NSF Industry/University Cooperative Research Centers (NSF-I/UCRC) Program


NSF-I/UCRC enables industrially-relevant, pre-competitive research via a multi-member, sustained partnerships among industry, academe, and government. NSF supports the development and evolution of I/UCRCs, providing a financial and procedural framework for membership and operations in addition to best practices learned over decades of fostering public/private partnerships that provide significant value to the nation, industry and university faculty and students.


Centers bring together

I/UCRC Sites –¬†Faculty and students from different academic institutions
I/UCRC Members – Companies, State/Federal/Local government and non-profits

to perform cutting-edge pre-competitive fundamental research in science, engineering, technology area(s) of interest to industry and that can drive innovation and the U.S. economy. Members guide the direction of Center research through active involvement and mentoring.

I/UCRCs offer a platform for significant leveraging of financial investment by members to accelerate the knowledge base in emerging technologies and manufacturing sectors and develop an industrially savvy workforce to benefit US economy.




Objectives of CARFS


The Center for Advanced Research in Forensic Science (CARFS), in its inaugural year, aims to tackle emerging forensic science problems. With its two center sites at Florida International University and University of South Alabama, and affiliate sites at Northeastern University, George Washington University, and Texas A&M University, it brings together forensic science leaders in state-of-the-art laboratories in a collaborative manner with industrial members, with the inclusion of an Industrial Advisory Board (IAB) that support our research and give guidance to directions of projects that are at the forefront of forensic science.




More information on CARFS within NSF I/UCRC can be found here.


University Research


Faculty affiliated with the center are distributed across key disciplines in science, social science, engineering, and statistics, with interests that cover an array of forensic disciplines. The CARFS research program is designed to address key issues in forensic science identified by the 2009 NAS report, and to develop innovative technologies and investigative approaches for forensic practice. Projects will address the human, analytical, and statistical foundations of forensic evaluations in the following areas:



Chemical Analysis of Drugs, Toxicology, and Trace Materials

Projects would include areas of analytical chemistry and instrument development in mass spectrometry, ion mobility, chromatography, laser and optical spectroscopy and hyperspectral imaging, and development of aptamers for highly specific and reusable portable sensor systems.


Quantifiable Approaches to Pattern and Impression Analysis

Projects would involve the development of methods for surface pattern and image characterization using interferometric white light microscopy, surface profilometry, structured light imaging, focus variation microscopy, as well as development and testing of robust comparison algorithms and impression modeling and prediction based on an understanding of the underlying materials properties.


Human Perception and Decision Making

Projects would assess the development of perceptual skill and expertise in forensic disciplines, the influence of contextual information and other factors that may bias decision making, the development of approaches (such as linear sequential unmasking or blind, lineup testing) to reduce the potential for bias, and lay understanding of forensic evidence as presented by examiners in court.


Cyber Forensic Analysis

Project would assess approaches for solving matrix completion problems in digital evidence analysis, advance the interpretation of cyber events in assessing the origin and scope of computer or network breaches, develop analytical solutions to discover hidden evidence (anti-forensics) and improve determinations of linkability, and more generally assess the fundamental limits of certain computer forensic methodologies.


Statistical Modeling and Prediction of Dynamics, Mechanistic Probabilities

Projects would include the development of a scientific understanding of phenomena such as fluid dynamics and environmental factors that result in bloodstains, or the modeling of fractures and other complex patterns.


More information on university research and our leadership team can be found here.



Industrial Members


Industrial members in the private sector, not-for-profit organizations, or [federal, state, or local] governments are integral to research directions and the funding of research projects done at the university level. Here, industrial members form an Industry Advisory Board (IAB) that govern research for general or specific needs. The practice of “one-center-one-mission” provides an open-platform where noncompetitiveness is practiced for the advancement of forensic science knowledge, tools, and techniques.


More information on industrial members can be found here.