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OSAC Research and Development Needs

One of the OSAC's objectives is to inform the forensic science community of research needs that are uncovered during the OSAC's standards development activities. Research needs identified during research gap analyses are documented, consolidated and shared with the broader community.  Additionally, these research needs recommendations may be considered by other agencies and organizations when they develop their own agency research needs, and when soliciting funding for forensic science research.  

For example, The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), Office of Justice Programs (OJP), National Institute of Justice (NIJ) awards various grants and agreements for research, development and evaluation projects.  Proposed projects should address the challenges and needs of the forensic science community, many of which have been identified below by OSAC’s Scientific Area Committees and Subcommittees.  For more information about NIJ funding opportunities and how to apply, please visit the NIJ Funding website.

The OSAC encourages all funding agencies to consider the following research needs recommendations when developing new solicitations so that research efforts can be strategically advanced in areas where they are most needed. 

Biology/DNA Scientific Area Committee

Biological Data & Interpretation:

Biological Methods:

Wildlife Forensics:

Chemistry/Instrumental Analysis Scientific Area Committee

Fire Debris & Explosives:

Geological Materials:

Gunshot Residue:

Materials (Trace):

Seized Drugs:


Crime Scene/Death Investigation Scientific Area Committee


Crime Scene Investigation:

Disaster Victim Identification:

Dogs and Sensors:

Fire and Explosion:

Medicolegal Death Investigation:


Digital/Multimedia Scientific Area Committee

Digital Evidence:

Facial Identification:

Speaker Recognition:

Video/Imaging Technology and Analysis:

Physics/Pattern Interpretation Scientific Area Committee

Bloodstain Pattern Analysis:

Firearms & Toolmarks:

Footwear and Tire:

Forensic Document Examination:

Friction Ridge:

Created November 16, 2015, Updated November 15, 2019