The Field and Lucas Research Grants

The Forensic Sciences Foundation (FSF) Kenneth S. Field Grants (up to $1,500) and the Douglas M. Lucas Grants ($1,501–$6,000) are intended to help the investigator/researcher initiate original in-depth, problem-oriented research. These grants are open to members and affiliates (at any level) of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS). The FSF Board of Trustees has allocated up to $35,000 to fund this year's submissions.

Submission Requirements

The following criteria will be considered in evaluating proposals for both Field and Lucas Grants. Any proposal not adhering to these criteria, or missing any of the required elements, will be disqualified.

  1. An abstract — not to exceed three pages for Field Grants or five pages for Lucas Grants. Abstracts must contain a well-developed title and the research question. Research must be creative and unique. Research conducted as a follow-up to a previous study is discouraged. Issues related to the use of live humans or animals as research subjects must be dealt with explicitly in the proposal. Similarly, your plan for accommodating any issue related to privacy, appropriate permissions, and the harvesting, transport, or disposal of human tissues or body fluids must be included. FSF Field and Lucas Grant proposals on the same subject, differing only in scope and budget, may not be submitted by the same investigators in the same year. The page limit pertains to the abstract only; the following criteria are not included in the page limit.
  2. A brief (no more than two pages total) literature review of not more than ten references pertinent to the subject of the research. There is a strict ten literature review reference limit for this proposal. Do not include additional references anywhere in your application, including at the end of the abstract. Any proposal exceeding the ten reference limit will be disqualified. Do not include a reference cited page.
  3. A detailed budget that categorizes acceptable budget line items — (1) consumables, (2) research travel, (3) equipment, and (4) meeting travel. The grant is intended to pay for direct research costs only. Funding requests may include consumable product purchases and research-related travel expenses, including room and board while conducting the research (up to $500 for Field Grants and up to $1,000 for Lucas Grants), necessary equipment purchases (up to $1,000 for Field Grants and up to $5,000 for Lucas Grants), and up to $300 may be appropriated for travel to the AAFS Annual Scientific Conference. Funding requests may not include bibliographic preparation, routine agency operations/university operations, compensation for survey participation (i.e., gift cards), or salary of investigators/researchers or assistants. Applicants must disclose if funding for this project is being sought from other/additional sources.
  4. A timetable and a specific plan for dissemination of results. The dissemination plan and timetable must be compatible with the annual schedule of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences and its conference date in February. The grants are awarded in the late fall; presentation will be at the conference in two years. Example: If the grant request is submitted in 2024 and awarded in late 2024–25, the presentation cannot be made until the 2026 conference or (if two years in length) at the 2027 conference.
  5. Applicants must disclose current or previous FSF research grants awarded to any of the investigators.
  6. CVs from all involved. One investigator, preferably the Principal Investigator, must be an affiliate or member of the AAFS. The CV for each investigator must be no longer than 3 pages that include educational background, relevant work experience, and relevant publications for the proposed research.  Any proposals with CVs longer than 3 pages will be deemed ineligible and will be disqualified from consideration.

Submission Deadline

All submissions must be received and completed by June 15 (11:59 p.m. MDT). 

All research proposals must be submitted by the individual conducting the research. If a proposal is submitted for funding of a master's thesis, the proposal must be submitted by the student, NOT by the academic advisor or other academic supporter. Submissions that do not meet the aforementioned requirements or deadline will be automatically disqualified. Please submit the aforementioned Field Grant or Lucas Grant Requirements electronically (with attachments in PDF format) to Kimberly Wrasse at The FSF will confirm receipt of all submissions within two business days. If confirmation is not received within two business days, the applicant should contact Kimberly Wrasse at The FSF Research Committee will make its decision no later than October 1, and all applicants will be notified shortly thereafter.