The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), based in Parma, Italy
is looking for a
Scientific Officer in the area of Chemistry and/or Toxicology
(Contract Agent, Function Group IV)
Please send us your application by no later 18 September 2023 at 23:59 (local time), following the instructions in the ANNEX.
The purpose of this call is to establish a talent pool (reserve list) that may be used for the recruitment of staff when a position becomes available and will be valid until 31/12/2024. The validity of the talent pool may be extended.
IS THIS JOB FOR YOU?
Are you a motivated and enthusiastic scientist with a background in Chemistry and/or Toxicology?
Are you passionate and motivated to ensure the safety of food in Europe?
The goal of this selection procedure is to establish a talent pool of Chemists and Toxicologists.
The successful candidate will contribute to the work of EFSA in one or more of the following areas:
o Additives and products or substances used in Animal Feed
o Animal Health and Welfare
o Biological Hazards
o Contaminants in the Food Chain
o Food Additives and Flavourings
o Food Contact Materials, Enzymes and Processing Aids
o Genetically Modified Organisms
o Nutrition, Novel Foods and Food Allergens
o Plant Health
o Plant Protection Products and their residues
o Methodology and Scientific Support
o Or related areas
Your key responsibilities
As Scientific Officer you will:
- Contribute to drafting and reviewing scientific conclusions, opinions and outputs and/ or peer reviewing Member State competent authority assessments, through the provision of evidence-based risk assessment, ensuring the information is provided in a consistent and accurate way.
- Contribute to carrying out intake, completeness and/or suitability check of application dossiers and Member State competent authority assessments for regulated products and provide pre-submission support to applicants.
- Collect, collate, analyse and evaluate data and information for preparing scientific outputs related to the assessment in the area of Additives and products or substances used in Animal Feed, Animal Health and Welfare, Applications, Biological Hazards, Contaminants in the Food Chain, Food Additives and Flavourings, Food Contact Materials, Enzymes and Processing Aids, Genetically Modified Organisms, Nutrition, Novel Foods and Food Allergens, Plant Health, Plant Protection Products and their residues, Methodology and Scientific Support or related areas.
- Communicate and present scientific outputs by conveying the right messages and by making scientific concepts understandable to the public.
- Contribute to the different projects of the unit, including i) following different applications/dossiers (e.g. monitor the timeline, preparation of working documents, meeting agendas and minutes, liaising with experts, managing activities with partners, including grants and procurements) and ensuring on-time delivery of the required outputs, ii) project management and revision of deliverables from grants and procurements.
- Provide scientific support to the activities of EFSA’s Scientific Panels and their Working Groups in the relevant area (i.e. preparation of working documents, scientific opinions, meeting agendas and minutes, etc.).
- Keep abreast of scientific and regulatory developments and contribute to providing information on legislative, policy and scientific aspects, in one or more of the following areas: Additives and products or substances used in Animal Feed, Animal Health and Welfare, Applications, Biological Hazards, Contaminants in the Food Chain, Food Additives and Flavourings, Food Contact Materials, Enzymes and Processing Aids, Genetically Modified Organisms, Nutrition, Novel Foods and Food Allergens, Plant Health, Plant Protection Products and their residues, Methodology and Scientific Support or related areas.
You will play an active role in an organisation that makes a difference to the lives of 445 million EU citizens.
EFSA employs around 550 staff members, and its Scientific Committee and Panels engage highly qualified and independent scientific experts. Every position within EFSA plays an important part in creating an inspirational environment in which to work and develop.
EFSA’s standards and values are driven by ethics and integrity and all staff is expected to act in a manner consistent with its principles, including fairness, transparency and impartiality in work practices and conduct towards other people.
EFSA is an equal opportunities employer and encourages applications from all suitably qualified candidates without any distinction on grounds of age, gender, sexual orientation, impairment and disability, ethnic or social origin, religion or belief. All EFSA staff is committed to creating an open and inclusive environment.
As an EFSA staff member, you will have the chance to make a difference to European food safety working in an international and dynamic environment. You will also be able to participate in several valuable networking opportunities across Europe.
You will be joining EFSA at an exciting time as we are implementing the EFSA Strategy 2027, aligned with the Transparency Regulation, which increased EFSA’s responsibilities towards EU citizens. The following are the objectives of the Strategy 2027.
1. Deliver trustworthy scientific advice and communication of risks from farm to fork.
2. Ensure preparedness for future risk analysis needs.
3. Empower people and ensure organisational agility.
To find out more about EFSA, visit us at www.efsa.europa.eu.
WHAT CAN WE OFFER YOU?
Life in Parma
Parma is a lively city of around 200.000 inhabitants located in the Italian region of Emilia-Romagna and ranked as one of the most liveable cities in Italy. Its centre is rich in art, with architecture from different periods and plenty of parks. Parma is famous for its food, surrounding picturesque countryside and medieval castles. It is strategically located between major cities like Milano and Bologna and within reachable distance from ski resorts, seaside and mountains.
Salary and benefits
EFSA can offer the selected candidate a contract of 5 years with the possibility of renewal. If renewed for a second time, the contract will be for an indefinite period. More information can be found in the Notice on policy on the duration of staff contracts at EFSA.
The successful candidate will be recruited as Contract Agent Function Group IV with the basic salary starting from
€ 3.943 monthly, subject to an annual review of remuneration provided for in Article 64 and Article 65(1) of the Staff Regulations.
