1. Where can I find information about current openings and apply for a Forensic Scientist position?
For information about current openings and the application to apply for a position, visit the ISP Civilian Opportunities webpage.
- A Baccalaureate degree in biology, chemistry, or forensic science.
- Must have successfully completed the following college courses: Genetics, Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, and Statistics.
- A Baccalaureate degree in a natural science or forensic science that includes a minimum of one semester of physics and analytical chemistry/instrumental methods and one year or equivalent in each of general chemistry and organic chemistry including lecture and associated laboratory classes.
- A Baccalaureate degree in a natural science or forensic science that includes a minimum of one semester of physics and one year or equivalent in each of general chemistry, organic chemistry, and analytical chemistry/instrumental methods including lecture and associated laboratory classes.
Firearms Examination, Latent Prints Comparisons and Questioned Documents Analysis
- A Baccalaureate degree with science courses.
3. What are the other general job requirements and essential functions for a Forensic Scientist?
- Basic knowledge of the theory and practical operation of a variety of scientific instrumentation and analytical techniques.
- Ability to communicate clearly in English both orally and in writing with scientific and non-scientific personnel.
- Must have the ability to differentiate colors as evidenced by medical certification.
- Must possess a valid Indiana State Driver’s License.
- Ability to travel by aircraft.
- Ability to attend training at alternate locations for extended periods of time.
4. What are the job duties and responsibilities of a Forensic Scientist?
- Conduct analysis on evidence (various depending on discipline):
- Serological tests to identify and analyze body fluids, tissues and various types of related matter.
- DNA analysis.
- Examination and determination of physical, microscopic, and compositional characteristics of physical evidence such as fibers, paint, glass, and ignitable liquids.
- Drug identification.
- Hand writing comparisons and questioned document examinations.
- Examination of firearms and firearms related evidence.
- Latent fingerprint development and comparisons.
- Communicate analytical procedures, methodology, and conclusions to various representatives of the criminal justice system including court testimony as an expert witness.
- Participate in a proficiency testing program.
- Assist in calibration and maintenance of laboratory instruments.
- Participate in training and continuing education programs.
- Preparation of laboratory case notes and written reports.
5. How does the training program work?
Each person selected for a Forensic Scientist position, once hired, will participate in an extensive laboratory training program. The program consists of lectures and practical laboratory exercises. The trainees must successfully complete written tests, practical examinations and a mock courtroom testimony exercise. The duration of the training period varies depending on the laboratory discipline. The training could last as long as two years. Forensic Scientists may have opportunities to receive training outside the laboratory from various agencies such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Forensic Scientists may also be able to attend conferences, such as American Academy of Forensic Sciences, held at various locations throughout the United States.
6. Will I have an opportunity to go to crime scenes if I become a Forensic Scientist?
While this is a requirement or expectation at some forensic laboratories, most Forensic Scientists at the Indiana State Police Laboratory Division do not respond to crime scenes. The Crime Scene Investigators respond to scenes and collect evidence.