Physical Scientist

Washington, D.C
Sep 22, 2020
Sep 24, 2020
Full Time


This position is located in the U.S. Department of Justice (USDOJ), Office of Justice Programs (OJP), National Institute of Justice (NIJ), Office of Investigative & Forensic Sciences (OIFS). NIJ is in search of a Physical Scientist who will plan, test, evaluate, manage, and report on issues related to forensic science research portfolios and programs, in order to award grants, educate the public, and advance DOJ's research mission.

Learn more about this agency


(The duties described reflect the full performance level of this position)

Forensic Science Program and Project Development
Develops, conducts, and manages forensic science research and development program and technology transition activities associated with physical science applications in the forensic sciences including: biology/DNA, controlled substances, toxicology, anthropology, pathology, medicolegal death investigation, impression and pattern evidence, trace evidence, and digital evidence. Activities include planning and designing mission-specific projects and overseeing short- and long-term goals; preparing and overseeing solicitations for new research and technology development; and coordinating mission goals with various stakeholders across federal, state, local, and/or non-governmental organizations engaged in advancing science and technology in fields related to law enforcement and/or criminal justice.

Forensic Science Research and Analysis
Proposes and performs collaborative intra- and extramural forensic science research activities as they relate to law enforcement and criminal justice communities and activities. Identifies promising areas of research, requiring creativity and understanding of complex technical and operational methods and techniques, in accordance with functional requirements developed from NIJ. Formulates, plans, and recommends new forensic science research projects and programs that will address existing or new law enforcement and other criminal justice operational requirements.

Reporting and Presenting Results
Prepares independent or cooperative papers, briefs, and reports. Participates in national scientific conferences, symposia, and interdisciplinary technical/programmatic meetings to present, discuss, and disseminates NIJ forensic research findings, activities, operations, and initiatives.

Performs other duties as assigned.

Travel Required

Occasional travel - Travel may be required up to 20%.

Supervisory status

Promotion Potential


Conditions of Employment

  • U.S. Citizenship required.
  • Subject to background/suitability investigation/determination.
  • Federal payments are required to be made by Direct Deposit.
  • Requires registration for the Selective Service. Visit
  • Pre-employment drug testing required.
  • 1-year probationary period may be required.

Performs other duties as assigned.


A. Successful completion of a full four-year course of study in an accredited college or university leading to a bachelor's degree or higher degree that included a major field of study in physical science, engineering, or mathematics that included 24 semester/36 quarter hours in physical science and/or related engineering science such as mechanics, dynamics, properties of materials, and electronics.
B. Combination of education and experience----education equivalent to one of the majors shown in A above that included at least 24 semester/36 quarter hours in physical science and/or related engineering science, plus appropriate experience or additional education.

In addition to meeting the basic entry qualification requirements, applicants must have had one (1) year of specialized experience equivalent to at least GS-12 level in the federal sector. Specialized experience is experience which is in or related to the line of work of the position to be filled and which has equipped the applicant with the specific knowledge, skills, and abilities to successfully perform the duties of the position.

Examples of specialized experience for this position include:
- Designing, implementing, and evaluating research program or project activities involving biology, chemistry, physics, or other forensic science related discipline, and preparing scientific technical reports for publication;
- Providing technical input on programmatic, technical, and budgetary aspects of biology, chemistry, physics, or other forensic science research and development programs/projects, including project needs, scopes of work, and levels of effort, available resources, and major constraints and recommended human and financial resources needed to meet program objectives; and
- Managing biology, chemistry, physics, or other forensic science related research portfolios, including developing appropriate strategies, identifying and resolving problems, and facilitating project implementation.

Additional information on the qualification requirements is outlined in the OPM Qualification Standards Handbook of General Schedule Positions and is available at OPM's website:
All qualification requirements must be met by the closing date of this announcement.

Click here to see the full Qualifications Statement.


Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in order for it to be credited towards qualifications (particularly positions with a positive education requirement.) Therefore, applicants must report only attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. Applicants can verify accreditation at the following website: All education claimed by applicants will be verified by the appointing agency accordingly.

Additional information

This position is included in the bargaining unit.

This vacancy announcement may be used to fill additional vacancies.

For Direct Hire applicants: Your resume and supporting documentation will be used to determine whether you meet the job qualifications listed on this announcement. Your resume must contain sufficiently detailed information upon which to make a qualification determination. Qualified candidates will be considered in accordance with the Office of Personnel Management Direct Hire guidelines. Veterans' Preference does not apply to direct hire recruitment procedures.

Interagency Career Transition Assistance Plan (ICTAP)/Career Transition Assistance Plan (CTAP): The ICTAP provides eligible displaced Federal competitive service employees with selection priority over other candidates for competitive service vacancies. The CTAP provides eligible surplus and displaced competitive service employees in the Department of Justice with selection priority over other candidates for competitive service vacancies. If your agency has notified you in writing that you are a displaced employee eligible for ICTAP consideration, or if your Department of Justice component has notified you in writing that you are a surplus or displaced employee eligible for CTAP consideration, you may receive selection priority if: 1) this vacancy is within your ICTAP/CTAP eligibility; 2) you apply under the instructions in this announcement; and 3) you are found well-qualified for this vacancy. To be well-qualified, applicants must possess experience that exceeds the minimum qualifications of the position including all selective factors if applicable, and must be proficient in most of the requirements of the job. Information about ICTAP and CTAP eligibility is on OPM's Career Transition Resources website, which can be found at

This position may be eligible for telework per agency policy.

Relocation expenses may be authorized.

Recruitment incentives may be authorized.


How You Will Be Evaluated

You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.

You will be rated based on your qualifications for this position as evidenced by the education, experience and training you report relative to this position which shows that you possess the knowledges, skills and abilities required. Paid or unpaid experience will be considered.

Background checks and security clearance

Security clearance
Not Required

Drug test required

Required Documents


1. Resume and/or work history profile,
2. Responses to the online questionnaire, and
3. Unofficial Transcripts (official transcripts required upon selection).

Note: Incomplete applications will not be considered.

If you are relying on your education to meet qualification requirements:

Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in order for it to be credited towards qualifications. Therefore, provide only the attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education .

Failure to provide all of the required information as stated in this vacancy announcement may result in an ineligible rating or may affect the overall rating.

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