There are two open positions that are located in the Forensic Science Laboratory within the Office of Science and Technology, in Beltsville, Maryland and/or Atlanta, Georgia.
Serves as a subject matter expert in trace evidence such as ( i.e., fibers, hair, soil, glass, etc.), and maintains a knowledge of all areas of forensic science.Learn more about this agency
- Functioning as a senior level technical expert in providing advice and assistance to ATF officials, other federal agencies, state and local government organizations, private laboratories, and/or industry on forensic evidence, analytical methodology and instrumentation.
- Performing very difficult forensic examinations which include unprecedented cases with little technical guidance, using scientifically sound and applicable procedures.
- Interpreting and evaluating the results of analyses to determine their validity and scientific significance and to ensure that all relevant questions are answered.
- Training, coaching and guiding other chemists and technicians in their technical duties and evaluates the analytical work of peers and lower graded chemists or technicians. Setting priorities and guidelines for the collection, preservation and transmittal of scientific evidence.
- Providing investigative leads through observations and analysis of evidentiary material
Responsibilities will increase and assignments will become more complex as training and experience progresses.
Occasional travel - Up to 5 days per month.
Conditions of Employment
- Must be U.S. Citizen or National
- Suitable for Federal employment determined by background investigation.
- Must pass drug screening and subject to random drug test.
- May be required to serve a one year probationary period.
- Must sign a mobility agreement as a condition of employment
The qualification requirements listed below must be met by the closing date of the announcement.
MOBILITY PLAN: New employees hired pursuant to this vacancy announcement must sign a mobility agreement. The purpose of ATF’s mobility policy is to enhance career development and progression, and achieve mission and business effectiveness. To accomplish these objectives, the mobility plan will facilitate the movement of employees through special short-term assignments or permanent reassignments throughout the Bureau. Applicants who decline to sign a mobility agreement, as required, will be removed from the hiring process.
All Applicants must meet basic requirements:
A. Degree: physical sciences, life sciences, or engineering that included 30 semester hours in chemistry, supplemented by course work in mathematics through differential and integral calculus, and at least 6 semester hours of physics.
B. Combination of education and experience -- course work equivalent to a major as shown in A above, including at least 30 semester hours in chemistry, supplemented by mathematics through differential and integral calculus, and at least 6 semester hours of physics, plus appropriate experience or additional education.
Must provide a copy of transcripts to show basic qualifications are met.
To qualify for the GS-13: You must have at least one year of specialized experience at, or equivalent to, the GS-12 grade level. Specialized experience at this level includes the following: recognizing, collecting, preserving and analyzing trace evidence (e.g., hairs, fibers, paint, tape, etc.); understanding the significance of and accurately interpreting the results of trace evidence analysis; and communicating conclusions developed from the analysis of trace evidence both verbally (e.g., court testimony) and in writing (e.g., formal reports).
All academic degrees and coursework must be completed at a college or university that has obtained accreditation or pre-accreditation status from an accrediting body recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. For a list of schools that meet this criteria, see www.ed.gov.
Interagency Career Transition Assistance Plan (ICTAP). The ICTAP provides eligible displaced Federal competitive service employees 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, you may receive selection priority if: 1) this vacancy is within your ICTAP eligibility; 2) you apply under the instructions in this announcement; and 3) you are found well-qualified for this vacancy. To be well qualified, you must satisfy all qualification requirements for the vacant position and rate equivalent to the Silver (minimum score of 85) or better category using established category rating criteria. You must provide proof of eligibility with your application to receive selection priority. Such proof may include a copy of your written notification of ICTAP eligibility or a copy of your separation personnel action form. Additional information about ICTAP eligibility is at: http://www.opm.gov/ctap/index.asp.
The Career Transition Assistance Plan (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 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 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, you must satisfy all qualification requirements for the vacant position and rate equivalent to the Silver (minimum score of 85) or better category using established category rating criteria. You must provide a copy of your written notification of CTAP eligibility with your application. Additional information about CTAP eligibility is at: http://www.opm.gov/ctap/index.asp.
Veteran Preference: If you are entitled to veteran preference, you should indicate the type of veteran preference you are claiming on your résumé.
In order to verify your veteran preference entitlement, please submit a copy of the Member Copy 4 of your DD-214 (Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty); official statement of service from your command if you are currently on active duty; or other official documentation (e.g., documentation of receipt of a campaign badge or expeditionary medal) that shows your military service was performed under honorable conditions.
