The Use and Impacts of Scientific Evidence in the Courts: A SKAPP Research Grant Program

The past several decades have seen continuing conflict over the use of scientific evidence in both regulation and litigation.  Considerable anecdotal evidence has emerged regarding science as it is used in the law.  Yet there is little rigorous empirical research to document even the most basic aspects of the law-science interface.  Moreover, the ability to conduct quantitative research is limited by the difficulty of identifying cases that are randomly selected from an identified case population.  On an annual basis, we request proposals from interested researchers to conduct pilot studies that assess the feasibility of research that empirically examines the use of scientific evidence in regulation or litigation or develops databases capable of supporting such research. (7/7/06)

Research areas of interest include, but are not limited to:

1. The impact of conflict of interest on research findings
2. Factors affecting the evaluation of scientific evidence by judges and/or juries
3. Empirical analysis of court-generated scientific knowledge
4. Trial documents as a source of new scientific information
5. Sources of disparities in public health risk assessments
6. The cost of Daubert challenges and the distribution of the burden of these costs
7. The impact of Daubert hearings and decisions on case outcomes
8. Development of a database of cases randomly selected from an appropriate population with data elements that would support future research on scientific evidence in the courts

View the current Request for Proposals.

Read about the 2004 pilot projects.

Read about the 2005 pilot projects.

Read about the 2007 pilot projects.

Read more about other research studies on Daubert.