The mission of the ASCLD Forensic Research Committee (FRC) is to advance the core science of forensics by closing technology gaps and enabling future forensic technologies through the following strategic goals:

  • Identifying the Research, Development, Technology, and Evaluation (RDT&E) needs and priorities for the forensic community
  • Developing recommendations and courses of action
  • Advising the ASCLD Board of Directors on RDT&E related issues, projects, and processes in order to  support the development of enduring future forensic capabilities

FRC Collaboration Hub

The FRC Collaboration Hub connects academic researchers with forensic practitioners to combine the strengths of real-world forensic experience with large-scale research and project management expertise. These collaborations will result in comprehensive, high-impact research projects that will transition into the laboratory as new and enhanced forensic capabilities.

If you are a researcher looking for practitioner support (as a subject matter expert, as a collaborator, as a beta-tester, as a participant in a study, etc.), please submit information about your project to the FRC Collaboration Hub.

If you are a practitioner looking to contribute to the advancement of forensic science through research or are interested in the professional development opportunities that research enables, please review the directory and select projects that you can support.

Research Partnership Considerations List (click here to learn more)


Complete the project form to advertise your project to practitioners looking for research opportunities.

Project Form


Search the Researcher/Practitioner Collaboration Directory for projects in need of support.

Search Directory

FRC Lightning Talks

The ASCLD Forensic Research Committee is proud to announce the next Lightning Talk episodes which highlight new and emerging research across all areas of forensic science. Each episode features short talks given by practitioners, researchers, and/or students.

Topic: The Use of 3D Technology for Firearms Analysis

Date: Thursday, December 14th at 1:00pm EST
Speakers: Featuring three speakers from NIST with presentations such as, “3D Surface Metrology for Forensic Firearm and Toolmark Analysis by Johannes Soons, “Reference Population Database of Firearm Toolmarks” by Xiaoyu Zheng, and “Objective Comparisons of Printer Marks on 3D Printed Firearm Components” by Thomas Renegar.

Registration Link: Register Here
Session Flyer

You can view the archive of previous Lightning Talks HERE

ASCLD Research Priorities (2022)

In May of 2017, at the American Society of Crime Laboratory Director's Meeting in Dallas Texas, the Forensic Research Committee (FRC) gathered to discuss forensic science research opportunities. From this discussion, the FRC created a list of high-impact research opportunities which was submitted to and prioritized by the ASCLD Board of Directors.

This list (updated in 2021) serves as a guiding light to researchers who are interested in conducting forensic science research and helps identify key areas where impactful research would support the forensic science community and enhance laboratory operations. You can find the updated 2022-2024 list below.

2022-2024 Research Priorities

Forensic Research Committee Awards


Innovation Award

The goal of the Forensic Research Committee Innovation Award is to recognize activities highlighting new technologies, protocols, or tools that impact the operational forensic science laboratory. The award is open to scientists from all disciplines in operational U.S. forensic laboratories (Bio/DNA, drug chemistry, toxicology, fingerprints, questioned documents, trace/microscopy, firearms/toolmarks, other) who have performed the highlighted work in the past two years.

The winners of the 2021 FRC Innovation Award are Linda Eisenhart, Joseph Stephens, Jocelyn V. Abonamah, Colbey Ryman, Paige Riley, Nirmeen Salah, and Brian Eckenrode of the FBI Laboratory for their project, "A Method for Generating and Harnessing Objective Data for Standardized Trash Mark Examinations."


The goal of the Forensic Research Committee LEAP Collaboration Award is to recognize an outstanding partnership between LEAP participating academic and operational forensic laboratories. The award is open to scientists from all disciplines such as Bio/DNA, drug chemistry, toxicology, fingerprints, questioned documents, trace/microscopy, firearms/toolmarks, and digital/multimedia sciences in LEAP participating operational and academic forensic laboratories.

The winners of the 2022 FRC LEAP Collaboration Award are NYSP Crime Laboratory System & University of Illinois at Chicago for the project, "Wild and Domesticated Touch DNA."

