Research in its various forms has been an integral part of the Institute and sets us apart from most other similar organisations tasked with the conduct of service work in forensic medicine and science. The importance of research to underpin the discipline and establish the basis of expert opinions was a key driver for the creation of the Institute in the late 1980s. It provided the vision for Monash University to establish the Department of Forensic Medicine and for its legislated inclusion into the life and functions of the Institute.
Since our first publication in January 1990, the Department of Forensic Medicine now has more than 550 peer-reviewed journal publications, 40 books and some 1,000 publications in total.
Proper research practice and governance is a responsibility of the Division. The VIFM Research Advisory Committee (RAC) manages research and quality assurance applications and ensures that any application proceeding to the VIFM Ethics Committee has scientific merit as well as being administratively sound.
The Institute hosts a number of post-graduate research students, enrolled through the Monash University Department of Forensic Medicine. Over the last 12 months, a record number of PhD students were enrolled, covering diverse projects including drug harm and forensic toxicology, deaths in aged care, forensic anthropology and fatal injury surveillance in developing countries.
The Department of Forensic Medicine research activities focus on four specialised research units as well as supporting other research activities undertaken by staff within the Forensic Services Division.
A summary of the activities of the specialised research units over the last year is outlined below.
The Institute hosts a number of researchers and post-graduate research students, enrolled through the Monash University Department of Forensic Medicine, covering diverse projects including drug harm and forensic toxicology, deaths in aged care, forensic anthropology and fatal injury surveillance in developing countries.