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Paul Coverdell Forensic Science Improvement Grants Program (Coverdell Program) - Formula


Additional Links

Notice of Funding Opportunity (


Application Deadline: Jun 24, 2021

Sponsoring Organization

Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA)


Awards funding to states by formula to improve the quality and efficiency of forensic science and medical examiner/coroner services statewide. Supports efforts by state and local forensic laboratories to eliminate backlogs, especially those caused by the opioid crisis. Funding must be used for one or more of the following objectives:

  • To implement a program designed to enhance and accelerate forensic science or medical examiner/coroner services in the state
  • To remove any backlogs concerning the examination of forensic science evidence
  • To instruct, support, and hire individuals who are needed to eliminate backlogs, including forensic laboratory staff, and medical and legal death investigators
  • To address new forensic science concerns and forensic science technology
  • To teach and train forensic pathologists
  • To finance medical and legal death investigation systems to help accredit medical examiner and coroner offices and certify medical and legal death investigators

Funding may be used for the following expense types:

  • Laboratory personnel salaries and benefits
  • Technology
  • Equipment and Supplies
  • Accreditation and certification
  • Education and training
  • Infrastructure, including facilities
  • Administrative costs

Amount of Funding

Award ceiling: $2,329,519
Award floor: $296,966
Project period: 24 months
Estimated number of awards: 55
Estimated total program funding: $29,696,563

Approximately 57% of the total program funding is set aside for projects that specifically address forensic science challenges related to opioids and synthetic drugs.

Who Can Apply

States, including territories, are eligible to apply.

Geographic Coverage


What This Program Funds

Buildings and Facilities • Capacity Building • Equipment • New Program • Operating Costs and Staffing • Training Providers

Application Process

Application instructions, requirements, and additional information about the application process can be found in the funding announcement.

In FY 2021, there is a new two-step application submission process. To be considered timely, the applicant must have received a validation message from the submission and the full application must be submitted in JustGrants by the respective deadlines.

  • Step 1: Applicants will submit an SF-424 and an SF-LLL in by the June 24, 2021 deadline.
  • Step 2: Applicants will submit the full application, including attachments, in the JustGrants grants management system by the July 8, 2021 deadline.


For questions on submitting in

For questions on submitting in JustGrants:

For technical questions:
National Criminal Justice Reference Service (NCJRS) Response Center
TTY at 301-240-6310
Live chat

For general or programmatic questions:

Topics This Program Addresses

Healthcare Facilities • Healthcare Workforce • Infrastructure • Opioids • Teleservices and Technology