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Job Details

Lead Biological Scientist

Government and Military

Biological Sciences


Richmond, California, United States

Position Location: Richmond, CA

Amentum is actively seeking applicants for Lead Biological Scientist

Amentum Position Description: The Lead Biological Scientist shall perform, at a minimum, the following tasks and responsibilities in accordance with standard operating procedures:

Must be able to obtain/maintain a DHS Suitability security clearance

  • Handling, receipt, and processing of daily operational, Quality Assurance, verification and proficiency test samples potentially containing biological threat agents.
    • Receiving samples may require extended walking to/from laboratory areas and up and/or down several flights of stairs.
    • Samples may require being transferred from one area/cart/cooler to another, requiring staff to lift ~50-60 lbs.
    • Processing samples requires more than one (1) hour, but typically not to exceed four (4) hours, of repetitive motion (e.g. twisting/cutting/pipetting/gripping) on a regular, if not daily, basis.
  • Performing non-research biological science work utilizing microbiological and molecular techniques, which currently includes DNA extraction and real-time polymerase chain reaction (real-time PCR) to identify and characterize pathogenic bacterial and viral agents (analytical methods and technologies may change over the life of the contract).
    • Laboratory workflow may occur in different laboratory areas (e.g., clean, high and low titer, under different conditions, such as BSL-2/BSL-3), utilizing a variety of biological safety cabinets (BSCs), and/or hoods (e.g., laminar or dead air).
    • Laboratory work may require several PPE changes including, but not limited to, respiratory and full body protection (e.g., Tyvek suit) and gloves, for extended periods of time, not to exceed four (4) hours.
  • Preparing reagents and samples - same as above
  • Familiarity with Good Laboratory Practice (GLP)
  • Decontamination of workspaces, including Biological safety cabinets, hoods/air boxes, equipment, and other items associated with processing and analysis activities.
    • Necessitates decontamination of several rooms requiring extensive use of bleach and alcohol. For safety, proper PPE is required.
  • Maintaining chain-of-custody (CoC)
  • Interpretation of results - must be capable of independent analysis
  • Data entry utilizing computerized or computer-linked systems
  • Performing routine equipment calibration, cleaning, assembly, and maintenance in multiple lab areas
  • Collecting, processing, and analyzing internal laboratory swipes/swabs for Quality Assurance/Quality Control (QA/QC) and contamination monitoring located across multiple lab areas
  • Proper disposal of bio-hazardous waste.
  • May require lifting, stooping, reaching, carrying, and/or storing biohazard waste of different sizes and/or weights up to 40 lbs.
  • May require collecting multiple bags from BSL-2/BSL-3 areas and loading and unloading the autoclave machine when completed. For safety, proper PPE is required.
  • Restocking and maintaining proper inventory (e.g., par levels, rotation of stock, expiration dates, etc.,) of necessary supplies.
    • May require lifting, stooping, reaching, carrying, and/or storing consumables, supplies, and/or equipment of various sizes, shapes, and/or weights up to 70 lbs.
  • Supporting BioWatch Program logistics in conducting and documenting annual inventory (e.g., serial numbers, disposition, PO’s, packing slips, etc.) of DHS-procured durable equipment and property.
    • May require lifting, stooping, reaching, carrying, and/or transporting equipment and/or instruments to/from different laboratory areas and/or packaging instruments for service
  • QA/QC and acceptance testing of reagents in accordance with applicable Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and the Laboratory Operations Quality Assurance Program Plan (QAPP)
  • Adhering to QA/QC requirements in accordance with the Public Health Laboratory quality management systems and the BioWatch Laboratory QAPP
  • Maintaining documentation of records demonstrating compliance with applicable training/retraining, competencies, document reviews
  • Analyzing routine external QA samples in accordance with the BioWatch SOP’s and QA Program guidance
  • Proper archiving, storage, and shipping of samples.
    • May require lifting, stooping, carrying, and/or storing of sample archives of varying sizes and weights up to 40 lbs.
  • Demonstrating ability to follow and adhere to written procedures and accepted practices in accordance with federal, state, and local regulations, safety, security and dress code policies, procedures, and guidelines, including DHS Safeguarding Sensitive but Unclassified (For Official Use Only) Information (January 2005) when visiting or working at Government facilities

  • Preparing written and oral technical reports, answering questions, and making recommendations to the Lead Biological Scientist for inclusion in comprehensive reports

  • Accurately performing work with confidence
  • Demonstrating competency in various testing methodologies (e.g., multi-center studies), evaluating potential products and processes against unique environmental backgrounds, and meeting established deadlines

  • Scheduled workdays include weekends and holidays

  • Must be present for all hours of the workday, and be available 24/7/365 in case of emergency

In addition to the duties listed above, the Lead Biological Scientist shall perform:

  • Troubleshooting technical laboratory issues in conjunction with the local Laboratory Director and/or designee and BioWatch Laboratory Operations personnel
  • Developing and maintaining monthly work schedules for local BioWatch laboratory personnel to cover 365-day scheduling and emergency response efforts
  • Maintaining and documenting training/retraining and competency of all BioWatch laboratory personnel and observing staff on a quarterly basis
  • Confirming refresher training is performed following protocols updates/amendments and as required
  • Generating and maintaining documentation in accordance with the SOPs and QAPP
  • In compliance with local policy and direction from the Local Laboratory Director, generating and executing corrective action plans in accordance with the BioWatch Laboratory QAPP to address any findings from audits, proficiency tests, data trend analysis, internal inspection findings, and/or other occurrences that have the potential to degrade the confidence in results generated by the laboratory
  • Participating in Monthly Laboratory Operations Technical Conference Calls and other BioWatch Program-related communications, as appropriate
  • Effectively communicating with the Project Manager, PAE, the government client and associated Partners, as well as the laboratory staff
  • Supervising laboratory staff and casual surge personnel
  • Interviewing and assessing candidates for open positions
  • Reviewing and approving timesheets
  • Providing new personnel training/retraining on protocols/procedures for daily sample handling and internal tests (e.g., QA, PT) to enable personnel to successfully pass 90-day Demonstration of Capability (DOC) tests, proficiency tests (PTs), and/or external audits as defined in the BioWatch Laboratory QAPP
  • Conducting Annual Performance Reviews
  • Other duties as assigned

Position Minimum Requirements/Qualifications:

  • Minimum of a Ph.D. or Master’s degree from an accredited university in microbiology, molecular biology, or related course work in biological sciences with at least two years of laboratory bench experience outside of an academic environment, utilizing PCR, aseptic techniques, and biological assays, and at least two years of experience serving as a Senior Scientist or Team Leader of a laboratory team/project. Bachelor’s degree from an accredited university requires five years of laboratory bench experience outside of an academic environment, including at least two years of experience as a Team Leader/Senior Scientist.
  • Biological Safety Level (BSL)-3 experience is desirable.

Compensation & Benefits

HIRING SALARY $ (Salary to be determined by the education, experience, knowledge, skills, and abilities of the applicant internal equity, and alignment with market data.)

This position includes a competitive benefits package. For more detailed information on our Benefits and what it is like to work for Amentum: please visit our careers site:

Amentum is proud to be an Equal Opportunity Employer. Our hiring practices provide equal opportunity for employment without regard to race, religion, color, sex, gender, national origin, age, United States military veteran’s status, ancestry, sexual orientation, marital status, family structure, medical condition including genetic characteristics or information, veteran status, or mental or physical disability so long as the essential functions of the job can be performed with or without reasonable accommodation, or any other protected category under federal, state, or local law.

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