Forensic Scientist - Forensic Biology Section - CF903

Virginia Department of Forensic Science, Manassas, VA, US


The Virginia Department of Forensic Science is seeking a qualified applicant to perform forensic biology examinations at the Northern Regional Laboratory. Duties of this position include identification/detection of blood and other body fluids, DNA PCR-based STR fluorescence imaging analysis and comparisons of genetic material on criminal evidence using state-of-the-art analytical methodologies, techniques, and instrumentation. Prepares reports of findings for use by the criminal justice system and testifies in court as an expert witness. Communicates with medical and legal officials on testing procedures, results and conclusions. Instructs law enforcement officials on the handling of evidence. Requires some travel.


Minimum qualifications:

  • B.A./B.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 in statistics and/or population genetics as applied to forensic DNA analysis.
  • A minimum of six months forensic human DNA laboratory experience
  • Successful completion of a documented training program from an accredited private, local, state or federal forensic laboratory in forensic DNA PCR-based STR analysis on casework using the capillary electrophoresis platform
  • Experience as a qualified DNA casework analyst in an accredited forensic laboratory conducting DNA isolations, PCR analysis using STRs on the CE platform, interpreting data and drawing conclusions on casework evidence, preparation of case-specific reports containing self-generated results and conclusions
  • Forensic laboratory casework experience performing body fluid identification/ detection testing, case approach decision making, and sample selection for DNA analysis
  • Knowledge of laboratory safety and QA/QC procedures
  • Ability to distinguish colors, maintain accurate records, analyze and interpret data, manage multiple tasks efficiently, establish work priorities, and develop sound conclusions from analyses
  • Selected candidate must be eligible to possess a valid driver’s license or have other means of reliable transportation

Preferred qualifications:

  • Advanced degree in a related scientific field
  • Experience testifying as an expert witness in federal and/or state courts
  • Experience with CODIS software related to entry of DNA casework profiles and searching/evaluating casework candidate matches
  • Experience teaching forensic related courses or conducting forensic training
  • Experience conducting forensic Y-STR analysis or probabilistic genotyping on casework
  • Experience with forensic gel-based STR analysis using the FMBIO platform on casework
  • Experience with the STRmix™ software related to the deconvolution of DNA mixture profiles and calculation of likelihood ratios

Trainee: If a fully qualified Forensic Scientist candidate does not meet all of the required qualifications, a trainee position may be offered to the most suited candidate with a salary of $46,696. Upon successful completion of training, the trainee’s salary will be established within the salary range for a qualified Forensic Scientist. The training will last approximately 9 to 12 months, dependent upon the qualifications of the successful candidate. The Trainee candidate must meet the degree and course qualifications listed above.

Preferred qualifications for the Trainee include:

  • Advanced degree in a related field
  • College internship and/or paid work experience in a forensic DNA laboratory
  • Paid work experience with DNA STR analysis on forensic evidence samples

Probationary Period: If you are a current Commonwealth of Virginia employee, this position requires a new probationary period be served.

Background Investigation: Selected candidate(s) must successfully pass a background investigation to include a fingerprint-based criminal history check. Selected candidate(s) must provide a DNA sample via a buccal swab (saliva sample) and successfully pass a drug test. Reference checks will be conducted to include contact with current/previous supervisors.

Employment Eligibility Verification: DFS will record information from each new employee’s Form I-9 (Employment Eligibility Verification) into the Federal E-Verify system to confirm identity and work authorization.


Forensic Scientist
Forensic Biology Section
Position # CF903
Salary: $55,310 - $97,155
Location: Manassas, VA

How to apply

Applicants must apply electronically using the State of Virginia’s Recruitment Management System (RMS) by November 30, 2022. The RMS can be accessed using the link: Contact Tracey Kazelskis at (804) 588-4000 for assistance.