Previous Award Winners:
2021: John Jay College of Criminal Justice and the New York Police Department for the project, "Non-destructive DNA recovery from handwritten documents using a dry vacuum technique."


The goal of the Forensic Research Committee Evaluation/Validation Award is to recognize an outstanding evaluation/validation study that has been submitted to the FRC Validation and Evaluation Repository. The award is open to scientists from all disciplines (bio/DNA, drug chemistry, toxicology, fingerprints, questioned documents, trace/microscopy, firearms/toolmarks, other) in operational forensic labs or research laboratories.

The winner of the 2022 FRC LEAP Collaboration Award is Szabolcs Sofalvi of the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner's Office for the project, "Development of Quadratic External Calibration Models using EZSTATSG2."

Previous Award Winners:
2021: L. Admire, North Carolina State Laboratory, "Implementing Hematoxylin into Casework at the North Carolina State Crime Laboratory."

Nominate someone for a 2023 FRC Award!
Check out the information below and nominate a deserving individual or organization to be recognized for their contributions. Submission deadline is March 3, 2023.


What is LEAP?

The goal of the Laboratories and Educators Alliance Program (LEAP) is to facilitate collaborative research between academia and forensic science laboratories. This joint effort between the American Society of Crime Lab Directors (ASCLD) and the Council of Forensic Science Educators (COFSE) identifies forensic science needs and provides a platform for laboratories, researchers, and students to seek projects aligning with their mutual research capabilities.


A Picture of Success

Watch below to see how the Kansas Bureau of Investigation and Washburn University have established a successful and mutually beneficial research partnership.


Over 100 LEAP Participating Labs and Universities!

Click on the Map above to find potential forensic research partners near you


Interested in a research partnership with a University? Want to host an intern?  Sign up for the LEAP program today by clicking the appropriate button below, completing the form, and returning it to the ASCLD FRC.

Validation & Evaluation Repository

The ASCLD Forensic Research Committee is proud to announce the launch of the Validation and Evaluation Repository. The goal of this activity is to share information about important Validations and Evaluations with the forensic science community from one central repository. ASCLD hopes that this repository will foster information sharing and promote collaboration with the forensic science community.

Please consider submitting information about your lab’s validations or evaluations to the repository. Information could include basic information such as validation/evaluation title, lab name, and point of contact information (which enables other forensic scientists to contact you with questions) or additional information such as a short validation/evaluation summary report or even a full validation/evaluation report with all data. By sharing this information, you are supporting other laboratories that wish to expand their forensic capabilities!

Check out the Validations and Evaluations within the Repository

Future Forensics:

Research Executive Summaries

The Future Forensics Subcommittee of the ASCLD Forensic Research Committee (FRC) has initiated the publication of brief executive summaries of the recent literature within the forensic sciences. The initial source of the executive summaries is the proceedings of the triannual 19th INTERPOL International Forensic Science Manager’s Symposium literature reviews, originally published by INTERPOL here. These reviews are also now published as open access manuscripts in FSI:Synergy.

The following links to the executive summaries (usually 3-5 pages in length) are written by ASCLD members and are meant to provide a brief overview of the most noteworthy publications and trends in the literature within the last 3 years (2016-2019), including references. A link to each of the original INTERPOL review article is also found within the executive summary.

The current list of eight (8) executive summaries include reviews in the areas of fingermarks, controlled substances, paint and glass evidence, forensic toxicology, forensic biology, gunshot residue analysis, and firearms and toolmarks.

Additional INTERPOL reviews can be found on the FSI:Synergy website here.

If any ASCLD member would like to volunteer to author an executive summary of any of the other areas within the list of INTERPOL reviews, please contact Jose Almirall, Chair of the Future Forensics Subcommittee at:

Forensic Biology

Forensic Biology

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Gunshot Residue

Gunshot Residue

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Friction Ridge

Friction Ridge

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Paint & Glass

Paint & Glass

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Seized Drugs

Seized Drugs

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Forensic Research Committee Bulletins
Previous Webinars
Forensic Research Links of Interest