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

ASCLD Research Priorities (2019)

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 2019) 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 2019-2021 list below.

2019-2021 Research Priorities

First Annual Innovation Award

The Forensic Research Committee of the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors is happy to announce that Amber K. Burns is the recipient of the First Annual Innovation Award. This award recognizes activities highlighting new technologies, protocols, or tools that impact the operational forensic science laboratory.

Amber K. Burns is the Chemistry Section Manager for the Maryland State Police – Forensic Sciences Division. She has been instrumental in establishing a new workflow for safely and efficiently testing fentanyl and other novel psychoactive substances by testing swipes of the outside of drug packaging using TD-DART-MS technology. Her work is an important contribution to the practice of forensic science and we are proud to recognize her as the recipient of the inaugural Innovation Award.


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 80 LEAP Participating Labs and Universities as of May 2019

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.


Forensic Research Committee Bulletins
Previous Webinars
Forensic Research Links of Interest