Francisco Valente Gonçalves


Francisco Valente Gonçalves is a Marie Curie Early Stage Researcher within the INTREPID Forensics Programme. He undertook his BSc in Psychological Sciences between Portugal (ISPA-IU) and Spain (Universitat de Valencia), having worked as an undergraduate researcher during this degree on developmental psychology. Having also a MSc in Psychocriminology (ISPA-IU, Portugal) he worked in the National Institute of Legal Medicine and Forensic Sciences as an forensic psychologist intern for one and half years. His MSc dissertation focused on the psychological assessment of simulated and dissimulated personalities in forensic context. In 2014 he completed a specialization in clinical intervention within the Mental Health service of Santa Maria’s Hospital in Lisbon.

Prior his moving to Leicester he worked in risk contexts on topics such as sexual abuse, addictions and personality disorders as a clinical psychologist with children, youths and adults and as a forensic psychologist in the Prison of Leiria. He is enrolled in international scientific societies: The Chartered Society of Forensic Society; International Association for Forensic Institutes; European Society of Criminology; European Association of Psychology and Law; European Division of the International Association of Identification; American Academy of Forensic Sciences and Sociedade Portuguesa de Psiquiatria e Psicologia da Justiça). He is also an Effective Member of the Portuguese Psychologists Board, and works currently as a reviewer for three journals (Peritia - Revista Portuguesa de Psicologia, Portugal; Direito em Debate, Brazil; Forensic Sciences International). At the University of Leicester he is at the moment the Editor for the Social Sciences within the Frontier Magazine team and is part of the Leicester Judgement and Decision Making Research Group.

Phd Research


Francisco’s research is focused on fingerprint examinations and the effects of external and internal factors such as contextual information and on the examiners' motivation to carry their work. Fingerprint examiners need to follow a methodology named as ACE-V process. Although this methodology is worldwide known and used, examiners still have differences in the way they apply their expertise. This research will then focus on the effects that different types of contextual information affect examiners’ performance (negatively or positively) by testing their accuracy during different type of computer-based experiments. The research also aims to understand what do fingerprint examiners have to say regarding their work as they are the final user of any result and discussion that research similar to this will provide. Thus, Francisco is interviewing different examiners from different countries, trying to understand what are the common points and the differences within the ACE-V process, and assessing what are the different types of motivation these professionals have to carry their job. Main aims will pass by creating documents where a wider range of examiners will contribute to improve current guidelines and ACE-V applications, and to establish a better communication between agencies as well as to know better these type of forensic examiners, their needs and their thoughts in order to improve their management and possibly their recruitment.


Gonçalves, F. V., Pires, A. & Vila-Real, A. (submitted). Catch me if you can: Avaliação psicológica de simulação de personalidade em contexto forense.

Gonçalves, F. V. (2015). Dissimulação do desespero: Uma realidade da regulação das responsabilidades parentais em Portugal. Direito em Debate, Vol. 43, pp. 47-61.

Gonçalves, F. V. & Pires, A. (2014). Perícia Psicológica: Mudam-se os tempos. Mudam-se os paradigmas? Livro de Resumos do II Congresso Internacional Crime Justiça e Sociedade. Edições Criap, pp. 57.


Gonçalves, F. V., Smith, L. & Barrett, D. (2016). Think Outside the Box: External Factors on the ACE-V Methodology. 68th American Academy of Forensic Sciences Metting (Las Vegas) – Poster

Gonçalves, F. V. (2015). A reality of the psychological assessments on parental responsibilities regulation in Portugal. First research day conference of the British Society of Criminology Victimology Working Group “Future Directions in Victimology. Oral communication

Gonçalves, F. V., Smith, L. & Barrett, D. (2015). Let's Fill the Gaps! Getting fingerprint examiners into the scene. CPD day of Surrey/Sussex Police in Brighton – Poster

Gonçalves, F. V., Smith, L. & Barrett, D. (2015). Errare Humanum Est? Cognitive contaminations in fingerprint examiners' performance: Attitudes and improvements. ELTU Research Festival held at the University of Leicester – Poster (1st prize).

Gonçalves, F. V., Smith, L. & Barrett, D. (2015). How does fingerprint analysis work? Open day with the theme of Richard III discovery at the University of Leicester - Poster

Gonçalves, F. V., Smith, L. & Barrett, D. (2015). Decision-Making in fingerprint analysis. Open day with the theme of DNA Fingerprinting discovery by Sir Alec Jeffreys at the University of Leicester – Poster

Gonçalves, F. V., Smith, L. & Barrett, D. (2015). It is more than just errors: A quantitative and qualitative approach to cognitive contaminations within the ACE-V methodology. NIST Symposium on Standards and Errors Measurement (Washington, DC) – Poster

Gonçalves, F. V., Smith, L. & Barrett, D. (2015). A psychological perspective within forensic pattern recognition disciplines. European Association of Psychology and Law Conference (Nuremberg) – Poster

Gonçalves, F. V., Smith, L. & Barrett, D. (2015). Decision-Making within fingerprint analysis. University of Lausanne Forensic Sciences Summer School – Oral presentation

Gonçalves, F. V., Smith, L. & Barrett, D. (2015). A criminological perspective concerning misguided decision in forensic sciences. European Society of Criminology (Porto) – Poster

Gonçalves, F. V., Smith, L. & Barrett, D. (2015). Internal and external variables within the ACE-V process. 1st International Association of Identification [European division] Conference (Leicester) – Oral communication

Gonçalves, F. V., Smith, L. & Barrett, D. (2015). Do we really need to know it all? What fingerprint experts need to know during the ACE-V process. The Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences postgraduate symposium (Manchester) – Oral communication

Gonçalves, F. V. (2014). Perícias psicológica de competências parentais. 3ª Conferência Internacional Igualdade Parental. Universidade Lusófona (Lisboa) - Oral communication

Gonçalves, F. V. & Pires, A. P. (2013). Are you lying to me? Psychological assessment of simulation and dissimulation in forensic context. Forensic Horizons 2013. The Chartered Forensic Science Society & Californian Association of Criminalists (Manchester) - Poster

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