Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2017, $580,138)
The Institute of Forensic Sciences of Puerto Rico will use grant funding to increase the capacity to work cases significantly, thus, reducing turnaround time and to reduce the number of samples awaiting analysis in both casework and database sections.
By hiring additional full-time analysts to directly screen, process and analyze DNA evidence and DNA database samples, as well as by acquiring much needed supplies, outsourcing and funds for overtime, the DNA & Serology unit will be able to process more samples thereby helping reduce the number of samples awaiting analysis.
Utilization of analyst overtime and the purchase of supplies will allow the Laboratory to work more cases and samples than they would have been able to with regular funding streams. This decreased turnaround time on casework and samples leads to more cases being able to be worked in the same amount of time, and thus increased throughput.
Having technicians assist with quality assurance, cleaning of common areas, and evidence intake/return will allow the analysts to have more time to work on casework and sample analysis, which will increase the overall laboratory throughput.
Funds will also be requested for continuing education trainings which are directly related to the DNA & Serology casework and database operation (i.e. Promega and CODIS).
Three analysts will attend scientific sessions, workshops for continuing education, and will establish network relations with forensic colleagues, etc., with which to further collaboration and scientific knowledge exchange.