Forensic Science

Our research is led by the Leverhulme Research Centre for Forensic Science (LRCFS) and researchers collaborate extensively across the School and University, and with national and international partners across the forensic science ecosystem

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Our aims are to raise the scientific robustness of existing forensic evidence types, unlock potential novel scientific and technological solutions, and promote a realistic understanding of forensic scientific disciplines and their limitations across practice and in wider society. We conduct research at the cutting edge of forensic science, challenging perceived foundational deficiencies when required, and underpinning current evidence and its interpretation and evaluation.

Our research is based around 5 thematic pillars exploring the detection, recognition, comparison, interpretation/evaluation and communication of the scientific evidence presented in our courts. Our research outputs are broad based, operationally relevant, far reaching, and impactful.

Some examples of our research areas include:

  • investigating risk, bias and decision making across the justice system
  • exploring science communication across multiple audiences
  • exploring robust AI and machine learning methodologies for pattern matching in physical comparison problems and in the comparison of chemical data
  • development of a bench to bedside approach to the investigation of new and emerging psychoactive substances
  • metabolomic analysis of polydrug use
  • understanding the transfer and persistence of DNA and particulate trace evidence
  • novel techniques for DNA analysis, its interpretation and evaluation
  • robust scientific underpinning of electrical causes of fire 
  • investigating the use of nanoparticles and biosensors as detection systems for body fluids, explosives and illicit drugs
  • researching novel fingerprint development methods
  • developing augmented reality and virtual reality platforms for use in crime scene investigation and evidence presentation  
  • exploring the identification of individuals using hand biometrics

Academic lead

Niamh Nic Daeid
Professor of Forensic Science, Director LRCFS
 +44 (0)1382 385460

Core academic staff