Forensic Toxicologist or Trainee – Western Laboratory


Position CF343

Salary: $81,282 – $108,926

Location: Roanoke

The Virginia Department of Forensic Science Western Laboratory in Roanoke, VA is seeking a qualified Forensic Toxicologist to perform postmortem and human performance toxicology testing and provide testimony about the effects of alcohol and/or drugs on human performance and behavior. The candidate will independently analyze human fluids and tissues in postmortem, DUI/D and other criminal cases using chemical and instrumental methodologies, critically evaluate data, prepare Certificates of Analysis, and interpret and defend results in courts of law.  Frequent travel, occasionally overnight, is required and employee will provide own transportation as required.

Required Qualifications:

  • Ph.D. in toxicology, chemistry, biochemistry, pharmacology or closely related scientific field with either sufficient toxicology courses or experience in forensic toxicological analyses (Applications will be considered from individuals who will receive their Ph.D. within approximately 3 months of filing their application. Before employment can be considered, verification of the degree, or confirmation from the graduate program of expected completion of the degree, is required. The selected candidate must have been awarded the degree by the start of employment)
  • Employment experience in a forensic toxicology laboratory, to include successful completion of a documented training program and/or demonstration of competency
  • Independent knowledge of the theoretical principles and applications of instrumentation and methodologies used to analyze specimens submitted to the laboratory
  • Documented training and demonstrated knowledge to the effects of alcohol and drugs on human performance and behavior
  • Professional experience using basic laboratory equipment and analytical instrumentation (i.e. immunoassay, HPLC, GC/MS, GC/FID, GC/NPD and LC/MS/MS) to identify alcohol and/or drugs in biological samples
  • Courtroom testimony as an expert witness in forensic toxicology
  • Ability to work independently, set priorities, work efficiently, keep accurate records, accurately analyze samples, correctly interpret data and develop reasonable conclusions
  • Ability to communicate effectively, both verbally and in writing
  • Knowledge of laboratory safety and quality assurance/quality control procedures
  • A valid driver’s license and/or other means of reliable transportation

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Certification or eligibility for certification as a Fellow of the American Board of Forensic Toxicology
  • Experience in forensic related teaching/training

In the event a fully qualified Forensic Toxicologist candidate cannot be employed, a trainee position may be offered to the most suited candidate with a starting salary of $68,620. Upon successful completion of training, the trainee’s salary will be established within the salary range for a qualified Forensic Toxicologist. The training will last approximately 18 months, dependent upon the qualifications of the selected candidate. The trainee candidate must meet the educational requirements stated in the qualifications.  Preferred qualifications include experience working in a clinical/forensic toxicology laboratory.

Selected candidates must provide a DNA sample via a buccal swab (saliva sample), be fingerprinted, drug tested and pass a security background check

This position requires an 18-month probationary period.  If you are a current Commonwealth of Virginia employee, this position requires a new probationary period be served. 

Applicants must apply electronically using the State of Virginia’s Recruitment Management System (RMS) by April 10, 2020. The RMS can be accessed using the link: Contact Julie Smith at (804)588-4053 for assistance.