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EFSA/X/AD/2021/09 Requisition #

Chief Scientist

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), based in Parma, Italy 
is looking for a 
Chief Scientist
(Temporary Agent, Grade AD12) 
Please send us your application by no later than 10 January 2022 at 23:59 (local time), following the instructions in the ANNEX





EFSA is looking for a passionate and distinguished scientist, who will be in charge of shaping EFSA’s scientific strategy and will act as our scientific ambassador in high level scientific fora. Fostering cooperation and innovation you will create and nurture scientific networks both inside and outside EFSA.

Your key responsibilities

Strategic and Innovation Adviser:
• Develop EFSA’s scientific strategic direction and identify emerging scientific trends relevant for EFSA preparedness.
• Advise the Executive Director in developing the overall vision, strategic scientific positioning and preparedness of the organisation, and provide independent challenge to ensure robust, relevant and high quality science and evidence, 
• Provide stewardship of innovation and transformation agenda; Support and set a strategic direction of the Scientific Committee, panels & working groups work.

Scientific Ambassador: 
• Represent EFSA internationally in high level scientific fora and support external scientific communication on cross-cutting complex scientific matters.
• Contribute to the effective communication of EFSA's messages to stakeholders and the general public.

Cooperation and Partnership Expert:
• Foster scientific cooperation and partnership initiatives with EU institutions, EU agencies, Member States, international organisations and third countries.
• Leverage connections for developing and cultivating EFSA’s networks with Institutions and the scientific community on European and global level and for promoting EFSA’s research priorities.





You will play an active role in an organisation that makes a difference to the lives of 445 million EU citizens.
EFSA employs over 500 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.
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.
Furthermore, you will be joining EFSA at an exciting time as we are implementing the Transparency Regulation: EFSA expanded its mandate and will grow considerably over the next few years.
To find out more about EFSA, visit us at




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. 
The successful candidate will be recruited as Temporary Agent Grade AD12 with the basic salary starting from € 11.671 
 monthly, subject to an annual review of remuneration provided for in 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 up to 50% of working time.
  • 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:

Staff Regulations

Frequently Asked Questions



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;[1]
•    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.


2.    Qualifications

a)    A level of education which corresponds to completed university studies of at least four (4) years attested by a diploma[2] in one of the following fields: food science, food technology, chemistry, biochemistry, toxicology, biology, microbiology, human nutrition, human medicine, veterinary medicine, epidemiology, dietary exposure assessment, life sciences or related areas,


b)   A level of education which corresponds to completed university studies of at least three (3) years attested by a diploma[2] in one of the following fields: food science, food technology, chemistry, biochemistry, toxicology, biology, microbiology, human nutrition, human medicine, veterinary medicine, epidemiology, dietary exposure assessment, life sciences or related areas, and in addition at least one (1) year of professional experience.


3.    Experience

In addition to the above, at least fifteen (15) years of proven professional experience[3] acquired after having obtained the qualifications mentioned in point 2 in positions corresponding to the nature of duties of the vacant post. Out of these fifteen (15) years, at least two (2) years must have been acquired as a manager. A PhD will be considered as an asset.

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.    Experience and knowledge

i.    Proven scientific excellence:  experience in science for regulatory purposes in one or preferably more of the areas relevant to EFSA proven also through scientific publications and operate with confidence outside own discipline.
ii.    Experience in scientific strategy development and implementation: Ability to set scientific policies and priorities in line with the strategy considering its risks and benefits.
iii.    Experience in collaborating and partnering with stakeholders: ability to identify and engage key internal and external stakeholders to develop a shared vision and mission with partners. 
iv.    Experience in managing and coordinating communities: Ability to set-up and manage communities to foster innovation and knowledge generation.
v.    Experience in communicating information to different target audiences: Ability to develop communication strategies and to convey way complex/sensitive concepts (effectively) to the target audience.


2.    Behavioural competencies

i.    Demonstrate political savvy and strategic agility: Demonstrated business acumen, and ability to stay abreast of scientific research, industry, social and organizational trends. Ability to manage and promote change as a creative, value-adding and innovative leader;
ii.    Focus on stakeholder needs: Ability to apply strong communication, influencing and negotiation skills within a complex organisation jointly with advanced partnering and networking skills;
iii.    Deal with ambiguity: Able to work constructively within unexpected and unpredictable situations and show resilience and composure, even in difficult or adverse circumstances; 
iv.    Plan and measure for results: Ability to focus on critical facts in complex contexts and coordinate multiple activities to achieve goals; 
v.    Work with others: Work confidently within a group and contribute to achieve the common goals; able to network, cooperate, listen actively;


The talent pool (reserve list) will be valid until 31/12/2023. The validity of the talent pool may be extended.

The grade bracket of the internal publication is AD9-AD12

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.

[1] 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 he/she fulfils the requirement of article 28(e) of the Staff Regulations of the Officials of the European Communities.

[2] 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.

[3] Any professional experience mentioned in the application form shall be duly supported by evidence (original or certified copies of e.g. contracts, payslips etc.). Professional experience shall be taken into account from the date on which the person fulfils the minimum qualifications for engagement. In order for your professional experience to be taken into consideration, it must be supported by relevant documents attesting an actual work relationship defined by the following elements: real, genuine work; on a paid basis; as employee (any type of contract), or provider of a service.  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. Remunerated PhDs acquired in a field relevant to the job description can be counted as professional experience up to 3 years. Paid traineeships are counted as working experience. Prior to contract signature, the successful candidate(s) will need to provide original versions of documents proving the candidate’s work experience.


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