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Call for Expressions of Interest for Membership of the Scientific Panels and the Scientific Committee of EFSA 2017
CALL FOR EXPRESSIONS OF INTEREST FOR MEMBERSHIP OF THE SCIENTIFIC PANELS AND THE SCIENTIFIC COMMITTEE OF THE EUROPEAN FOOD SAFETY AUTHORITY (EFSA), Parma Ref.: EFSA/E/2017/01
Deadline for sending applications: 8 September 2017 at midnight (local time, CET). The text of this call is available in all EU official languages in the Official Journal of the European Union here.
Are you an experienced scientist seeking to make a difference to people’s lives through your scientific excellence?
Do you want to contribute to protecting public health in Europe, working together with the brightest scientific experts of Europe to reach a common goal?
Would you like to harness your passion for science by working for the cornerstone of scientific risk assessment in Europe?
EFSA’s scientific advice helps to protect consumers, animals and the environment from food-related risks. We can deliver our mission only through collaboration so we need you, the best experts of Europe, to work with us and help us to protect public health in Europe.
This call is addressed to scientists wishing to be considered for membership of either the Scientific Committee (SC) of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) or one of EFSA’s Scientific Panels, namely: Animal Health and Welfare (AHAW), Biological Hazards (BIOHAZ), Contaminants in the Food Chain (CONTAM), Additives and Products or Substances used in Animal Feed (FEEDAP), Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO), Nutrition, Novel Foods and Food Allergens (NDA), Plant Health (PLH), Plant Protection Products and their Residues (PPR), Food Additives and Flavourings (FAF), Food Contact Materials, Enzymes and Processing Aids (CEP).
THE EUROPEAN FOOD SAFETY AUTHORITY
The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) is an Agency of the European Union and an integral part of the EU’s food safety system. The Authority’s mission is to contribute to the safety of the EU food and feed chain and a high level of protection of human life and health. EFSA brings together Europe’s best available experts in risk assessment in the field of food and feed safety, animal health and welfare, plant health and the environment, who act in an independent capacity to provide the European Union Institutions and Member States with scientific advice of the highest standard.
YOUR CONTRIBUTION The role of EFSA’s Scientific Panels and Scientific Committee The Scientific Panels and Scientific Committee are responsible for providing the scientific opinions of the Authority and other advice as appropriate, each within their own spheres of competence as laid down in EFSA’s Founding Regulation (Regulation (EC) No 178/2002). They produce scientific opinions and advice for risk managers to provide a sound foundation for the formulation of European policies and legislation and to support risk managers in taking decisions. These scientific outputs are published in the EFSA Journal, a monthly publication which is indexed in bibliographic databases (e.g. CAB Abstracts, Food Science and Technology Abstracts, ISI Web of Knowledge) relevant to EFSA’s work. Each Scientific Panel is made up of between 15 and 25 scientific experts, depending on the workload planned for the relevant term of office and the expertise required. The Scientific Committee is composed of the Chairs of the ten (10) Scientific Panels and six (6) other scientific experts. These experts cooperate with EFSA independently of any external influence. An expert can be appointed for a maximum three terms of office in the same Scientific Panel or in the Scientific Committee.
Please refer to ANNEX I published on EFSA’s website to consult the detailed description of the remit of the Scientific Committee and Scientific Panels.
The role of Members of EFSA’s Scientific Panels and Scientific Committee Members of the Scientific Committee and Scientific Panels are experienced, independent scientists selected and appointed in accordance with EFSA’s Founding Regulation and rules. They are entrusted with the following responsibilities:
Be responsible for the timely preparation, discussion and adoption of scientific opinions, guidance documents and statements of the Scientific Panel and/or the Scientific Committee and for the activities of their working groups.
Contribute to independent scientific advice on matters falling within the remit of the Scientific Panel and/or of the Scientific Committee as needed.
Contribute to the consistency of EFSA’s scientific assessment approaches and work in close cooperation with the other Scientific Panels and the Scientific Committee.
Ensure adherence to sector specific and horizontal EFSA guidance documents and relevant EU legislation.
Members of the Scientific Committee/ Panels are expected to work in cooperation, have a high degree of professional ethics and integrity and foster innovation towards scientific excellence. Members of the Scientific Committee and Scientific Panels may be chosen as Chair, vice-chairs or rapporteurs of the Scientific Panels/ Committee and of their working groups.
Members of a Scientific Panel and of the Scientific Committee will be requested to attend two- to three-day meetings around six to eight times per year, usually in Parma, Italy. Members are expected to attend and contribute actively and in a timely manner to the meetings of the Scientific Panels/ Committee where opinions, statements or guidance documents are adopted. In addition, Members of Scientific Panels and of the Scientific Committee are expected to participate in some working groups that are established by the Scientific Panels/ Committee.
Attendance and active contribution at the meetings of the Scientific Panels, the Scientific Committee or of the working groups requires preparatory work, including prior reading and drafting of documents. Meetings are held in English and in general the documents are in the English language. EFSA may monitor, document and appraise the participation and contribution of members of the Scientific Panels/ Committee.
