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EFSA/F/4/2019/01 Requisition #
Scientific Officer: Microbiology / Molecular biology
Contract Agent FGIV
The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), based in Parma, Italy,
is looking for a
Scientific Officer
Officer position
Contract Agent FGIV

The text of this call is available in all EU official languages [here]
Please send us your application by no later than 21 May 2019 at midnight (local time) following the instructions in the ANNEX to the vacancy.
The purpose of this call is to establish a reserve list that may be used for the recruitment of staff when a position becomes available and will be valid until 31/12/2020. The validity of the reserve list may be extended.

Are you a motivated and enthusiastic scientist with experience in the field of feed/food microbiology and molecular biology/biotechnology? Do you have proven experience in next generation sequencing and whole genome sequence analysis? Are you passionate and motivated to ensure the safety of food in Europe?

We are looking for highly motivated scientists with experience in risk assessment of feed/food additives, who will contribute to EFSA’s scientific and technical outputs through the collection, analysis and evaluation of data and information.
Your key responsibilities
The successful candidate will work under the responsibility of the Head of Unit and will be responsible for the following tasks:
  • Analyse and evaluate data for preparing working documents related mainly to the scientific assessment of feed/food additive applications, in particular the characterisation of (genetically modified) microorganisms including their identification and taxonomic classification, phenotypic and genetic analysis of antimicrobial resistance and toxigenic/virulence potential;
  • Draft scientific outputs through the provision of evidence-based risk assessment;
  • Provide administrative and scientific support to the activities of EFSA’s Scientific Panels and their Working Groups in the relevant area (e.g. preparation of working documents, scientific opinions, etc.);
  • Participate to the development of guidance and methodology documents;
  • Contribute to manage contracts and procurements;
  • Keep abreast of scientific and regulatory developments and contribute to providing information on legislative, policy and scientific aspects in the field of feed/food additives and feed/food materials;
  • Contribute to the coordination with public and private stakeholders;
  • Communicate and present scientific outputs by conveying the right messages and by making scientific concepts understandable to the public.

You will play an active role in an organisation that makes a difference to the lives of 500 million EU citizens.
EFSA employs approximately 450 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.

Read more about EFSA Strategy 2020.
To find out more about EFSA, visit us @

Life in Parma
Parma is an elegant city of around 200.000 inhabitants located in the Italian region of Emilia-Romagna. Its centre is rich of art, parks and treasures from different ages. Parma is famous for its food, wine flavours and its variable surrounding landscape with small villages, rich of history and liveliness, medieval castles, and picturesque countryside. Parma is strategically located between major Italian cities like Milano and Bologna, and also within reachable distance to ski resorts, natural parks, seaside and mountains.

Salary and benefits
EFSA can offer the selected candidate a contract of up to 5 years with the possibility of renewal. 
The successful candidate will be recruited in Contract Agent Function Group IV with the basic salary starting from € 3,462.02 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.
  • 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:

You must satisfy the following requirements on the closing date for submission of your application:
I. Eligibility criteria
1. General requirements
  • Be a 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 level of education which corresponds to completed university studies of at least three (3) years attested by a diploma in one of the following fields: microbiology, molecular biology, molecular genetics, biotechnology, veterinary medicine, biological sciences or related areas.[2]

3. Experience

In addition to the above, at least one (1) year of relevant and proven professional experience gained after obtaining the diploma.[3]

In case you do not fulfil all the eligibility criteria, your application will not be taken into consideration.
II. Selection criteria
1. Technical competencies
i. Professional experience in the area of feed/food  microbiology: experience in the identification and characterisation of microorganisms of feed/food or biotechnological interest, ability to describe their taxonomy, their characterisation regarding safety (antimicrobial resistance, antimicrobial production, toxigenicity, virulence) and their production process;

ii. Professional experience with tools and methodologies used in molecular biology/biotechnology (molecular genetics, genome RNA biology) and/or bioinformatics: ability to assess data regarding next generation DNA/RNA sequencing (DNA/RNA extraction, sequencing library preparation, whole genome sequencing), genetic modification of microorganisms or other systems (e.g. plants and/or animals) and to perform whole genome sequence data processing and analysis;

iii. Knowledge on risk assessment of feed/food additives or in similar areas (e.g. production and/or evaluation of scientific information related to feed/food safety or related areas): ability to identify the methodologies to be used for the appraisal, extraction and analysis of evidence. Integrate and weigh the evidence to draw conclusions with their related assumptions and uncertainties;

iv. Write scientific documents: ability to draft clear, concise and structured scientific reports, opinions and guidance documents using the appropriate scientific terminology;

v. Communicate scientific outputs to different target audiences: ability to convey technical scientific concepts to internal and external stakeholders (both orally and in writing) and make them understandable to the target audience;

vi. Knowledge on animal nutrition, animal production and/or toxicology is considered an asset.
2. Behavioural competencies
i. Communication and English: strong ability to communicate clearly and effectively in both spoken and written English;

ii. Working with others: ability to work co-operatively with others in teams and across organisational boundaries and respect differences between people;

iii. Analysis and problem solving: ability to identify the critical facts in difficult issues and develop creative and practical solutions;

iv. Drive for results: ability to take personal responsibility and initiative for delivering high quality work.
Candidates are invited to read the ANNEX that represents an integral part of this vacancy and should be consulted before completing the online application form.

For the purpose of shortlisting candidates to be invited to the assessment phase (see a description of the selection process in the ANNEX) the applications’ screening will be carried out using solely the information provided by candidates in the section “Job specific questions” of the online application form. Candidates are invited to carefully complete their application.   


In the event of inconsistency or discrepancy between the English version and any of the other linguistic versions of this publication, the English language version shall prevail.

[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 the 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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