Forensic Toxicologist & Method Development Specialist (2456)

  • Full-time
  • Job Code and Title: 2456-Forensic Toxicologist
  • Fill Type: Temporary Exempt

Company Description

The San Francisco Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (OCME) is currently recruiting a Class 2456 Forensic Toxicologist and Method Development Specialist to be located within the OCME’s Forensic Laboratory Division. The Office moved to a $65M state-of-the-art facility in November 2017. The 52,000 sq. ft. facility includes a fully ABFT-accredited laboratory with over $5M invested in new technologies including Sciex QTOF X500R, Sciex 6500+ QTrap and Hamilton Robotics Microlab VANTAGE Liquid Handling System. In addition to new instrumentation, software platforms have been acquired and implemented to improve quality assurance and facilitate efficiency for high throughput analyses.

Appointment Type: Permanent Exempt (PEX), this position is excluded by the Charter from the competitive Civil Service examination process and shall serve at the discretion of the Appointing Officer.

Job Description

Working in the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner under the supervision of the Forensic Toxicologist Supervisor and the direction of the Chief Forensic Toxicologist and Director of the Forensic Laboratory Division, and following published method development and ANSI/ASB validation protocols, the Method Development Specialist utilizes existing and develops new extraction techniques to employ on current instrumentation. Techniques for this project are to develop and validate extraction automation using a new Liquid Handling System for inclusion on comprehensive LC‐MS/MS and LC-QTOF/MS analyses, for the accurate and timely detection and quantification of drugs and poisons in human fluids in medico‐legal cases that come under the jurisdiction of the Division. The individual also performs complex and difficult forensic analyses; prepares case reports; records findings; may interpret data and testify in courtroom proceedings; and performs related duties as required.

The Forensic Toxicologist & Method Development Specialist will ideally have experience in the use of automated extracted techniques in addition to knowledge of method development and validation of forensic toxicology techniques. The use of Analyst and Multiquant software is describable. The position aims to deliver goals consistent with the grant-funded project Streamlined DUID Forensic Toxicology Services for San Francisco.

NOTE: Nature of duties may require sustained physical effort involving manual skill and dexterity, physical ability to lift dead bodies and remove them from the scene of death, and 24-hour “on call” availability to respond to scenes of sudden death or injuries. Work environments may entail exposure to physical, chemical, and/or biological health hazards; unpleasant odors or conditions; frequent exposure to sudden, unexpected, and sometimes violent deaths; and exposure to disagreeable elements or situations inherent in this specialized field.


1. Possession of a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university in a life science or physical science with 16 semester hours in general and organic chemistry courses, a statistics course, and two (2) analytical and/or interpretive courses in forensic toxicology, pharmacology and chemistry; AND

2. Possession of a valid California Driver License; AND

3. Possession of or eligibility for certification by the State of California Department of Public Health as a Title 17 Forensic Alcohol Analyst within five (5) years of hire.

Special Requirements

Nature of duties may require sustained physical effort involving manual skill, dexterity, hand/eye coordination, and the ability to lift and carry equipment and supplies up to 50 lbs. Requires close mental attention and concentration for long periods when conducting various tests and the technical skill and ability to make accurate observations and determinations and prepare related reports of findings. Work environment may entail exposure to biohazards and potentially toxic chemicals, specimens from infectious and decomposed cases and/or persons who have died of drug or chemical poisoning; unpleasant odors or conditions; and exposure to disagreeable elements or situations inherent in this specialized field. This work requires compliance with department policies pertaining to blood borne pathogen exposure prevention, biohazard exposure prevention, toxic chemical exposure prevention, evidence handling and security requirements on evidence, standards and information.

Candidates must pass and possess the following:

  • Employment, Character and Background Investigation
  • Manual skill, dexterity, hand/eye coordination
  • Physical ability to lift 50 pounds

Important: Your application MUST include a resume.  To upload these item(s), please attach using the "additional attachments" function.

Verification: Applicants may be required to submit verification of qualifying education and experience at any point in the application and/or departmental selection process. Written verification (proof) of qualifying experience must verify that the applicant meets the minimum qualifications stated on the announcement. Written verification must be submitted on employer’s official letterhead, specifying name of employee, dates of employment, types of employment (part-time/full-time), job title(s), description of duties performed, and the verification must be signed by the employer. City employees will receive credit for the duties of the class to which they are appointed. Credit for experience obtained outside of the employee’s class will be allowed only if recorded in accordance with the provisions of the Civil Service Commission Rules. Experience claimed in self-employment must be supported by documents verifying income, earnings, business license and experience comparable to the minimum qualifications of the position. Copies of income tax papers or other documents listing occupations and total earnings must be submitted. If education verification is required, information on how to verify education requirements, including verifying foreign education credits or degree equivalency, can be found at

Note: Falsifying one’s education, training, or work experience or attempted deception on the application may result in disqualification for this and future job opportunities with the City and County of San Francisco. 

Additional Information

Compensation:  $113,646 - $138,138 annually

Applicants are encouraged to apply immediately as this recruitment may close at any time, but not before February 1, 2022.

Late or incomplete submissions will not be considered. Mailed, hand delivered or faxed documents/applications will not be accepted.

In line with the Official Public Health Order to slow the spread of COVID-19, “shelter-in-place” has been issued for all San Francisco residents that is expected to be in effect until further notice. As a result, Department of Human Resources (DHR)’s office (located at 1 South Van Ness Avenue, 4th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94103) is currently closed to the general public. If you have any questions, please feel free to email the Human Resources Analyst listed on this announcement.

Applications will be screened for relevant qualifying experience. Additional screening mechanisms may be implemented in order to determine candidates’ qualifications. Only those applicants who most closely meet the needs of the Agency will be invited to participate in the selection process. Applicants meeting the minimum qualifications are not guaranteed advancement to the interview. Qualified applicants with disabilities requiring reasonable accommodation in the selection process must contact the Agency by phone at (415) 554-6000 or, if hearing impaired at (415) 554-6015 (TTY).

CONDITION OF EMPLOYMENT:  All City and County of San Francisco employees are required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 as a condition of employment.  For details on how it is applicable to your employment, please click here.

The City and County of San Francisco encourages women, minorities and persons with disabilities to apply. Applicants will be considered regardless of their sex, race, age, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition (associated with cancer, a history of cancer, or genetic characteristics), HIV/AIDS status, genetic information, marital status, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, gender expression, military and veteran status, or other protected category under the law.

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