UCL Centre for the Forensic Sciences


About us

Pioneering forensic science research

Our vision is to lead the world in pioneering forensic science research, enabling the justice system to make ever-more robust evidence-based decisions. Find out who we are and what we stand for here.

Introducing the UCL Centre for the Forensic Sciences

The UCL Centre for the Forensic Sciences is a world leader in forensic science research and focuses on the interpretation of forensic evidence for the greatest impact in the real world. Working collaboratively across the sciences, social sciences and humanities, and industry, security agencies and legal professions we’re making discoveries that advance and transform the forensic science discipline. We have a thriving research community made up of our core team of forensic science academics and PhD students alongside our postgraduate students taking our world-renowned masters programme in Crime and Forensic Science.

Find out more about our research and studying with us.

Our people

Great people do great research, which is why our people are the best in the business. The Centre is led by Dr Ruth Morgan, a leading academic in the field, supported by an advisory board made up of forensic science leaders from academia, industry, policy and the media.

The core team is made up of Sherry Nakhaeizadeh, who specialises in forensic anthropology and new technologies, James French, whose focus is trace evidence dynamics and excellence on our Masters programme, and Itiel Dror, a leading specialist in how the brain interprets information. Leading Academics from across the university place a central role in the life of the Centre.

Our doctoral researchers are at the heart of all our research and comprise the dynamic energy of our thriving research community.

Find our more about our staff and students.

Where we’ve come from

The UCL Centre for the Forensic Sciences was founded by Professor Ruth Morgan in 2010 to draw together leading academics across UCL to collaborate with forensic sciences practitioners, the legal profession and policy makers to make discoveries that advance and transform the discipline.

As part of the Jill Dando Institute of Security and Crime Science, and now the Department of Security and Crime Science, the Centre has developed into one of the most prolific research bodies in the field, regularly presenting double-figure papers at international forensic sciences conferences.

Our values run through everything we do

Uncompromising quality and integrity. Perhaps in forensic science more than any other discipline, quality and integrity are essential to ensure all our research, teaching and engagement can be relied upon to meet the exacting standards of the justice system.

Challenging the status quo. For change to occur, we must challenge the existing structures and norms within forensic science and change it must. The forensic science regulators in both the US and the UK have highlighted that our ‘ability to identify forensic evidence has outstripped our ability to interpret it’. It’s clear this has resulted in miscarriages of justice, which underlines the urgency and critical nature of our work.

Working together across boundaries. Forensic science is by its nature interdisciplinary so at the heart of all we do we draw on the very best of the sciences, social sciences, and humanities. Our research must also make an impact in the real world so our research is casework informed and we prioritise engaging with industry, the legal profession and policy makers to get our research in to the hands of those that can use it.

Never-ending possibility to make the world a better place. Ultimately we’re captivated by the underlying belief that our pioneering research will enable the justice system to make ever-more robust evidence-based decisions. This will reduce the prevalence of miscarriages of justice, and make a real difference to people’s lives and to society.

Our partners in crime

It’s part of our DNA to collaborate widely with those within and outside of academia. Whether it’s working with an industry partner to carry out some research to solve a problem together, understanding the challenges the legal profession are facing in presenting forensic evidence in the courtroom, or working with the police to give our students real life experience, our partners play a central role in the life of the Centre.