RTI International-led consortium to further law enforcement forensic science capabilities

National Institute of Justice awards RTI a cooperative agreement for transition and implementation of forensic science research


RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC— An RTI International-led consortium has been selected by the National Institute of Justice to further improve the safety and effectiveness of criminal justice technologies for forensic science cases.

The consortium, called the National Institute of Justice Forensic Technology Center of Excellence, was awarded $5 million for the first year of a five year cooperative agreement to receive $3 to $6 million in subsequent years. The grant was issued to RTI’s Center for Forensic Sciences.

“Simply developing or identifying new forensic technologies does not guarantee that the criminal justice community will successfully adopt and integrate it,” said Jeri Ropero-Miller, Ph.D., Director at RTI and principal investigator of the Forensic Technology Center of Excellence. “The Forensic Technology Center of Excellence bridges the gap between science and justice by delivering practical technology transition and knowledge transfer to the criminal justice community for the improvement of forensic science.”

With this award, RTI and its consortium partners will continue to improve, build and develop capacities to support technology adoption and social science programs within the law enforcement community.

The Forensic Technology Center of Excellence supports the NIJ’s research, development, testing and evaluation process in all areas of forensic science. To help improve public safety, the center also disseminates best practices and guidelines to crime laboratories, forensic service providers and law enforcement.

The Forensic Technology Center of Excellence focuses on the following: 

  • Providing scientific and technical support to the NIJ’s research and development efforts
  • Facilitating demonstration, transfer and adoption of appropriate technology into practice by crime laboratories, forensic science service providers, law enforcement and other criminal justice agencies
  • Offering technology assistance, information and support to law enforcement and other appropriate criminal justice agencies
  • Developing and providing access to resources for research, education and best practices in the forensic science and criminal justice community

In addition with the newest request for proposals, the NIJ directly established the FTCoE’s role of working closely with NIJ’s social science staff to assess and communicate the impact of forensic science on the criminal justice system.

RTI has led the Forensic Technology Center of Excellence since 2011. To learn more about RTI’s forensic science capabilities, watch this video.

The consortium includes RTI, the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, Battelle Memorial Institute, the Center for Forensic Nursing International, Duquesne University, Florida International University, George Washington University, Michigan State University, North Carolina State University, Seattle University, Department of Criminal Justice, University of Central Florida, the University of New Haven, the University of North Texas, Department of Forensic and Investigative Genetics and the Center for Human Identification, West Virginia University, 2N’s Forensic, Inc.