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Call for Applicants: Forensic Nursing Subcommittee

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The Organization of Scientific Area Committees (OSAC) for Forensic Science will be launching a new Forensic Nursing Subcommittee to draft standards for collecting and analyzing physical evidence from victims of sexual assault. The new standards will improve the quality of care for victims and help ensure that evidence is properly collected and preserved until a crime lab can analyze it.

For more information on the Forensic Nursing Subcommittee, read the NIST news release.

OSAC is currently seeking qualified applicants to serve on this new subcommittee.

Call for Applicants: The Forensic Nursing Subcommittee will initially include approximately 20 members. OSAC is seeking applicants from a diverse set of stakeholders with experience in the following content areas:

  • Trained forensic practitioners (nurses, nurse practitioners, forensic medical practitioners, physicians, physician assistants, etc.);
  • Law enforcement personnel with experience investigating sexual assaults;
  • DNA examiners with experience processing sexual assault kits;
  • Toxicologists with experience analyzing drug-facilitated sexual assaults;
  • Representatives from sexual assault victim services organizations and advocacy groups;
  • Quality managers;
  • Human factors experts; 
  • Experts on bias and ethics;
  • Legal experts; and 
  • Statisticians. 

The members of the new Forensic Nursing Subcommittee will be working with other OSAC units with related expertise. The Forensic Nursing Subcommittee is part of OSAC’s Medicine Scientific Area Committee  which also includes the Forensic Anthropology, Forensic Odontology,  and Medicolegal Death Investigation subcommittees. OSAC’s structure will also enable the Forensic Nursing Subcommittee to collaborate with the Human Forensic Biology and Forensic Toxicology subcommittees on areas of mutual interest. 

How to apply

If you may be interested in serving on the Forensic Nursing Subcommittee, please Apply to Join OSAC.

Applications will be accepted through August 25, 2021. Organizations can submit letters of recommendation on behalf of applicants by emailing forensics [at] (forensics[at]nist[dot]gov)

Selection Process

OSAC is distributing this announcement widely to reach a broad and diverse group of applicants. OSAC will follow its Charter/Bylaws, Terms of Reference, and Nomination procedures when selecting the Forensic Nursing Subcommittee chair and members, as summarized below.

Chair Selection: The Forensic Science Standards Board (FSSB), OSAC’s governing board, will select the chair of the Forensic Nursing Subcommittee. The FSSB Nominations Task Group will review all applicants and any recommendations they receive, then forward their recommendation to the FSSB for approval. FSSB approval requires a 2/3 majority vote. 

The selection criteria for a chair are the same as for any OSAC member, as described below, with the added criterion of previous leadership/management experience.

Member Selection: The Medicine SAC will select members for the new subcommittee. The SAC will select a balanced set of stakeholders that represent the various aspects of the discipline. The selection criteria will include the following:

  • Skill and experience as demonstrated on curriculum vitae, including knowledge in the applicable area of forensic science or subject matter expertise that can contribute to the development of standards.
  • Interest – individuals must be willing to devote the energy and attention required.
  • Character – individuals who have earned the confidence of others in the community, those whose reputation shall enhance OSAC’s reputation within the community.
  • Availability – individuals who can commit to attending meetings, working on projects and representing OSAC in the community.
  • Employer Classification, which includes selecting individuals from federal, state, and local government employers as well as academic and private sector employers.
  • Job Classification, which includes selecting individuals based on their overall job categorization as practitioners, researchers, educators, quality, managers and others.
  • OSAC Unit preference indicated by the applicant.
  • Note: Four required resource positions on the subcommittee, which include a legal representative, human factors representative, quality representative, and statistician, will also serve secondary appointments on each of those FSSB Resource Task Groups

Additional Selection Support: OSAC currently has limited subject matter expertise in forensic nursing. To address this gap, employees of the Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Woman (OVW) will assist in the selection process as reviewers. In addition, professional associations active in this area are encouraged to submit letters of support for applicants for chair or membership positions. Such letters can be submitted to the OSAC Program Office (OPO) by emailing forensics [at] (forensics[at]nist[dot]gov).  

OVW representatives will review applications and provide recommendations for the chair position to the FSSB Nominations Task Group and for membership positions to the Medicine SAC. They will not be voting members, per the existing FSSB and SAC Terms of Reference. However, their recommendations are likely to carry considerable weight in the selection process. Once the FSSB selects the Forensic Nursing Subcommittee chair, that individual will become a voting member of the Medicine SAC and participate in selecting the Forensic Nursing Subcommittee members.

Relevant selection provisions from OSAC's governing documents are listed below.

OSAC's Charter and Bylaws state:
Section 4.2 Selection of FSSB, SAC, and Interdisciplinary Committee Members
4.2.1 Nominations: OSAC shall nominate and appoint members and affiliates in accordance with the nomination and appointments procedure, as defined by the FSSB. 
No person shall be denied membership because of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, or sexual orientation. OSAC members shall be U.S. Citizens or non-U.S. citizens who reside in the United States. Nominations to fill the positions on the Forensic Science Standards Board (FSSB) representing professional forensic science organizations shall come from the professional organization. 
4.2.2 Preparation of a Slate of Selected Applicants: The Nominations Task Group shall select a slate of candidates from the pool of recommended and eligible applications after verifying the eligibility of the applicant to fulfill the position requirements.
Scientific Area Committee Terms of Reference state:
Section 3 Members:  Members shall be appointed with the approval of a two-thirds (2/3) majority of the FSSB in accordance with the OSAC Charter and Bylaws and the OSAC Nominations Procedure. Each SAC will include a chair, vice chair, and its subcommittee chairs. Additional members may be appointed.
Subcommittee Terms of Reference state:
Section 3 Membership: Members shall be appointed with the approval of a two-thirds (2/3) majority of the SAC in accordance with the OSAC Charter and Bylaws and the OSAC Membership Nominations Procedure
Each subcommittee shall have members with expertise in human factors, law, quality assurance and statistics. The target distribution of membership is as follows:
  • Maximum 70 percent practitioners 
    • 20 percent federal practitioners 
    • 30 percent state and local practitioners 
    • 20 percent civil and other practitioners 
  • Minimum 30 percent researchers, research and development technology partners, educators, accreditation and certification specialists, quality specialists, human factors professionals, members of the legal community, and non-practitioner scientists (including statisticians and measurement scientists).
Created July 19, 2021, Updated July 20, 2021