Feds aim to fund forensic science center

A federal agency within the Commerce Department is looking to give $20 million to fund a new forensic science research center.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) on Tuesday announced a competition for money to build the center, which will work on establishing “a firm scientific foundation” for key methods in the sciences.  

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“The center will help expand NIST’s expertise in the field and promote interactions between NIST, academia and various stakeholders in the forensic science community,” the agency said.

It plans to spend about $4 million per year for the next five years on the center, with the possibility of extending the funding for five more years.

Forensic scientists examine crime scene evidence such as DNA, tire marks or fingerprints to connect the dots and explain what happened during a crime.

The field captured popular attention with the rise of television shows such as “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,” which featured investigators using exaggerated forensic methods to solve crimes.

The competition is open to any universities and nonprofit organizations that want to take part. Applications are due by Dec. 11.

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