In addition to the basic salary, EFSA offers a range of benefits:
- Various allowances to which the successful jobholder may be entitled, such as a household allowance, expatriation allowance (16% of basic salary), dependent child allowance and education allowance. The salary is subject to a Community tax deducted at source and staff members are exempt from national taxation.
- Wide range of leaves (e.g. annual leave, parental leave, public holidays) and flexible working hours. Besides working in EFSA’s modern headquarter located in the heart of Parma, staff members are also offered the possibility to telework.
- A comprehensive welfare package including pension scheme, medical, accident and occupational disease insurance coverage, unemployment and invalidity allowance, and travel insurance. Further information regarding rights, conditions of employment and benefits can be found at the following links:
Frequently Asked Questions
WHAT ARE THE SELECTION REQUIREMENTS?
You must satisfy the following requirements on the closing date for submission of your application:
I. Eligibility criteria
1. General requirements
- Be national of a Member State of the European Union, Iceland or Norway;
- Enjoy full rights as a citizen;
- Have fulfilled any obligations imposed by laws concerning military service;
- Be physically fit to perform the duties linked to the post;
- Have a thorough knowledge of one of the EU official languages and a satisfactory knowledge of another EU language;
- Meet the character requirements for the duties involved.
A level of education which corresponds to completed university studies of at least three (3) years attested by a diploma in one of the following areas: chemistry, food chemistry, pharmacy, veterinary sciences, biology, biotechnology, epidemiology, toxicology, food technology, food sciences, engineering, environmental sciences or related areas. 
In case you do not fulfil all the eligibility criteria, your application will not be taken into consideration.
II. Selection criteria
The following competencies will be assessed throughout the different phases of the selection procedure. Candidates are also expected to demonstrate effective communication in both spoken and written English as well as strong motivation for the position.
1. Technical competencies
Professional experience in the area of Chemistry (at least in 1 area)
o Analytical Chemistry
o Organic Chemistry
o Inorganic Chemistry
o Polymer Chemistry
o Pharmaceutical Chemistry
o Environmental Chemistry which may include exposure modelling
o Food Chemistry
o Chemical risk assessment
o Chemical substance identification and characterisation including for particulate materials nanoparticle identification
and/or Professional Experience in the area of Toxicology (at least in 1 area)
o Mammalian toxicology
o Toxicological pathology
o Environmental Toxicology
o General toxicology
o Neurotoxicology and developmental neurotoxicology
o Reproductive and developmental toxicology
o Cardiovascular toxicology
o Genetic toxicology and cancer biology
o Drug metabolism
ii. Perform evidence-based scientific assessments, including risk and/or benefit assessment and product characterisation, preferably in areas related to food and feed primary production or manufacturing and processing after harvest/slaughter.
iii. Experience in writing and reviewing scientific documents such as scientific articles, reports, opinions in the area of Chemistry, Toxicology or both.
iv. Experience in at least one of the following areas:
Carry out generation, collection, collation, extraction, critical analysis and evaluation of data (e.g. chemical characterisation, food consumption data, environmental data, data from human/animal studies, statistical analysis of studies, new alternative methodologies, nanotechnologies).
v. Experience in providing scientific support to different stakeholders, conveying technical scientific concepts and/or regulatory requirements (both orally and in writing).
vi. Manage scientific projects by selecting and using appropriate project management techniques and tools.
2. Behavioural competencies
i. Deal with ambiguity:
Able to work constructively within unexpected and unpredictable situations and show resilience and composure, even in difficult or adverse circumstances; able to decide and act without having the total picture; accept constructive feedback in a positive manner.
ii. Demonstrate political savvy and strategic agility:
Look beyond the current situation and visualise what the future can bring with a keen sense for arising opportunities and good understanding of how and when to best pursue them; able to think in a creative and innovative way.
iii. Focus on stakeholder needs:
Committed to meet the expectations and requirements of internal and external stakeholders; establish and maintain effective relationships with stakeholders and gain their trust and respect.
iv. Plan and measure for results:
Set ambitious goals that exceed the targets and create plans to achieve them; ensure an efficient and responsible planning and management of resources.
v. Work with others:
Work confidently within a group and contribute to achieve the common goals, understanding own role and how it supports the team and the organisation; able to cooperate, listen actively, manage conflicts and motivate colleagues.
Candidates are invited to read the ANNEX that represents an integral part of this vacancy and provides information on how to complete the application, the steps of the selection process and appeal procedures.
The below answer options have been adapted in the question 8 of the application form questionnaire related to the years of experience with performing evidence-based scientific assessments due to an error in the original publication.
Answer option "More than 1 year of practical experience” to “More than 1 year but less than 3 years of practical experience”
Answer option "More than 1 year but less than 3 years of professional experience” to “More than 3 years of practical experience”
 Before appointment, a successful candidate shall be medically examined by an institution’s medical officer in order that the European Food Safety Authority may be satisfied that the candidate fulfils the requirement of article 28(e) of the Staff Regulations of the Officials of the European Communities.
 Any academic qualification mentioned in the application form shall be duly supported by evidence (original or certified copies of e.g. diplomas, certification, etc.) Only qualifications issued by EU Member State authorities and qualifications recognised as equivalent by the relevant EU Member State authorities will be accepted. In instances where diplomas are obtained from a non-EU Member State, EFSA may request the candidate to provide a relevant document of comparability issued by a recognised authority.