CAHID is an award winning teaching and research centre whose staff are both REF returned and responsible for REF impact case studies. Spanning anatomy, forensic anthropology and forensic science, CAHID has a vibrant and exciting research focus and reach.
Our forensic based research generates new knowledge which impacts positively on operational forensic science practice and policy development. Our research is highly collaborative, both within the University of Dundee and externally with research partners around the Globe. This includes some of the world's leading forensic science research teams, forensic science providers and international organisations including INTERPOL, ENFSI, EUROPOL, the United Nations and the International criminal courts and commissions.
Our anatomy facility provides critical input into areas of surgical skills development and fundamental anatomical processes. We have pioneered the use of Thiel cadavers in medical and dental research and training in the UK, and have key relationships with medical device companies to test and develop their products. We are also developing augmented reality medical and anatomical educational products with industrial partners through multidisciplinary projects involving several schools in our university. 
Our current cohort of over 25 research students come from all over the world and include a mixture of part time and full time researchers, many of whom are themselves practitioners. We disseminate our research widely across the peer reviewed literature, both in domain specific and in wider scientific journals, and regularly present our work at conferences and through public engagement activities.
Our current research areas include:
  • Identification of perpetrators of child sexual abuse
  • Issues of biometric identity
  • Age estimation in the living
  • Extraction and detection of explosives
  • Visualisation and chemical enhancement of fingerprints 
  • Chemical characterisation of burnt bone
  • Arc fault mapping as a tool in fire investigation 
  • Chemical profiling of illicit drugs
  • Chemical characterisation of New Psychoactive Substances
  • Development of metabolomics database for New Psychoactive Substances incorporating poly-drug interactions
  • Developing a neuropharmacological understanding of New Psychoactive Substances
  • Improving the efficacy of smoke detectors to wake vulnerable populations
  • Understanding jury interpretation of expert evidence
  • Development of chemometric analysis and pattern recognition of complex data
  • Objective characterisation of striation marks and tool marks 
  • Examination of the microstructure of bone as a tool in species and population level identification of remains
  • Anatomical variation and its clinical relevance
  • Validation of Thiel cadavers as a model for training and research
  • Clinical nerve mapping through anatomical and immunohistochemical methods
  • Alternative diagnostic methods for musculoskeletal conditions using biomechanical techniques
  • Investigation of the trabecular organisation of the skeleton using 3D imaging techniques
  • Analysis of craniofacial anatomical interrelationships
  • Development of preservation methods for educational prosections
  • Medical art for enhancing e-learning
  • The future of medical art and artists and developing technologies
  • The use of virtual and augmented reality in anatomical and medical education
  • The use of haptic technologies in anatomical and medical education
  • Development of digital artefacts and online museums
Information on PhD positions in CAHID can be found on the CAHID website 

Entry requirements

You should have an honours degree at 2.1 or above, and/or a Masters degree in a relevant discipline.

English language requirements

IELTS (overall)










We also accept other English language qualifications

You do not need to prove your knowledge of English if you are a national of certain countries.

Don't meet the English language requirements?

English language programmes

Prepare for university study and benefit from extra English tuition with an English language programme.

PhD fees

View fees for PhD programmes for 2021-2022 and 2022-2023 academic years

Applying for a research degree

You can apply for a PhD or other Postgraduate Research degree using our Direct Application System. Once you've signed up for an account you'll be asked to search of a course.

To find a CAHID PhD or PGR course you should select the following options:

  • Course type: Research Postgraduate
  • Keyword: Forensic

Apply for a PhD or PGR course


The University of Dundee welcomes applications from disabled students.

PhD Opportunities

View PhD opportunities on the CAHID website


Dr Julieta G Garcia-Donas
+44 (0)1382 3(84506)