Professor Lisa Smith

Head of School

Professor of Criminology

Contact Details


Twitter: @DrLisaSmith

Office Hours: By appointment

Personal details

MSc, BSc, PhD

I joined the School in January 2011, after working for five years in the Forensic Psychology department at Leicester. After completing her BSc in Psychology (with a minor of study in Philosophy of Law) at the University of Toronto, she completed an MSc in Forensic and Legal Psychology at the University of Leicester, followed by a PhD in Psychology at Leicester. Prior to relocating to the UK from Canada, Lisa worked with the Ontario Provincial Police as the Program Coordinator of a victim services response unit.

In 2015, Lisa was awarded the Early Career Research Award by the European Association of Psychology and Law.

A research team, led by Professor Lisa Smith, was awarded the 2018 Times Higher Education Research Project of the Year (Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences) in recognition of their work developing innovative methods for recovering forensic DNA in cases of sexual violence in low-resource environments.


  • Jury decision making
  • Interpretation of forensic evidence in the Criminal Justice System
    (e.g. police investigations, courtroom)
  • Forensic science and human rights
  • Human factors in forensic science
  • Improving the recovery of forensic evidence
  • Interpretation and processing of evidence by police agencies

Lisa’s research can be described as the interface between forensic science, psychology, and the law.  Her PhD research focused on the influence of biases about forensic science held by jurors on their verdict preferences, and culminated in the development and validation of the Forensic Evidence Evaluation Bias Scale (FEEBS; Smith & Bull, 2011, 2012, 2014) which has been further validated by other researchers and used by legal professionals in jury selection procedures. In recognition of this work, she was awarded the European Association of Psychology and Law Early Career Researcher Award (2015).

Lisa is the Programme Coordinator of the INTREPID Forensics EU-funded doctoral training programme (€2.9 million, 2014-2018). More recently, her research has been focused on the role of forensic science in international criminal prosecutions and human rights investigations, and she works closely with a number of international organisations on projects which aim to better utilise forensic science in developing countries.  In 2016 Lisa organised a new research network – the International Crime, Conflict, and Crisis Research Network – which brings together scholars and practitioners interested in research aiming to improve criminal investigations in international contexts.


  • Jury/judicial decision making about forensic science
  • The role of forensic science in human rights investigations
  • Forensic science and miscarriages of justice
  • Human factors in forensic science

Recent Publications

Muinde, J.M., Bhanu, D.R.C., Neumann, R., Oduor, R.O., Kanja, W., Kimani, J.K., Mutugi, M., Smith, L.L., Jobling, M.A., Wetton, J.H. (2021) Geographical and linguistic structure in the people of Kenya demonstrated using 21 autosomal STRs, Forensic Science International: Genetics, 53. Doi: 10.1016/j.fsigen.2021.102535

Rockowitz, S., Stevens, L.M., Rockey, J., Smith, L., Ritchie, J., Colloff, M., Kanja, W., Cotton, J., Kamau, C., Njorge, D., Flowe, H.D. (Under revision). Patterns of sexual violence against adults and children during the COVID-19 pandemic in Kenya, BMJ Open

Smith, L.L., Flowe, H.D., Kanja, W. (2019), Achieving more with less: A critical review of protocols for forensic investigation of sexual violence in low-resource environments. Forensic Science International: Synergy, 1, 108-113. Doi: 10.1016/j.fsisyn.2019.07.002

Smith, L.L., Wetton, J.H., Lall, G.K.M., Flowe, H., & Jobling, M. (2017) 'Forensic science and the right to access to justice: Testing the efficacy of self-examination intimate DNA swabs to enhance victim-centred responses to sexual violence in low-resource environments'. Science and Justice, 57(5), 331-335.

Colloff, M.F., Seale-Carlisle, T.M., Karoglu, N., Rockey, J., Smith, H.J., Smith, L., Maltby, J., Yaremenko, S., & Flowe, H.D. (2021), Perpetrator pose reinstatement during a lineup test increases discrimination accuracy. Nature: Scientific Reports, 11, doi: 10.1038/s41598-021-92509-0

Sleath, E., & Smith, L.L. (2016). 'Understanding the factors that predict victim retraction in police reported allegations of intimate partner violence', Psychology of Violence, 7(1), 140-149.

Smith, L.L., & Bond, J.W. (2014). Criminal Justice and Forensic Science. Palgrave Macmillan

Smith, L.L. (2014). Behavioural analysis of crime, by Donna Youngs. Reviewed in: The British Journal of Criminology, doi: 10.1093/bjc/azu051

Smith, L.L., and Bull, R. (2014) 'Validation of the factor structure and predictive validity of the Forensic Evidence Evaluation Bias Scale for robbery and sexual assault trial scenarios' Psychology, Crime and Law, 20 (5): 450-466 DOI: 10.1080/1068316x.2013.793340.

Lingwood, J., Smith, L.L., & Bond, J.W. (2015) 'Amateur vs professional: Does the recovery of forensic evidence differ depending on who assesses the crime scene?' International Journal of Police Science and Management.

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