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Focus Areas

Research, Technology, and Evaluation

Focusing on investigative approaches and technologies impacting criminal justice and forensic practitioner communities

The ResearchTechnology, and Evaluation program in the RTI Center for Forensic Sciences focuses on the assessment and transition of investigative approaches and technologies impacting the criminal justice and forensic practitioner communities. We develop and test advanced methods for emerging technologies, perform evidence-based forensic science translational research, and work with stakeholders to expand best practices on how forensic evidence is collected, interpreted, and presented in court. Additionally, we specialize in project management—monitoring and controlling complex contracts, grants, and cooperative agreements serving criminal justice stakeholders. 

Our program guides research and evaluations in areas such as 

  • decision-making and human factors 

  • drug surveillance 

  • juror comprehension of forensic evidence 

  • laboratory efficiency 

  • laboratory modernization 

  • personal protection innovations 

  • program evaluations in criminal justice

  • simulation-based performance testing 

  • technology adoption

  • technology evaluations

  • technology training

  • white and black box studies

We have experts across multiple disciplines and functional areas, including 

  • 3D graphics programming  

  • analytical chemistry

  • crime scene analysis 

  • death investigation 

  • materials engineering 

  • molecular biology 

  • pattern evidence 

  • seized drugs 

  • software engineering 

  • toxicology

Our capability for using a multidisciplinary approach to forensic research, technology, and evaluation is our strength and allows us to develop innovative solutions to improve the practice of forensic science.