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ISP Forensic Scientist 1 - Chemistry (fire evidence/controlled substance) Grant Funded Position

SPECIAL NOTIFICATION: This position is exempt from classified state service and the rules of the Division of Human Resources and the Idaho Personnel Commission.

The Idaho State Police (ISP) Forensic Scientist 1 (FS1) Chemistry (controlled substance/fire evidence) is an entry-level position and an approved underfill for the Forensic Scientist 2 (FS2) classification which will work under the direct supervision of a more experienced Forensic Scientist. Upon completion of the specified specialized discipline training program, approval to perform independent analysis and two (2) years of experience, incumbents may be certified as a Forensic Scientist 2 and pay may be adjusted. Incumbents are expected to meet requirements and successfully undergo routine proficiency testing and certification specific to their discipline. Incumbents routinely handle toxic/carcinogenic chemicals and biological hazards. Circumstances may require physical exertion and the ability to lift heavy objects. They must pass a rigorous physical examination in order to participate in clandestine laboratory investigations. This may include periodic biological and medical testing. 

This is a grant funded position through the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA). This grant funding is anticipated for one year. If a state funded position becomes allocated, candidates will need to apply and compete through the State of Idaho recruitment process.

In addition to the posted hourly rate on this job announcement, you may be provided a stipend of $5.75 per hour for you to obtain benefits as this position provides no benefits.

All Idaho State Police Forensic Laboratories are accredited to the ISO 17025 Standard. State police Forensic Laboratories serve state, local, and federal law enforcement agencies; state and county prosecutors; and public defenders. 

Note: Preference will be given to experienced forensic scientists who meet the minimum qualifications and *qualifying work experience of the Chemistry (controlled substance/fire evidence) FS2. A candidate meeting at the higher level could be certified to a FS2 position upon completion of a qualifying examination and approved by ISP. 

*Qualifying work experience for the ISP Forensic Scientist 2 Chemistry (controlled substance/fire evidence) position includes two (2) years of:
  • Working independently, planning, managing, and prioritizing caseloads or individual characteristic database samples (as applicable), successfully engaging in independent research, evaluation, and validation activities     
  • Performing and documenting a range of examinations regarding forensic evidence  
  • Providing training and consultation services to professional criminal justice and scientific audiences    
  • Testifying as an expert regarding the forensic examinations performed in the specified discipline   
Applicant will be required to obtain specialty certification by the American Board of Criminalistics in Drug Analysis or Fire Debris and Explosives within three (3) years of being selected for or promoted to a Forensic Scientist 2 position.

You must attach a copy of your official transcripts to this online application by the closing date. Applications without the supporting transcripts will not be accepted.

PLEASE NOTE: The successful applicant will be required to complete a background investigation and polygraph examination, which includes drug screening. Please review the ISP Drug Policy and ISP Grooming and Appearance Standards.

Learn more about a career of a lifetime with the Idaho State Police at and how the State of Idaho can be your forever home at

Example of Duties
Scientific Analyses
  • Employ various methods of scientific analysis to make determinations regarding samples submitted as evidence in criminal cases or for individual characteristic database entry
  • Assume responsibility for and maintain the integrity of evidence
  • Interpret scientific data and ensure validity
  • Author and issue laboratory reports
  • Perform technical review and/or technical verification or others work
  • Maintain established standards of laboratory cleanliness, safety, and efficiency
  • Perform routine maintenance of laboratory instruments and equipment
  • Maintain specific levels of proficiency and certification in assigned discipline(s)
  • Demonstrate proficiency through routine proficiency testing
  • May optionally respond to crime scenes, clandestine laboratories, and autopsies to provide assistance, knowledge and expertise, this may include assistance with recognizing, documenting, and collecting evidence/samples for analysis. If approved for crime scene or clandestine laboratory response must complete the specialized training program associated with approval to respond.
  • Work closely with advanced forensic scientists to complete the discipline specific specialized training program
  • Acquire new skills and improve techniques, perform scientific analysis per the current laboratory protocol, gain greater knowledge of scientific instrumentation
Communication/courtroom testimony
  • Provide detailed explanations/testimony regarding the methods of analysis performed and communicate and support the results of analysis
  • Demonstrate concepts and teach cutting-edge technology in courtroom settings
  • Educate officers, attorneys, and investigators
  • Instruct in the proper techniques and procedures used to collect, maintain, and submit evidence
Administrative duties
  • Respond to supervisors, technical leaders and headquarters staff for review and planning of programs, policies, manuals, and quality audits
  • Provide statistical information
  • Create goals, objectives, and employee development plan
Chemistry (controlled substance/fire evidence)
  • Performs screening and confirmation of drug samples and/or fire evidence utilizing chemical, microscopic and instrumental analyses.
  • Performs instrumental analysis and interpretation for controlled substances
  • Authors reports on controlled substance and/or fire debris analyses
  • Performs technical review of controlled substance and/or fire debris reports 
  • Testifies in court about controlled substance and/or fire debris analysis

Depending on workload and the needs of the laboratory, the candidate selected for this position may be required to train in and perform independent casework in additional chemistry or toxicology related work. This may additionally require obtaining and maintaining the required certification for these disciplines. 

Minimum Qualifications
A Forensic Scientist 1 must hold a baccalaureate, masters, or doctoral degree in a physical or biological science from an accredited U.S. or Canadian institution. Acceptable institutions are those accredited by or those which have pertinent educational programs accredited by commissions or agencies recognized by the U.S. Office of Education. Applicants with education obtained at a foreign institution must, at their expense, have credentials evaluated by Educational Credential Evaluators, Inc., Milwaukee, WI; International Education Research Foundation, Inc., Culver City, CA; or World Education Services, Inc., New York, NY. Reports must be sent directly to ISP Human Resources by the evaluating organization.
  • The education of each employee shall be verified prior to being hired by Forensic Services
  •  A copy of the college transcript (including specific required coursework) and proof of graduation for all personnel with education requirements listed must be provided to ISPFS. Successful completion of a course means a college or university defined passing grade
  • Must have successfully completed a minimum of seventeen (17) semester (or 26 quarter) units of college level chemistry course work. Chemistry coursework must include laboratory and cover general chemistry, organic chemistry and quantitative/instrumental analysis (coursework hours as required/stipulated by the current ISPFS Quality Manual)        

Extra Credit:
  • Bachelor of Science or an advanced degree in Chemistry 
  • Experience working as a scientist in a professional laboratory environment
  • Experience performing independent study/research activities
  • Work study or internship experience in a forensic laboratory
  • Certification with the ABC, ABFT, AFTE or IAI

Supplemental Information
Please make sure your resume and personal information contained in your profile supports your answers to the questions.

Hiring is done without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age or disability. If you need special accommodations to satisfy testing requirements, please contact the Division of Human Resources at (208) 334-2263.