive Substance Market through Enhanced Identification of Emerging Drugs and their Metabolites in Biological Samples



Mercyhurst University

An Interactive Morphological Database for Estimating Sex in Modern Adults



University of North Texas Health Science Center

Human Microbiome Species and Genes for Human Identification



Virginia  Commonwealth University

Front End Separation of Compromised Blood Mixtures for Single Source DNA Profiling



Washington State University

Temperature Sensors Embedded in Paint for Fire Debris Analysis and Arson Scene Investigations


West Virginia

West Virginia University

Viable, Affordable, and Meaningful Integration of Organic and Inorganic Analysis of Firearms Discharge Residue


More information on the awards announced today is available at: http://www.nij.gov/funding/awards/pages/awards-list.aspx?tags=Forensic%20Research%20and%20Development&fiscalyear=2015

The solicitation is available at http://nij.gov/funding/awards/Pages/awards-list.aspx?fiscalyear=2015

About the Office of Justice Programs (OJP)
OJP, headed by Assistant Attorney General Karol V. Mason, provides federal leadership in developing the nation's capacity to prevent and control crime, administer justice and assist victims.  OJP has six components: the Bureau of Justice Assistance, the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the National Institute of Justice, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, the Office for Victims of Crime and the Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering and Tracking.  To learn more about OJP, visit www.ojp.gov.


SOURCE Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs