The Behavioral Science Unit is one of the instructional components of the FBI's Training and Development Division at Quantico, Virginia. Its mission is to develop and provide programs of training, research, and consultation in the behavioral and social sciences in furtherance of the FBI’s strategic priorities; in support of the law enforcement and intelligence communities’ operational effectiveness. This work includes conducting high‑impact research and presenting a variety of cutting edge courses on topics such as Applied Behavioral Science For Law Enforcement Operations, Bio-psycho Social Aspects of Criminal Behavior, Applied Criminology, Stress Management in Law Enforcement, Domestic Terrorism, Managing Death Investigations, Gangs, Developmental Issues, and Criminal Behavior, Counterterrorism, Grants: A Behavioral Approach to Grant Writing, National Academy Independent Study, National Academy Direct Study, and New Agents Training - Dangerous Individuals and Groups.
Training requests by duly authorized law enforcement agencies may be submitted in writing and coordinated with the local FBI field division. Behavioral Science Unit training commitments are based on FBI and divisional priorities and availability of resources.
The unit's personnel are primarily Supervisory Special Agents and experienced instructors and veteran police officers with advanced degrees in the behavioral science disciplines of psychology, criminology, and sociology. The Behavioral Science Unit professional personnel also include a clinical forensic psychologist, research analyst, a management analyst, and a technical information specialist.
The Behavioral Science Unit conducts specialized and applied training in the above disciplines as they pertain to law enforcement for New Agents, FBI inservices and symposia, as well as for the FBI National Academy Program, international police officers, field police schools, and criminal justice‑related organizations and conferences consistent with goals and objectives, and available resources.
In its research, the Behavioral Science Unit focuses on developing new and innovative investigative approaches and techniques to the solution of crime by studying the offender, and his/her behavior and motivation. Some of this research is conducted in partnership with outside researchers and through interagency agreements with the Office of Justice Programs, and the Department of Justice. Some of the current research initiatives include: Intuitive Policing, Homicide Clearance, Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted, Structure of Hate Crime, Reliability and Validity of Official Crime Statistics, Gangs and Gang Violence, Emerging Technologies and Policing, Future of Law Enforcement, Guidelines for Interviewing Juveniles, Quantifying Lethal Injuries, Countering Terrorism, Use of Deadly Force, Juvenile Crime, Spirituality and the Law and Air Rage.
The Behavioral Science Unit also coordinates with and supports other FBI units, such as the National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime (NCAVC), of the Critical Incident Response Group (CIRG), which provides operational assistance to FBI field offices and law enforcement agencies.
Another focus of the BSU is the Futures Working Group (FWG). The FWG is collaboration between the FBI and the Society of Police Futurists International (PFI). Its purpose is to develop and encourage others to develop forecasts and strategies to ethically maximize the effectiveness of local, state federal and international law enforcement bodies as they strive to maintain peace and security in the 21 st century. Please refer to FWG homepage for further information, www.fbi.gov/hq/td/fwg/workhome.htm.
The BSU is offering full time unpaid internship opportunities to qualified students during spring, and fall semesters. The BSU also participates in the FBI’s Honors Internship Program. Please refer to these postings listed under the employment section of www.fbi.gov.
The following publications can be obtained by using your assigned FBI Virtual Academy login identification and password:
* Suicide and Law Enforcement
* Domestic Violence by Police Officers
* Critical Incidence in Policing
* Law Enforcement Families: Issues and Answers
* Psychological Services for Law Enforcement
Instructions to download Behavioral Science Unit (BSU) Publications appearing on the FBI Virtual Academy via the Internet:
Registration for access into the FBI Virtual Academy by outside organizations or individuals:
1. Enter: https://fbiva.fbiacademy.edu - Hit Go
2. At the login screen, submit an agency application (as seen in the red bar across the top of the page)
3. There is usually a 24-hour waiting period prior to approval
4. Your agency will receive e-mail with login ID and Password
Once you receive a login ID and Password:
A. After entering your login ID and password and enter the Virtual Academy, click on the Library Building.
B. Click on the word "References" as seen on the double doors.
C. In the "Keywords" box, type in the selected publications as follows:
a. If searching for the Suicide and Law Enforcement publication, type the word Suicide and hit search button.
b. If searching for the Domestic Violence by Police Officers publication, type the word Domestic and hit search button.
c. If searching for the Organizational Issues publication, type the word Organizational and hit search button.
d. If searching for Critical Incidence in Policing publication, type the word Critical and hit search button.
e. If searching for Law Enforcement Families: Issues and Answers publication type the word Families and hit search button.
f. If searching for Psychological Services for Law Enforcement publication, type the word Psychological and hit search button.
D. Click on the title as it appears on the page. It takes a few minutes to open the publications.
candidates for the Behavioral Science Unit are selected from employee applicants.
The Behavioral Science Unit does not presently recruit from outside the FBI.
If you have specific questions regarding FBI employment opportunities, you may contact the Applicant Coordinator of the nearest FBI Field office.