In addition, if you are a disabled veteran, a Purple Heart recipient, or widow/widower of a veteran, the spouse of a disabled veteran or the natural mother of a disabled or deceased veteran, you must submit the October 2013 Revised Standard Form (SF) 15, “Application for 10-Point Veteran Preference,” and the other required documentation identified on the reverse side of the SF-15 to support your preference claim.
Although veteran preference points are not assigned under the category rating procedures described under “How You Will Be Evaluated,” veteran preference eligibles are listed ahead of non-veterans within each category for which they are qualified.
Notice to Prospective Employees of Ethical Obligations from ATF’s Human Resources Operations Division. Please click on the following link to read important information. DOJ Notice to Prospective Employees of Ethical Obligations
Selective Service: If you are a male applicant born after December 31, 1959, you must certify that you have registered with the Selective Service System, or are exempt from having to do so under the Selective Service Law. See www.sss.gov.
EEO Statement: The United States Government does not discriminate in employment on the basis of race, religion, color, sex (including pregnancy, gender identity, and sexual orientation), parental status, national origin, age, disability (physical and mental), family medical history or genetic information, political affiliation, military service, retaliation, or other non-merit based factors.
Reasonable Accommodation Statement: Federal agencies must provide reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities where appropriate. Applicants requiring reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process should contact the hiring agency directly. Determinations on requests for reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis.
“Federal Regulations state no ATF employee, his/her spouse, or his/her minor child shall have, directly or indirectly, any financial interest, including compensated employment, stock, or proprietary interest in the alcohol, tobacco, firearms or explosives industries. You should be aware that you may be asked to relinquish any ownership of or interests in the alcohol, tobacco, firearms or explosives industries before a determination can be made whether access to ATF information, information technology systems, and/or facilities can be authorized.”
How You Will Be Evaluated
You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.
Your application will be evaluated and rated under ATF’s Category Rating and Selection Procedures. Your resume and supporting documentation will be used to determine whether you meet the job qualifications listed on this announcement. If you are basically qualified for this job, your resume and supporting documentation will be compared to your responses on the online assessment questionnaire. (If you rate yourself higher than is supported by your application materials, your responses may be adjusted and/or you may be excluded from consideration for this job.) Your application will then be placed in one of three categories:
Gold - applicants possessing a background that demonstrates a superior level of possession of all evaluation criteria, Silver - applicants possessing a background that demonstrates a satisfactory level of possession of the evaluation criteria, or Bronze - applicants possessing the specialized experience.
Names of all candidates in the Gold category will be sent to the hiring official for employment consideration. Candidates within the Gold category who are eligible for veteran preference will receive selection priority over non-veteran preference eligibles.
The assessment questionnaire is designed to measure your ability in the following competencies:
- Knowledge of the concepts, principles, and theories of the composition, structure, and properties of substances, and of the chemical processes and transformations, including uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.
- Selects and understands procedures, machines, or tools that will produce the desired results; identifies or solves problems in machines, computers, or other technologies as they are related to performing tasks.
- Is thorough when performing work and conscientious about attending to detail.
- Ability to communicate clearly, concisely, and with technical accuracy, both orally and in writing, as well as work in a professional manner with peers and management.
- Knowledge of the investigative procedures for effective collection, preservation and packaging of evidence, as well as other sciences and forensic laboratory capabilities.
- Accurately matches or detects differences among colors, including shades of color and brightness.
To preview questions please click here.
Background checks and security clearance
Drug test required
(1) Resume showing relevant experience (cover letter optional)
(2) Veterans' preference documentation (DD-214, Member Copy 4, Revised October 2013 SF-15) https://www.opm.gov/forms/pdf_fill/sf15.pdf and VA letter, if applicable.
Note: The Revised October 2013 SF-15 is the latest copy and all others are not useable.
(3) CTAP/ICTAP documentation, if applicable.
(4) An unofficial college transcript (Note: If you are selected for this position, official transcript(s) will be required prior to your first day.)
It is your responsibility to ensure all documents are received on time and the materials are legible. If applying on-line poses a hardship to any applicant, please contact us at the telephone number listed on this announcement. Applicants MUST CONTACT US PRIOR TO THE CLOSING DATE to speak to someone who can provide assistance for on-line submission. Requests for extensions will not be granted. Paper applications submitted without prior approval from the agency point of contact may be handled as incomplete. IMPORTANT INFORMATION: If your contact information changes after the closing date of this vacancy announcement, update your profile information in MYUSAJOBS as well as contact the Human Resources Specialist listed on this vacancy announcement to ensure you can be contacted throughout the selection process.