Members of the Scientific Panels/ Committee will be offered different training modules, as well as follow-up information tutorials, on EFSA risk assessment methodologies and guidance documents. As part of EFSA’s commitment to openness and transparency, some plenary meetings of the Scientific Panels/ Committee may be open to observers and/or web streamed. EFSA will, in accordance with its financial rules, bear the travel costs, daily and accommodation allowance of the members. A special indemnity will be paid for each full day of meeting attendance. 
Candidates are advised to give careful consideration to ANNEX I when preparing their applications.
Applications will be deemed admissible only if a duly completed online application form is submitted within the deadline. No other forms of application will be accepted.
Candidates are kindly invited to fill in their application form in English.
Candidates are strongly encouraged to fill in all sections of the application form with the necessary information and evidence, as this will form the basis for their evaluation.
Candidates are strongly advised not to wait until the last few days before the deadline since heavy internet traffic or problems with internet connection could lead to not being able to submit the application on time.
All candidates will be informed by e-mail about the outcome of the selection process.
The personal information EFSA requests from candidates will be processed in line with Regulation (EC) No 45/2001 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 December 2000 on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data by the EU institutions and bodies and on the free movement of such data. 
The purpose of the data processing is to manage applications for membership of the EFSA Scientific Panels. All questions related to this call shall be addressed to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
EFSA takes great care to apply the principles of transparency, fairness and non-discrimination in its selection procedures. Candidates are required to indicate in the application form, the Scientific Panel and/or the Scientific Committee they wish to apply for, which best matches their areas of expertise (please refer to ANNEX I). An applicant may indicate an additional Scientific Panel/ Committee as a second choice, in cases where their areas of expertise cover the remit of more than one Scientific Panel and/or the Scientific Committee. Candidates who have already served three terms of office at any time in the same Scientific Panel or in the Scientific Committee shall not be considered eligible for the same scientific entity and may apply for membership of a different Scientific Panel/ Committee. Terms of office shorter than 18 months will not count as a term of office. Accordingly, the ANS and CEF mandates of 2017-2018 do not count as a term of office. EFSA reserves the right to consult third parties on the professional experience of candidates in the context of their application.
Eligibility criteria Candidates must satisfy the following requirements on the closing date for submission of the application:
Citizenship of a Member State of the European Union (EU), or of a country of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) or of an EU Candidate country. Experts from third countries may also apply, and will be considered for membership of the Scientific Panels/ Committee, if the required level of expertise may not be found among nationals of EU, EFTA or EU Candidate countries;
Thorough knowledge of the English language; 
Commitment to attend meetings and to actively contribute to the work of the Scientific Committee/Scientific Panels and their Working Groups;
A level of education which corresponds to completed university studies of at least four (4) years attested by a diploma in one of the following fields: agriculture, biochemistry, bioinformatics, biology, biometrics, biotechnology, chemistry, dietary exposure, environmental sciences, epidemiology, food science, food technology, genetics, health and food safety, human medicine, life sciences, mathematics, microbiology, molecular biology, natural sciences, nutrition, pharmacy, public health, statistics, toxicology, veterinary medicine or related areas; 
At least seven (7) years of professional experience relevant to the remit of the Panel(s) gained after obtaining the requested diploma.
Selection criteria Applications meeting the eligibility requirements will be admitted to a comparative evaluation carried out by EFSA on the basis of the selection criteria indicated below in 2 steps:
Evaluation Step 1: Each eligible application will be evaluated against the following 2 overarching selection criteria. The threshold to pass the evaluation step 1 is 40 points(out of 100).
Experience in multidisciplinary scientific project management: Experience in managing scientific projects (type and amounts) in one of the areas within EFSA remit. (50 maximum points out of 100)
Experience in scientific communication: Experience communicating scientific topics by conveying the message in a transparent and understandable way for different target audiences. (50 maximum points out of 100)
Evaluation Step 2: Candidates who score at least 40 points in the evaluation step 1 will be evaluated against the following 3 selection criteria in relation to their first Scientific Panel/ Committee of choice. The threshold to pass the evaluation step 2 is 60 points (out of 100).
Experience in scientific assessment and/or provision of scientific advice to risk managers: Experience in carrying out scientific risk assessment and/or providing scientific advice in fields related to food safety and environment, as appropriate, in the areas of competence and expertise of the Scientific Panel preferred. (40 maximum points out of 100)
Proven scientific excellence: Scientific excellence in one or several fields linked to the area covered by the preferred Scientific Panel/ Committee and proven through extensive scientific publications in peer reviewed journals and your role in the publications. (40 maximum points out of 100)
Experience in reviewing scientific work: Experience in reviewing scientific work and ability to analyse complex information in the area covered by the Scientific Panel preferred. (20 maximum points out of 100)
Candidates will be evaluated in step 2 in relation to their first Scientific Panel/ Committee of choice. Candidates may also be evaluated in relation to their second Scientific Panel/ Committee of choice/other panels, as needed.
