About the Program

This training program addresses the major scientific factors facing DNA analysts: DNA interpretation, statistical evaluation and presentation of results. The program faculty at University of North Texas Health Science Center will use a multi-modal approach to train participants in the foundational statistical principles surrounding validation, DNA profile interpretation of single source and mixed samples and the areas of Kinship Analysis and Familial Association in an innovative interactive forum by distance learning and a hands-on approach. We will incorporate interactive learning tools and a forum discussion approach to help participants acquire new knowledge, better comprehend the material, and apply the information to real-world case scenarios in a manner completely different from the typical didactic manner in which workshops and training sessions have been routinely administered.

The course content will be delivered in tandem both as an online, interactive distance learning component and live training sessions disseminated via a real-time webcast through which DNA analysts from laboratories across the country can participate in the various training modules of interest to them. Selected material from categories outlined in the course content will be adapted as online resources and activities and made available to participants as pre-course assignments.

Following the completion of the online components of the course, participants will attend a 4 day onsite workshop at the UNT Health Science Center at Fort Worth, Texas, where fundamental concepts will be discussed and reinforced and data analysis techniques will be covered in a hands on approach. Methods of report writing and verbal presentation of DNA results will be covered each day, with participants presenting results, evaluating the effectiveness of the presentations and developing a consensus view of how their results may often be perceived.

This training program is fully funded by the National Institute of Justice. As such, all travel expenses associated with participation in the program are covered. If you are interested in being a participant in this program, at the completion of the survey you will be redirected to our secure registration website where you may provide your contact information. Participants for the program will be chosen from the pool of individuals who indicated an interest for additional training on the survey and completed the registration process.

There will be two independent training experiences and you will be requested to select which program you would prefer. The first, in the May-August 2012 timeframe will consist of a work at your own pace online training module (approximately 3 weeks) followed by a four-day onsite workshop at UNTHSC. This program will accommodate 25 participants.

The second training experience will be in the August-October 2012 timeframe. This program will be identical to the first with the exception that it will accommodate up to 200 participants. Twenty-five applicants will be selected to participate in the online and onsite program as described previously. Up to 175 additional participants will be invited to go through the online training and then participate in the onsite training components via live interactive webcast! As a participant you will be asked to provide feedback on the effectiveness of the methods of program delivery, content coverage, and utility of the online materials.

Unfortunately, the training program cannot accommodate everyone who completes the pre-assessment survey and signs up for the opportunity to participate. Participants will be selected from across the country in an attempt to provide access to as broad a geographic region as possible. Needless to say the program would not be able to accommodate more than one individual from a lab, but the completely online program would allow for multiple individuals from a laboratory to participate. If you are selected as a participant, you will be contacted by our program administrators to provide you information on access to training materials, travel and more precise timelines for program activities. It is the hope of the faculty that participants in this program will serve as a resource to their laboratories and aid in the continued training of their fellow analysts.