Prior to selection, the candidate may be required to provide an original copy of any supporting/ validating documentation as well as other documentation to verify eligibility. All required materials must be uploaded using the supporting documentation instructions described in the announcement.
Failure to provide the required documentation by the closing date of this announcement will result in elimination of further consideration for this position.
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.
A career with the U.S. Government provides employees with a comprehensive benefits package. As a federal employee, you and your family will have access to a range of benefits that are designed to make your federal career very rewarding. Learn more about federal benefits.
Eligibility for benefits depends on the type of position you hold and whether your position is full-time, part-time, or intermittent. Contact the hiring agency for more information on the specific benefits offered.
How to Apply
This job is filled through a 3-step on-line application process.
STEP ONE - (Online Resume- USAJOBS) You must create a user account and at least one Federal resume at USAJOBS. Information you provide in USAJOBS is general information completed by all applicants. The information you provide and your Federal resume will become part of your application and will automatically be transferred to ATF’s Seeker when you apply online. If you have an existing USAJOBS account, simply login and select the resume you wish to include with your application package for this announcement.
STEP TWO - (Vacancy Specific Questions USAJobs) In USAJobs, you will answer vacancy specific questions necessary to evaluate your qualifications for the job to which you are applying. When completed, the information you provided at USAJOBS and the answers to the USAJob questions will become your application package.
STEP THREE - (Supporting Documentation) You may upload supporting documentation in one of two ways: (l) Once you finish answering the questions in the job announcement, you will be prompted to upload your document(s) to your application package. You will be given the choice to either upload the document as part of the application process, or you can select a document that you've already loaded on USAJOBS, or simply fax supporting documentation, which will provide you the necessary cover sheets for each of your documents so that they will be correctly submitted to the appropriate vacancy announcement. The fax number will be available on the cover sheet. (2) You can upload a document to an existing application by logging into your USAJOBS account profile. Click on "My Applications" and search for the vacancy. Once you have located the vacancy, click on the vacancy and select "Apply Online". Move through your existing application to the Documents page and select "Upload" in order to add a document to your application. Be certain to review your complete application for confirmation that the document uploaded and click on "Finished" to be returned to USAJOBS. Your complete online application and any required supplemental documentation (e.g. DD-214, Revised October 2013 SF-15, VA letter, etc) must be received by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time (ET) on the closing date of this announcement.
Agency contact information
AddressBureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives
99 New York Ave NW
Washington, District of Columbia 20226
You can check the status of your application anytime by accessing the USAJOBS online application system at http://www.usajobs.gov. You will need to provide your USAJOBS User ID and Password to access the Track your Online Job Application feature. You may also click on the link provided to access additional information on Career Connector. All applicants will be notified at four (4) stages in the hiring process:
(1) upon receipt of your application;
(2) after your qualifications have been assessed;
(3) whether or not you've been referred to the Selecting Official; and
(4) whether or not you've been selected for the position.
The hiring manager makes a selection from among applicants in the Gold category. If your name is sent to the hiring manager, you may be invited for an interview.
After making a tentative job offer, we will conduct a suitability/security background investigation. We expect to make a final job offer to selectee(s) upon favorable completion of the background.
Fair & Transparent
The Federal hiring process is setup to be fair and transparent. Please read the following guidance.
Equal Employment Opportunity Policy
The United States Government does not discriminate in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy and gender identity), national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, genetic information, age, membership in an employee organization, retaliation, parental status, military service, or other non-merit factor.
Reasonable Accommodation Policy
Federal agencies must provide reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities where appropriate. Applicants requiring reasonable accommodation for any part of the application process should follow the instructions in the job opportunity announcement. For any part of the remaining hiring process, applicants should contact the hiring agency directly. Determinations on requests for reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis.
A reasonable accommodation is any change to a job, the work environment, or the way things are usually done that enables an individual with a disability to apply for a job, perform job duties or receive equal access to job benefits.
Under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, federal agencies must provide reasonable accommodations when:
- An applicant with a disability needs an accommodation to have an equal opportunity to apply for a job.
- An employee with a disability needs an accommodation to perform the essential job duties or to gain access to the workplace.
- An employee with a disability needs an accommodation to receive equal access to benefits, such as details, training, and office-sponsored events.
You can request a reasonable accommodation at any time during the application or hiring process or while on the job. Requests are considered on a case-by-case basis.
Legal and regulatory guidance
This job originated on www.usajobs.gov. For the full announcement and to apply, visit www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/532590300. Only resumes submitted according to the instructions on the job announcement listed at www.usajobs.gov will be considered.