As we welcome in 2017, the field of forensic science turns towards the opening of FY2017 forensic science grant funding opportunities. The National Institute of Justice hosted a WebEx last week covering four grant funding opportunities available to publicly funded forensic laboratories:
- Research and Evaluation for the Testing and Interpretation of Physical Evidence in Publicly Funded Forensic Laboratories Due 2/27/17
- Paul Coverdell Forensic Science Improvement Grants Program – Competitive/Formula Due 3/10/17
- New!! Forensic DNA Laboratory Efficiency Improvement and Capacity Enhancement Program (EI&CE) Due 3/13/17
- DNA Capacity Enhancement and Backlog Reduction (CEBR) Program Due 3/13/17
You will find all of this information on our website as well as due dates for each solicitation listed. Please note, all grant applicants must register with Grants.gov at least 72 hours prior to application submission. As other opportunities become available, we will add these to our webpage as well so we recommend bookmarking our page and checking back frequently.
Most exciting this fiscal year is the introduction of the newest solicitation, Forensic DNA Laboratory Efficiency Improvement and Capacity Enhancement (EI&CE) Program. This program is focused on assisting existing crime laboratories that conduct multidisciplinary forensic analysis, including DNA, to reduce the number of items awaiting analysis to ultimately solve crimes and thereby help to increase public safety in the United States.
Evofinder® Automated Ballistic Identification system
Per this solicitation, laboratories can “purchase equipment to be used to increase the capacity of a non-DNA discipline with an overall demonstrable goal of decreasing DNA analysis turnaround time.” The Evofinder® Automated Ballistics Identification system, which Leeds represents exclusively in the United States, can qualify for purchase under the EI&CE program. In laboratories where bullet and cartridge samples from a crime scene need to be matched prior to completing the DNA evidence processing, the Evofinder® can facilitate this process by providing a tool capable of quickly scanning and comparing both sample types to compare samples from a crime scene. By reducing the backlog and waiting period for sample comparison, DNA evidence can then be processed in a more timely fashion. At the same time, scanned samples can simultaneously be compared with any other sample previously entered into the Evofinder® database to show associations between new evidence samples and those collected from previous crime scenes.
Additionally, Leeds’ LSV2 Spectral Vision System, a multi-wavelength imaging tool used to
LSV2, Leeds Spectral Vision System
rapidly view, capture, and document bodily fluids, victim bruising, trace evidence, accelerants, explosives, and gunshot residue, could qualify as such equipment to be purchased under this same EI&CE program.
The Trace-Z Trace Evidence Comparison Microscope built with Zeiss Optics
Likewise, Leeds’ Trace-Z Comparison Microscope system could also qualify if a lab has encountered a delay in processing of trace evidence on cases that were awaiting further DNA analysis; or if the processing and analysis of the trace evidence lengthened the time for a case that had a DNA component to be closed.
Leeds offers a competitive trade-in program if your lab is interested in trading in old microscopes towards the purchase of new Leeds’ products.