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Visiting Scientist Opportunities

skeleton on an exam table

Since 2008 the New York City Office of Chief Medical Examiner (OCME) has offered Visiting Scientist positions in Forensic Anthropology.

Each Visiting Scientist rotation lasts for one month. Between one and nine people are selected each year to participate in the program.

About the Program

The New York City OCME is the largest medical examiner's office in the United States, with jurisdiction over cases in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and Staten Island. Due to the city's high volume of cases, and particularly in light of the complex investigations associated with the 9/11 World Trade Center disaster, Forensic Anthropology plays a significant role in many aspects of OCME's daily operations.

The Visiting Scientist Program is open to domestic and international graduate students and professionals within the field of Forensic Anthropology. The program is designed to provide training and professional development by providing access to hands-on experience. This program immerses participants in various aspects of day-to-day operations within a medical examiner's office, with specific focus on the role of Forensic Anthropology. Visiting Scientists work closely with members of the Forensic Anthropology Unit and have continuous contact with other OCME departments. A certificate of completion will be provided at the end of the rotation.

  • Visiting Scientists will attend autopsy rounds each morning, observing the medical examiners in the various approaches to the investigation and certification of cause and manner of death.
  • Following morning rounds, Visiting Scientists will observe and assist the forensic anthropologists with casework. This may involve the removal of hard tissue samples at autopsy, maceration of remains, constructing biological profiles, trauma analysis, histological analysis, and report writing.
  • Opportunities may be available for participants to go to death scenes and to observe court testimony.
  • There are tutorial sessions each afternoon, where staff pathologists, anthropologists, and other in-house experts present forensic topics specifically for the visiting residents, students, scientists.
  • Each afternoon, Visiting Scientists are invited to participate in the daily case discussions ("sign-out" rounds) between the senior staff of medical examiners and the forensic pathology fellows.
  • Special weekly seminars (Grand Rounds) are held each Thursday where experts lecture on diverse topics related to the forensic sciences.
Eligibility and Requirements