Employment Opportunity

Forensic Scientist Trainee

Virginia Department of Forensic Science, Richmond, Virginia

Salary: $44,472 per year

Final Filing Date: February 19, 2018

The Virginia Department of Forensic Science is seeking a Forensic Scientist Trainee in the Mitochondrial DNA section. The selected candidate will be required to successfully complete an intensive training program in nuclear short tandem repeat (STR) DNA analysis and mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequence analysis.

Duties and Requirements Click to read more


The selected candidate will be required to successfully complete an intensive training program in nuclear short tandem repeat (STR) DNA analysis and mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequence analysis. The training must be successfully completed within the first year of employment. Once trained and qualified as a Forensic Scientist, the successful candidate will:
  • use current state-of-the-art methodologies and instrumentation to analyze biological material including, but not limited to, blood, tissue, hair, bone, and teeth submitted by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner and law enforcement agencies;
  • prepare Certificates of Analyses on findings for use by the criminal justice system;
  • as necessary, perform quality control for Section,
  • testify in court as a qualified expert for the Commonwealth at criminal proceedings as to the results of laboratory findings and perform other duties assigned.
  • The position requires occasional overnight travel and employees will provide own transportation as required.


  • Bachelor’s degree in biology, chemistry, forensic science or related scientific field
  • College courses (graduate or undergraduate level) totaling a minimum of nine cumulative semester hours with genetics, biochemistry, and molecular biology (molecular genetics or recombinant DNA technology) as the main topics, as well as course work and/or training in statistics and population genetics as applied to forensic DNA analysis
  • Knowledge of laboratory safety and QA/QC procedures
  • Knowledge of common forensic DNA laboratory instruments such as genetic analyzers, thermal cyclers, robotic work platforms
  • Ability to distinguish color differences
  • Ability to maintain accurate records, analyze and interpret data, manage multiple tasks efficiently, establish work priorities, and develop sound conclusions from analyses
  • Possess good oral and written communication skills
  • Eligible to possess valid driver’s license and/or have other means of reliable transportation
Preferred Qualifications
  • Advanced degree in molecular biology or related discipline
  • Experience working in a scientific laboratory
  • Work experience with mtDNA sequence analysis and/or STR DNA analysis on forensic evidence samples
Special Requirements
  • A new probationary period must be served for current Commonwealth of Virginia state employees.
  • Selected candidates must provide a DNA sample via a buccal swab (saliva sample), be fingerprinted, drug tested and pass a security background check

Do you have the Education Required? See available on-line and campus-based degree programs now!

How to apply: Apply online

Posted: February 12, 2018

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