Visiting Scientist Program

Applications for the FBI Visiting Scientist Program are accepted throughout the year on a rolling basis.

Sponsor: Federal Bureau of Investigation


The FBI Laboratory is one of the largest and most comprehensive crime laboratories in the world and provides forensic and technical services to federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies at no expense to these agencies. The Laboratory’s Counterterrorism and Forensic Science Research Unit (CFSRU) provides technical leadership and the advancement of forensic science for the FBI as well as state and local law enforcement agencies. Scientists in the CFSRU are leading experts in their respective fields and are responsible for research and development activities; validation studies; and the transition of new forensic techniques, procedures, and protocols to the case working units within the FBI Laboratory. The results and findings of completed research projects conducted by the CFSRU scientists are published in scientific journals and presented to the forensic science community at professional meetings. In addition, the scientists provide advanced technical training in specialized fields to federal, state, and local laboratory personnel.

Since 1982, the CFSRU has sponsored the Visiting Scientist Program. Visiting Scientists include university faculty, postdoctoral fellows, recent graduates, and both graduate and undergraduate students. Postgraduate appointments are typically for one year, renewable for up to two additional years upon the recommendation of the CFSRU staff. Student and faculty appointments are normally for three months during the summer, but appointments during the academic year are also available. Participants receive monthly stipends based on the level of their education.

The Visiting Scientist Program provides a valuable connection between the FBI Laboratory and academia. Participants are afforded a unique work experience to enhance their professional development and increase their research contributions in their chosen field of study by participating in forensic science research initiatives utilizing state-of-the-art equipment at the CFSRU. Participants in the Visiting Scientist Program conduct laboratory and/or computer research, primarily involving analytical chemistry, molecular biology, or the computation of large datasets. Research is guided by experienced FBI scientists who serve as mentors. The program also serves as a mechanism for the continual transfer of knowledge from the academic community to the FBI Laboratory.

How to Apply