The criminal justice system greatly benefits from the application of forensic science. It requires a solid foundation in the natural sciences and the development of practical abilities in applying these disciplines to a particular field because it is an applied science. A Scientific Assistant must be able to combine knowledge and abilities while examining, analyzing, interpreting, reporting, and supporting physical evidence with testimony. These requirements ought to be met, and the student’s knowledge, abilities, and skills in these areas ought to be strengthened through a forensic science program that is properly developed. A person can become ready for a job in forensic science by taking academic courses and getting hands-on experience.
The majority of the country’s practicing scientific assistant work in crime labs connected to law enforcement or other governmental organizations. Scientific Assistants hold a variety of undergraduate science degrees when they enter the field. They might later pursue graduate degrees. A potential forensic science examiner’s career suitability will depend on a variety of personal, professional, and academic factors.
Recruitment Process for Scientific Assistant
Private labs have their selection procedures. Written and practical exams, phone interviews, in-person meetings, and panel interviews are all potential components of the employment process. New hires may have a probationary term or be recruited temporarily. Offers of temporary employment might be withdrawn before or after the employee reports for duty.
All forensic science laboratories, whether they are old or new, must be set up and run in a way that satisfies accreditation standards while putting forth effort in their permanent, temporary, or portable facilities.
In the US, a local police department, a state law enforcement agency, or a federal agency is often in charge of the crime laboratory. Additionally, crime research labs are run by prosecutors, public defenders, prosecutors, and university divisions. However, the majority of the forensic science laboratories in India are currently directly under the control of the central or state Ministries of Home Affairs.
Forensic science laboratories in India are accredited based on recommendations from technical committees and review panels by the Board for National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL). The foundation of the NABL system is ISO/IEC 17011 for Certification Bodies. The following are the specific guidelines and requirements that have been established following ISO/IEC 17025:2005 to assess a laboratory’s proficiency in testing and calibration: Due to the interdisciplinary character of the work done in forensic science laboratories, it was necessary to develop and supplement the General Criteria for Laboratory Accreditation to accredit forensic science laboratories.
Currently, a Technical Board specifically established for the purpose has developed Specific Criteria for the Certification of Forensic Science Laboratories. It adds to ISO/IEC 17025:2005 and offers detailed instructions for assessors and laboratories preparing for the accreditation of forensic science laboratories. Defining the goal and character of the program helps to achieve the following goals:
- The quality of laboratory services provided to the criminal justice system show improvement.
- To progress and preserve standards that can be used by a laboratory to evaluate its level of presentation and to support its operations.
- To deliver a self-governing, neutral and unprejudiced system by which laboratories can be promoted through an entire functioning review.
- To propose to the universal civic and operators of the research laboratory amenities a means of recognizing those laboratories which have verified so that they meet the conventional standards
The Government of India created the Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL). The main purpose of establishing the laboratory was to give the Indian Ministry of Home Affairs a separate division to handle the nation’s forensic needs. Under the Directorate of Forensic Science (DFS) there are 6 Labs. CFSL Hyderabad (famous for cyber), Pune, Chandigarh, Kolkata, bhopal and Kamrup (older guwahati). And new Delhi is the headquarter.
According to their interests, candidates can apply for the position of Scientific Assistant in the Central Forensic Science Laboratory. In support of research and instruction, a Scientific Officer applies specialist scientific knowledge and expertise either independently, as a service for many individuals, or within a particular research group.
The Central Forensic Science Laboratory’s Scientific Assistant positions have a 56-year-old upper age limit. Research scientists with advanced degrees and years of expertise, scientific officials conduct fruitful independent research. The executive administrators of an organization and the scientists and technicians who make up a research division are typically represented by scientific officers, sometimes known as natural science managers, although they may also work with collaborative groups.
