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Forensic Science Conferences & You

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Hello Forensic Science Students,

As the semesters gets going you may hear some talk of up and coming forensic conferences. Conferences are formal meetings organized by professionals within a certain area and/or field. The purpose of a conference is to bring professionals of a particular field together to network, promote collaboration, and share research. Conferences are an excellent place to network for your future job or education and develop yourself professionally. Those of you participating in undergraduate research can especially benefit from attending conferences by submitting abstracts on your research and taking part in poster and/or oral presentations. Conferences often also host workshops to assist students and professionals in developing their skills

Below is a list of regularly held conferences in the forensic field as well as resources for funding your travel. You can also find a list of approaching conferences on our website here. Our faculty and graduate students often attend these conferences, so we encourage you to ask them about their experiences. Faculty can also recommend particular conferences based on your specific interests. If you have questions about funding your travel to a conference feel free to ask our staff in 329 Whitmore.

Penn State Forensic Science Program

Conference Informational

NEAFS- Northern Association of Forensic Scientist annual conference held in October. Consists of workshops in a variety of forensic focuses, research presentations and case presentations. Students may choose to enter a presentation (oral or poster) of their research in the Peter De Forest Student Competition. Deadline for student submission is September 1st.

AAFS- The American Academy of Forensic Science annual conference held in February. Consists of workshops, seminars and presentations on all forensic topics. Student abstracts are welcome. Meeting are held throughout the continental united states.

MAAFS- The Mid-Atlantic Association of Forensic Scientists annual conference held in May. Consists of workshops in a variety of forensic focuses and research presentations on Biology, Criminalistics and Questioned Documents. Meetings are typically held in MD, WV or VA.

ISHI- The International Symposium on Human Identification held in the Fall. Consists of a technology exhibition, workshops and research presentations (oral and poster) on forensic subjects related to human identification. Students are invited to submit abstracts and posters.

CAC- The California Association of Criminalists bi-annual seminars held in the Spring and Fall. Consists of a vendor exhibition, workshops on DNA, Drugs, ANAB and leadership, as well as Research presentations. Student Abstracts for poster presentations are welcome. The seminars rotate between Southern California and Northern California.

IAFS- International Association of Forensic Sciences holds a conference every three years in the Fall. Meeting can be held anywhere globally.

*This is a short list of conferences commonly attended by our students. Ask faculty members about other conferences or meetings they might recommend for your specific area(s) of interest.

Conference Travel Funding Options

Always search the specific conference or professional organizations website as your first resource for travel scholarships and registration discounts for students or presenters.

Penn State's Office of Undergraduate Education: If you are presenting the results of your research or creative work at domestic or international professional conferences, you may request financial support from PSU’s Office of Undergrad Ed to defray the costs of attendance to the conference.

The Forensic Science Program has some funds set aside that can assist students with travel costs. Once a student has exhausted attempts at obtaining outside funding sources (proof of attempts may be required), they may use the following form to request financial assistance from the program: Student Travel Request Form. Travel assistance can only be requested from the program once per academic year.