Research Chemist


SNA International seeks a bright, collaborative Research Chemist with a strong work ethic to join our team. SNA International’s team works together in pursuit of the same cause: build a safe and just world by empowering organizations in the use of forensics, biometrics, and identity intelligence.

The qualified, senior level, Research Chemist (RC) supports scientists and forensic examiners in research, development, testing and evaluation (RDT&E) of explosives and their material properties, in particular the explosive properties that affect the bulk and /or trace explosive detection of such materials.

The RC will perform operations and logistics duties as directed by the Senior Scientist and PM of the joint program titled “Physical, Chemical, and Detection Characteristics of Improvised Explosives”.


Responsibilities include but are not limited to:


  1. Work as a member of a team employing excellent communication skills, discretion, and cooperation.
  2. Demonstrate leadership and project management abilities to advance thoughts and concepts.
  3. Generate project plans, write test procedures, record and analyze test data, write test reports, perform small scale chemical synthesis, conduct process scale up and formulation, perform chemical and physical characterization using advanced instrumentation, run explosives hazard testing, carry out explosives performance evaluation, and assist with IED construction and lethality assessment.
  4. Purchase and inventory chemicals, purchase and inventory laboratory equipment, prepare chemical solutions, maintain glassware, perform basic chemical synthesis of non-energetic molecules and materials as needed, isolate reaction products, and manage wastes.
  5. Support operations at the Department of Homeland Security Detection Technology (DTC), by suppling IEs and IEDs, assisting with explosives and device handling, and retrieving the devices following detection analysis.
  6. Support activities, functions, or duties, as defined in future TOs.
  7. Research, develop, and author whitepapers and information papers, as required.



Minimum Education and Experience Requirements:


  • Bachelor’s degree in chemistry, Biology, Physics, or Materials Science and at least two (2) full semesters of Organic Chemistry with corresponding labs. Two (2) semesters of Analytical Chemistry and its labs are preferred.
  • Experience working with a variety of organic materials to provide support to the TIEDS Synthesis lead and other TIEDS scientists with three (3) years of experience in a chemical research environment and a working knowledge of chemical characterization instrumentation such as, but not limited to: FT-IR, Raman spectroscopy, Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR), High Pressure Liquid Chromatography (HPLC), Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), Mass Spectrometry (MS), TGA and DSC.
  • Trained to understand IEs preparatory methods, handling procedures, safety protocols, and explosives test range processes that are unique to TIEDS.
  • Mastery in the areas of chemistry, physics, engineering, materials science, or mathematics, sufficient to enable the RC to direct complex studies that are focused on RDT&E problems pertinent to explosives characterization and detection is required.
  • Need to have knowledge of policy and procedures related to chemical use, waste generation, and waste disposal are essential. Willingness to learn about chemical processes necessary to prepare energetic materials and the techniques used to characterize energetic materials and explosive formulations. Ability to interpret research findings in terms of the potential impact on the direction of Improvised Explosives research efforts is desired.
  • Must have competence in describing observations and preparing concise and informative reports based on data collected from the characterization efforts.



Candidates must be US citizens and able to pass a background check, drug screening, and a polygraph (if required). 

Please submit your resume and a cover letter that outlines why you should be considered for this position and position level. Applications without a cover letter will not be considered.

No phone calls

SNA International is an Equal Opportunity Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, or protected veteran status and will not be discriminated against on the basis of disability. 

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