Shortlist of candidates Candidates having scored at least 60 points in evaluation step 2 will be placed on a shortlist. Scientists should note that inclusion on the shortlist of candidates does not guarantee appointment as a member of a Scientific Panel/Scientific Committee. The shortlist of candidates who are not appointed at the end of the selection process may be used to cover future needs for appointment of members of the Scientific Panels/ Committee, subject to fulfilling the requirements for membership (a Declaration of Interests compatible with EFSA’s Independence policy and Declaration of Interest rules and the appropriate mix of competencies and knowledge areas). This list will remain valid until the outcome of the next call for renewal of members of the Scientific Panels/ Committee.
Declaration of Interest Candidates placed on the shortlist and having the most appropriate mix of competencies and knowledge areas in relation to a given Scientific Panel or to the Scientific Committee will be asked to submit a Declaration of Interests (DoI), which will be screened by EFSA in accordance with EFSA’s Independence policy and with its rules on Declarations of Interest, in force at the time when the screening takes place. The need to prevent or otherwise mitigate identified potential conflict of interest will be taken into account in deciding whether a candidate will be further considered for membership, chairmanship or vice-chairmanship. Candidates who fail to submit a Declaration of Interests will not be considered for appointment as members of a Scientific Panel/ Committee. Candidates may be contacted for further clarification on their Declaration of Interests. See below two examples of what is considered a Conflict of Interest. These are by no means exhaustive and are only representatives of the situations outlined there:
The Membership of Scientific Panels is not allowed for candidates who, at the moment of submitting their DoI, are employed by any legal or natural person carrying out any of the activities on which EFSA’s scientific outputs impact directly or indirectly, such as food production, processing and distribution, agriculture or animal husbandry. This includes any form of regular occupation or business, part-time or full-time, paid or unpaid, including self-employment (e.g. consultancy) to the benefit of the persons above.
The Membership of Scientific Panels is not allowed for candidates who, at the moment of submitting their DoI, are involved in ad hoc or occasional consultancy to bodies such as a European Association of producers of products that the relevant Panel assesses, regarding a range of topics so broad that this activity would regularly be in conflict with items on the agenda of the relevant Scientific Panel.
Only experts with a Declaration of Interest compatible with EFSA’s Independence policy and rules will be considered for appointment.
EFSA’s proposal for appointment will consider factors such as the expertise required for the relevant Scientific Panel/ Committee as specified in the present call for expressions of interest. This relates in particular to the candidate’s specific scientific expertise and the overall mix of competencies and knowledge areas available to the Scientific Panel/ Committee to cover its foreseen needs, as well as consideration on balance of nationality, gender and terms served.
Experts will be appointed in a personal capacity as members of the Scientific Panels/ Committee on the basis of a decision by the EFSA Management Board following a proposal by the EFSA Executive Director.
Before appointment, EFSA reserves the right to conduct an on-line interview and to check the application of candidates considered for membership against documents and certificates in order to confirm the accuracy and eligibility of the application.
Candidates may bring an action against any decision affecting their legal situation in accordance with Article 263 of the Treaty of the Functioning of the European Union. This must be done within two months of the receipt or notification of the contested decision. The action must be brought against EFSA before the General Court of the European Union:
As an alternative, candidates may bring a complaint about alleged maladministration in the institutions and bodies of the European Union to the attention of the European Ombudsman. Amongst other requirements, a complaint must be made within two years of the date upon which the facts on which the complaint is based became known. Before contacting the European Ombudsman and undertaking this step, complainants must have already contacted EFSA by highlighting their concerns.
The European Ombudsman 1 Avenue du President Robert Schuman CS 30403 FR – 67001 Strasbourg Cedex Tel.: +33 (0)3 88 17 23 13 Fax: +33 (0)3 88 17 90 62 www.ombudsman.europa.eu
 Regulation (EC) No 178/2002 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 28 January 2002 laying down the general principles and requirements of food law, establishing the European Food Safety Authority and laying down procedures in matters of food safety OJ L 31, 1.2.2002, p. 1–24.
 Official Journal of the European Union, L 8, 12.1.2001, p.1
 “Thorough knowledge” shall be intended as corresponding to level B2 or higher (i.e. levels C1 and C2) as specified in the Council of Europe reference document for the European Language Portfolio (“Common European Framework of Reference: Learning, Teaching and Assessment”). For more information please refer to: http://www.coe.int/t/dg4/linguistic/Source/Framework_EN.pdf.
 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.
 Professional experience shall be taken into account from the date on which the person fulfils the minimum qualifications for engagement. Any given period may be counted only once (in order to be calculated as eligible, years of studies or professional experience to be taken into account shall not overlap with other periods of studies or professional experience). Professional activities pursued part-time will be calculated pro-rata on the basis of the certified percentage of full-time hours worked.