Darren Phillips
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Personal profile

Personal profile

Darren graduated from Edinburgh University in 1999 with a BSc (Hons) in Biological Sciences (Honours: Medical Microbiology).  He then graduated from Strathclyde University with his MSc in Forensic Science in the summer of 2000.  His MSc thesis involved looking at the movement of fibres within cars using a helicopter as a wind source.  This was carried out at Forensic Science Northern Ireland (FSNI) in Carrickfergus, County Antrim. 

His first operational post was then as a forensic scientist with the Forensic Science Service specialising in the interpretation of DNA profiles at their Huntingdon laboratory.  He then moved to Abingdon, Oxfordshire and worked for Forensic Alliance Ltd (now part of Eurofins Forensics) at their Culham laboratory for nearly 2 years.  During his time with Alliance he worked as a forensic biologist and drug scientist.  He was also briefly seconded to Orchid Cellmark at Culham to work in their speculative DNA section.

In late 2002, Darren took up a lectureship in Forensic Biology at Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge.  He was the lead person in the creation of the new Forensic Biology undergraduate degree programme on the Cambridge campus, becoming its Pathway Leader in 2004.  He was also responsible for the creation of a new state of the art DNA analysis laboratory also on the Cambridge campus.

After a year as a senior lecturer in Forensic Biology at Kingston University in London, Darren took up a lectureship at the University of Abertay in Dundee in late 2007 where he continues to teach and undertake forensic biology research.  In summer 2008 he became Programme Leader for the Forensic Science provision at Abertay, a role he continued in until summer 2018.  From 2018, Darren became the Accreditation Lead for the forensic science programme, liasing with the professional body, the Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences (CSFS).


Teaching specialisms include the investigation of sexual offences, body fluid analysis, blood pattern analysis, the analysis of hairs and fibres and the application of DNA technology to forensic biology casework.

Research interests

Research interests include the investigation of sexual offences, body fluid analysis, blood pattern analysis, the analysis of hairs and fibres and the application of DNA technology to forensic biology casework.


  • Co-ordinated the successful purchase, installation and implementation of the latest comparison microscope instrument for the forensic department at Kingston University in 2006/7: £49, 669
  • Lead person in obtaining successful Science Research Investment Fund (SRIF) Funding Bid (HEFCE) at Anglia Ruskin University in 2004/5 for new ABI Gene Sequencer and DNA analysis laboratory: £96, 366 (Main Hardware and insurance), £4464 (Consumables), £5983 (Extra Hardware), Total £106, 813


Darren has been a professional member of the Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences (CSFS) since 1999 (formerly The Forensic Science Society) and has been a Society Link Person since 2003.

In 2005, Darren became a member of the CSFS Council and with it became the Society’s Link Co-Ordinator.  This involved liaising with the forensic providers and forensic institutions and promoting the Society to new members. 

Darren has also become heavily involved in the organisation and implementation of upcoming Society conferences both nationally and internationally becoming the Chair of the Conferences Committee of the CSFS in 2008-2009, 2010-2013.

This was a very rewarding and enjoyable position for Darren and he very much enjoyed his role on Council, seeking to forge greater links between the forensic providers, police forces and academia. 

Darren was appointed external examiner for the forensic science course at Northumbria University from 2008 to 2013 and the suite of forensic science courses at Staffordshire University from 2013 to 2017.  He was subsequently appointed external examiner for the forensic science course at University of Bedfordshire from 2017 to present.  He has also acted as external assessor on quality and validation panels for forensic science degrees throughout the UK.

Knowledge Exchange

Through his Council role within the Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences, Darren has constant links to public body activities involving forensic science throughout the UK and forensic science sector.

Involvement in the dissemination of best practice within the sector through the organisation and implementation of targeted conferences and workshops for forensic science professionals around the world – includes conference convening, session chairing, report publications and invited conference talks


  • Lead person in the organisation and implementation of the “Perceptions of Forensic Science Conference”, University of Abertay, Dundee, 12th June 2013, Knowledge Transfer Conference (funded by KTG Grant), Total £2000 – Very successful conference bringing together approximately 60 members of the police, law and scientific establishments to discuss matters of cognitive bias within different aspects of a forensic investigation
  • Member of the UK Forensic Science Education Group (UKFSEG) – Promoting collaboration and research between different providers of forensic science education in the UK
  • Key liaison contact with the University of Bonn-Rhein-Sieg in Germany on ongoing collaborative ventures regarding student / staff exchange (ERASMUS and other ventures)
  • Presented forensic science and biomedical science programme talks to prospective students at Fife College
  • Organised forensic science “taster events” for prospective local school pupils and members of the public e.g. “Stag Night Murder” and questioned documents stall at the Dundee Science Festival

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions


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