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CSAFE Researchers are Looking for Forensic Practitioners to Collaborate on Various Studies

Forensic Research Committee Researcher-Practitioner Collaboration Directory
The Researcher-Practitioner Collaboration Directory can be found on the Forensic Research Committee’s webpage at

Forensic practitioners looking to become involved in Center for Statistics and Applications in Forensic Evidence (CSAFE) research can now find a list of research opportunities in the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors (ASCLD) Forensic Research Committee’s (FRC) Researcher-Practitioner Collaboration Directory.

The directory connects researchers with ongoing projects to practitioners who want to participate in research studies. Each project listed in the directory includes a summary, the support requested from participants, estimated time involved and deliverables. To request to collaborate, practitioners can contact the principal investigator.

CSAFE currently has six projects in the directory that could use the support from forensic practitioners or law enforcement personnel. The principal investigator and the support requested for each project are listed below. More information about these projects can be found in the FRC Researcher-Practitioner Collaboration Directory at

To learn more about CSAFE research in pattern and digital evidence, visit

Research Collaboration Opportunities:

Blind Proficiency Testing
Robin Mejia, Carnegie Mellon University

Support Requested: Researchers will collaborate with labs that conduct blind proficiency testing or are considering it. Collaborations can range from a single discussion to ongoing logistical or analytical support, including connecting those who would be interested in inter-lab collaboration.

Characterization of Footwear in Local Populations
Susan VanderPlas, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Support Requested: Researchers are looking for practitioners and law enforcement partners to collect footwear data from local populations using scanning equipment.

Forensic Processing at Crime Labs
Brett Gardner, University of Virginia

Support Requested: In recent years, CSAFE researchers have successfully collaborated with crime laboratories to examine case processing variables and clarify workflow procedures in latent print comparison units. Researchers are seeking to collaborate with laboratory personnel to generate and answer questions about each laboratory’s case processing and workflow. The collaboration will aim to answer the laboratories’ specific questions and inform the larger field of case processing within latent print units.

Handwriting Evaluation
Alicia Carriquiry, Iowa State University

Support Requested: Participants will be asked to provide handwriting samples in three data collection sessions. In each session, participants will complete a short survey and transcribe the contents of three prompts. In an upcoming project phase, researchers will ask participants to test CSAFE’s handwriter package on their handwriting samples and provide feedback on the user interface, capabilities, limitations, usefulness and other usability features.

Mobile App Evidence Analysis
Yong Guan, Iowa State University

Support Requested: The researchers will work with crime lab practitioners to better understand the frequently used digital evidence types in casework, areas of confusion and potential errors in communicating and analyzing these evidence types. The researchers hope to understand what factors limit the practitioners’ efficacy and efficiency in their daily casework.

StegoAppDB: Reference Database with Variational Sources for Mobile Steganography Image Forensics
Jennifer Newman, Iowa State University

Support Requested: Researchers are available to discuss the issues with steganography/digital image forensics the crime lab currently has or is looking to address in the future. If a topic of mutual interest is identified, researchers will work with the lab to identify some aspect of the issue that could be studied.