DNA Technical Lead
- - TX-Austin
- TX, USA
- Full Time
The incumbent is responsible for functioning as the lead science and technical person for the forensic DNA laboratory. They are also responsible for advancing the laboratory to improve the quality and throughput as part of ongoing process improvement initiatives, and for interfacing with clients and responding to requests for proposals for DNA testing. They will conduct screening and DNA testing on casework and perform technical reviews. Will work as part of a highly-motivated team to process casework in a timely and efficient manner producing a high quality work product. Focus is on leadership, mentorship, sound technical judgment, problem solving, follow through, and driving the future direction of the laboratory in concert with the Director.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities:
- Oversee the technical operations of the Forensic DNA laboratory;
- Act as advisor with respect to technical issues. Resolve technical problems or issues between casework analyst and reviewer that may be identified in a technical review;
- Direct and manage major technical tasks within the forensic practice (e.g., internal validation efforts) or within Signature Science (e.g., major tasks on R&D projects);
- Support and lead business development activities related to forensic DNA casework, including helping to prepare and/or review proposals;
- Research and investigate potential method improvements or new technologies and make recommendations to further the quality and/or efficiencies within the laboratory;
- Interface with clients and accreditation body, and represent the Signature Science brand with integrity, humility, and technical competence; and
- Participate in casework, including screening, laboratory work, reporting, and testimony as needed to support laboratory throughput needs;
- Evaluate and document approval of all validations and methods used by the Forensic DNA laboratory and propose new or modified analytical procedures to be used by analysts;
- Review and approve the training, quality assurance and proficiency testing programs in the Forensics DNA laboratory;
- Conduct the final sign off on completed training and competency of new analysts;
- Participate in annual review of the quality system as applicable to Forensic DNA, including a review of the standard operating procedures;
- Develop and document approval of corrective actions prior to implementation of corrective actions. Implement and document quality action plans;
- Review internal and external DNA audit documents and, if applicable, develop and approve corrective action(s), to ensure that findings, if any, were appropriately addressed; document such review;
- Review results of all participants in the proficiency testing program and document such review;
- Initiate and document approval of changes to procedural documents;
- Review the academic transcripts and training records for newly qualified analysts and approve their qualifications prior to independent casework analysis and document such review;
- Make recommendations for analyst approval to perform independent case work;
- Manage and approve the program for the annual review of scientific literature that documents the analysts' ongoing reading of scientific literature;
- Complete the FBI-sponsored auditor training within one year of appointment, if such training has not been previously obtained;
- Attend industry conferences as requested, including preparing and presenting technical talks and posters.
Required Knowledge, Skills & Abilities: Incumbent must meet the DNA analyst requirements specified in the FBI QAS regarding education and experience.
- Read, write, and communicate fluently in English.
- Possess exemplary reasoning and decision making skills, and possess the ability to lead other analysts in technical planning and execution.
- At least ten years of forensic DNA laboratory experience obtained at a laboratory where forensic DNA testing was conducted for the identification and evaluation of biological evidence in criminal matters.
Education/Experience: Should have at least 10 years of experience as a qualified DNA analyst. Must meet the DNA Technical Leader requirements specified in the FBI QAS regarding education and experience:
- A master's degree in a biology-, chemistry-, or forensic science-related area;
- Twelve semester hours or equivalent credit hours including a combination of graduate and undergraduate course work or classes (including at least one graduate-level course registering three or more semester or equivalent credit hours) covering the following subject areas:
- Molecular biology
- Statistics or population genetics;
- Completion of the FBI-sponsored auditor training.
Certificates and Licenses: Must be willing and eligible to obtain required State Licenses for Forensic DNA Analysts as specified by the Texas Forensic Science Commission.
Supervisory Responsibilities: Must be able to provide technical leadership for the analysts. Must be willing to mentor serologists, technicians, and associate/staff DNA analysts as needed to conduct casework in a team environment. Help create and foster a supportive team environment where staff work together for a common goal. May serve as a staff manager.
Working Conditions/ Equipment: Must work in a laboratory environment that requires wearing PPE and standing for extended periods of time. Required to enter data and write reports by typing on a computer. Will have potential contact with hazardous materials, including biological fluids and must be able to lift up to 20 pounds without assistance and 40 pounds with assistance to handle evidence.
The above job description is not intended to be an all-inclusive list of duties and standards of the position. Incumbents will follow any other instructions, and perform any other related duties, as assigned by their supervisor.
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