Candidates with experience will be given preference over those without, and a bachelor’s degree in science from any accredited institution or university is required to apply for the specified position. A solid foundation in the natural sciences is required for a forensic assistant. For instance, new hires in forensic science laboratories who analyze drugs, DNA, traces, and toxicological evidence often hold degrees in chemistry, biochemistry, biology, or forensic science from authorized institutions.
Although historically it may not have been necessary for a Scientific Assistant to hold a degree, the trend in the field is to tighten the academic requirements for these disciplines and demand a baccalaureate degree, preferably in a science, for those involved in the recognition and comparison of patterns (such as latent prints, firearms, and questioned documents). The proper committees are actively defining and will publish the academic requirements for some of the developing disciplines, such as digital evidence.
Copies of diplomas and formal academic transcripts are generally required as proof of academic qualification. Awards, publications, internships, and student activities may be used to differentiate applicants.
Both a written exam and an interview with the selection committee are required for the position of Scientific Assistant in the Central or State Forensic Science Laboratory.
Nowadays DFS and NFSU collaborate conducting nationwide FACT and FACT plus exams to hire manpower for contractual basis employees to various FSLs and CFSLs So far. SSC and UPSC also give notifications for various posts for regular-based employment from time to time.
Responsibilities of Scientific Assistant
- Participate in analytical tasks with the Scientific Officer/Assistant Director.
- As you examine the case exhibits, help with preparatory, presumptive, chemical, physical, and instrumental analyses as well as documentation.
- Adopt analytical tools with the greatest efficiency.
- Send in your performance reports, and help the division heads with their periodic reporting.
- Independently analyses case exhibits while working under the direction of a scientific officer or assistant director.
- Whenever necessary, assist the Scientific Officers while they are on the site of the crime with their fieldwork.
- Assist in preserving the files relevant to the cases & also any other registries required.
- Under the direction of the relevant division heads and Scientific Officers, examines the cases.
- Carry out any other work given by the Senior Officers.
Since forensic science is a component of the criminal justice system, scientific objectivity is crucial as well as honesty and integrity on a personal level. Background checks akin to those necessary for law enforcement officials are likely to be a requirement of employment, thus those interested in professions in this field should be aware of this.
Professional Skills For Scientific Assistant
A variety of skills are essential to an individual’s effectiveness as a forensic science professional, including:
- Critical thinking (quantitative reasoning and problem solving).
- Decision making
- Good laboratory practices
- Observation and attention to detail
- Computer proficiency
- Interpersonal skills
- Public speaking
- Oral and written communication
- Time management
- Prioritization of tasks
For some of these skills, systematic tools are available that may be used to measure skill or proficiency at or after the time of hire.
For less than a year of experience, the average regional forensic science laboratory scientific assistant salary in India is 1.6 Lakhs. The wage range for a scientific assistant at the Regional Forensic Science Laboratory in India is between 0.2 and 3.0 lakhs in India. Salary projections are based on 6 salaries submitted by various Regional Forensic Science Laboratory Indian workers.
According to the greater level of education and years of experience needed to hold these posts, scientific officers make fairly high pay. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) does not specifically provide compensation data for scientific assistants, but it does provide income data for occupations that are related to science. Natural science managers had an average yearly salary of $145,450 in 2019, according to the BLS. According to data from the same year, people who worked directly in scientific research and development made an average salary of $176,660, while those employed by the federal government made an average salary of $121,620.
According to the BLS, the employment of managers in the natural sciences was expected to increase by 5% between 2019 and 2029. Due in part to a rise in the outsourcing of scientific work to specialized organizations, this growth is thought to be a little quicker than average. According to BLS data, the states with the highest concentrations of natural science managers in employment in 2019 were Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Maryland, North Carolina, and Texas.
A scientific officer, often known as a manager of natural sciences, is a skilled researcher who frequently oversees R&D in their area of expertise. They frequently hold an advanced degree and carry out numerous administrative and managerial tasks. Over the 2019–2029 decade, employment prospects for managers in the natural sciences are anticipated to grow somewhat faster than average.