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Tips for hiring a quality DNA audit team

We know securing a quality QAS audit is critical for your DNA work, now and into the future. When hiring an audit team, here are our top recommendations to ensure the work is done properly:

Plan ahead: Initiate the procurement process early enough to leave at least two months of planning time between the purchase order or contract and the date of the audit. This allows time for team selection, laboratory review of the auditors’ qualifications, arrangements for reasonably priced airfare, and to compile and send materials for audit team review at least two weeks prior to arrival.

Communicate: Let the auditing body know up front if the audit will be grant funded so Federal requirements/restrictions can be taken into account (GSA rates, residency restrictions, etc.).

Consider providing validation summaries in advance: The validation landscape has changed significantly and validation studies vary quite a bit in size, scope, and complexity. Reviewing summaries ahead of time reduces required time on site, and potentially overall cost.

As of December 31, 2017, NFSTC will no longer provide DNA laboratory auditing services. The good news is there are more audit providers now than ever before. Check with your accrediting body for referrals and services you need.

As your forensic resource, NFSTC will always keep up to date with DNA news. Follow us on social media or on our website to stay abreast of forensic innovations and news.

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It’s National Forensic Science Week

For the fifth year in a row, the National Forensic Science Technology Center is celebrating National Forensic Science Week.

All this week, we’ll be talking about the essentials for crime scene investigation, from the basics to what’s next in the field.

  • Monday – Crime scene science
  • Tuesday – Chemistry
  • Wednesday – WCW: Women in Forensic Science
  • Thursday – DNA
  • Friday – Opioid epidemic

Show your support with our custom Facebook profile frame (just like our Chief Furensic Scientist). We’re also hosting a TweetChat Thursday at 1 p.m. EST on the new rapid DNA legislation. Join us using #RapidChat.

The city of Largo, home to our Florida headquarters, has ordered his fourth consecutive proclamation in honor of this week. We are also honored to have Florida’s Governor, Rick Scott, sign a proclamation for the state.

If you aren’t already, be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube for all the latest information this week and throughout the year!

Looking for a new challenge?

Flask holding a liquid, illuminated with an alternate light source.We want to know! Here at NFSTC, we are always looking for the best talent in forensic science and biometric intelligence.  We are currently seeking expertise in the following areas:

  • Forensic Biology/DNA
  • Forensic Chemistry
  • Latent Print  and Biometrics Instructors
  • Computer Forensics (CELLEX/DOMEX)
  • Instruction/Training Military
  • Identity Intelligence
  • Site Exploitation

Multi-lingual capabilities are definitely a plus.

If you are motivated, talented and open to challenges, let us know you are interested in potential opportunities with the NFSTC Team.

  • Click here to learn more about our current position openings and contingent positions pending contract, and/or
  • Click here to be added to our Talent Pipeline for future employment or independent contractor opportunities.

Follow us on FacebookTwitterLinked In and YouTube for news about NFSTC projects and happenings.

The legal stuff:
The National Forensic Science Technology Center (NFSTC) is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer (minorities/women/disabled/veterans), and does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, disability, marital status, veteran status or any other characteristic protected by law. NFSTC is a VEVRAA Federal Contractor.


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Join us for Forensic Science Week

National Forensic Science Week Aug. 7-13, 2016In celebration of National Forensic Science Week’s fourth year, have a full week of highlighting the vital need for the industry as a public service. Forensic science has been in the spotlight and the hot seat. The truth is, when the science is properly used it can and will service justice.

All this week, we’ll be talking about the essentials for crime scene investigation, from the basics to what’s next in the field.

  • Monday– Crime Scene Photography: Not just another selfie
  • Tuesday– Forensic DNA: What we can and can’t see
  • Wednesday – Digital forensics: The tell-all cellphone
  • Thursday – Forensic chemistry: Street drugs, death and the science of it all. We’ll also be hosting our second Reddit AMA, featuring Kevin Lothridge, CEO, taking questions about street chemistry.
  • Friday– What’s next in CSI?

For the third year in a row, the city of Largo, home to our Florida home office, has ordered a proclamation in honor of this week.

If you aren’t already, be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube for all the latest information this week and throughout the year!

Women, Science and the Uniform

Cadet swabs for DNAEleven Cadets will fall in this month for the annual Biometric and Forensic Internship at the National Forensic Science Technology Center. For the first time in the Largo, Florida based program’s eight year history, females will outnumber their male counterparts; a growing trend in the forensic science community.

A recent survey of accredited collegiate forensic science programs found women comprise nearly 80% of students[1]. The seven female Cadets arriving at NFSTC are in a unique cross section of military and forensic science. “These Cadets are really making their mark in what was traditionally a male dominated career field just a decade ago,” Kevin Lothridge, NFSTC’s CEO, explains.

Lothridge says the trend in the year’s ROTC class could be felt in the organization’s other military trainings. “It is an exciting time to see more women not only interested in STEM fields in general, but building careers in forensic science. We are honored to help guide the next generation of Army leaders.”

2015 Cadets at IED Awareness“I am most excited to see how the forensic field works with the military,” says Jordan Erisman, University of Tampa ROTC Cadet. “I had never really thought there was much overlap between the two until I started looking into the internship at NFSTC.”

The 19-year-old Forensic Science student plans to join the Army’s Chemical Corps or Military Intelligence after graduation. “This opportunity directly correlates with my career aspirations of working in a forensic laboratory.”

When Cadet Stormy Lindsay graduates from the University of South Florida, she will join more than 39,000 other female officers in military[2]. “This internship fits perfectly with my current track of becoming a military police officer, once commissioned,” Lindsay explains. “I’m looking forward to seeing how the forensic field correlates to our nation’s success on the battlefield.”

When the Cadets graduate, they will also have new military career opportunities available to them. Earlier this year, the Department of Defense opened all positions to women, including infantry and special operations.

Since 2009, NFSTC has offered the Biometric and Forensic Internship to up-to 12 Cadets at no cost to them or command. The two weeks focuses cutting-edge biometric and forensic identification and collection techniques. In addition, the ROTC Cadets build skills such as leadership, decision-making, and prioritizing actions under pressure.

We’d like to thank our generous sponsors for their donations for the 2016 internship:


  • John Allison, NFSTC Board Member
  • James Cali, NFSTC Board Member
  • Suzanne and Gary Grant
  • John and Diana Ives
  • Carol Koch
  • Laura and Kevin Lothridge
  • Mitchell Morrisey, NFSTC Board President
  • Chris Vivian

In-kind Donors

  • Lynn Peavey
  • Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office
  • Net Bio
  • Eagle 32
  • Global SOF
  • Tampa Bay Yacht Charters
  • John Boscia
  • Training Team Solutions

NFSTC will host a photo gallery that captures the cadets in action throughout the two-week course on Facebook, so log on and follow along!

[1] Houck, Max M. “Is Forensic Science a Gateway for Women in Science?” Forensic Science Policy & Management: An International Journal 1.1 (2009): 65-69. Web.

[2] “Women in the Military.” Women’s History Month 2016. Department of Defense, Mar. 2016. Web. 12 July 2016.

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