EFSA – Call for Expressions of Interest for Membership of the Scientific Panels and the Scientific Committee of EFSA 2023

Parma, Italy
Ref.: EFSA/E/2023/01 


Deadline for sending applications: 3 April 2023 at 23:59 (local time). 
The text of this call is available in all EU official languages in the Official Journal of the European Union here

Are you a motivated scientist seeking to make a difference and contribute to protecting public health in Europe? Would you like to harness your passion for science by working for the cornerstone of food safety risk assessment in Europe?

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) delivers independent and transparent scientific advice to policy makers to ensure safety throughout the entire food chain – from farm to fork. EFSA’s scientific advice is achieved through the work of our experts and in cooperation with national and international partners as well as an open dialogue with society. It contributes to the protection of human, animal and plant health as well as the environment.

Being a member of one of EFSA’s Scientific Panels or the Scientific Committee means working alongside some of the best experts in Europe, developing your scientific career and network. Your scientific advice can make a difference to the health of European consumers and the future of Europe.

This call is addressed to scientists wishing to be considered for membership of either the Scientific Committee (SC) or one of EFSA’s ten (10) 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).




EFSA is an Agency of the European Union (EU) and an integral part of the EU’s food safety system. 

Safety in the food chain from farm to fork is at EFSA’s core. EFSA contributes to protecting human health, taking account of animal health and welfare, plant health and the environment.

EFSA upholds the following values in all its activities:

  • Excellence
  • Independence
  • Openness
  • Accountability
  • Cooperation.

An amendment to EFSA’s Founding Regulation[1], the so-called Transparency Regulation, came into effect in 2021 which increased EFSA’s responsibilities towards EU citizens. EU-wide policy developments, such as the Green Deal actions and in particular the Farm to Fork Strategy, the Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability and the Biodiversity Strategy will shape the focus of EFSA’s activities in the years ahead. EFSA’s important risk communication role has been further deepened which will entail adaptations to the way EFSA communicates risk in the coming years. As well, the SARS-CoV-2 global pandemic has required EFSA to adapt to new ways of working. 

Considering this background, in June 2021 EFSA has prepared its Strategy 2027. It sets out how EFSA intends to respond to the changing environment (such as digitalisation, capacity to meet emerging needs and coordinated support to the EC sustainability agenda), describing the added value it proposes to its customers, partners, stakeholders, and the public at large.

EFSA’s strategic objectives as laid down in the EFSA Strategy 2027 are:

  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.

Find out more about EFSA at https://www.efsa.europa.eu 



[1] Regulation (EC) No 178/2002 as last amended by Regulation (EU) No 2019/1381.




The Scientific Committee and Scientific Panels are responsible for producing EFSA’s scientific opinions and advice which support risk managers in taking decisions and provide a sound foundation for the European policies. 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.

The members of the Scientific Committee and Scientific Panels of EFSA are appointed for a five (5)-year term.

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.




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.

Members of the Scientific Committee and Scientific Panels are selected and appointed in accordance with EFSA’s Founding Regulation and related rules[2]. These rules detail the organisation, timing and criteria of the selection and appointment procedures and can be consulted by candidates for more information thereof.

Each Scientific Panel includes between 11 and 21 scientific experts, depending on the workload planned and the expertise required for the relevant term of office. The Scientific Committee is composed of the Chairs of the ten (10) Scientific Panels and six (6) other scientific experts who do not belong to any of the Scientific Panels. All these experts cooperate with EFSA independently of any external influence and shall not represent the opinion of a Member State, of their employers or of any other organisation.

Working groups

Each Scientific Panel is supported by a variety of working groups that are set up to carry out the necessary preparatory work for specific mandates or regulated product areas. The working groups are usually chaired by panel experts and commonly contain specific subject matter experts as well as hearing experts in order to ensure the right scientific expertise is available to perform this preparatory work which is then reviewed by the Scientific Panel.


The Scientific Committee and each Scientific Panel have specific mandates (see ANNEX I) that will influence the nature of their work. Generally, members of the Scientific Committee and Scientific Panels are entrusted with the following main responsibilities:

  • Timely preparation, discussion and adoption of scientific opinions, guidance documents and statements of the Scientific Panel(s) and/or the Scientific Committee and related activities of working groups.
  • Ensuring the consistency of EFSA’s scientific assessment approaches, working in close cooperation with the other Scientific Panels and the Scientific Committee.
  • Ensuring adherence to sector specific and horizontal EFSA guidance documents and relevant EU legislation.
  • Contribution to harmonizing scientific assessments within relevant EU and Member States organisations.

The extent of the required contribution by Panel members varies depending on the complexity of the scientific outputs to be produced. When extensive preparatory work has been carried out by either the working groups, EFSA staff, or through outsourcing, the role of the Panels is to review the draft outputs and adopt them.

Members of the Scientific Panels/Scientific Committee are expected to work in cooperation, have a high degree of professional ethics and integrity and foster innovation in EFSA’s risk assessment production.

Members of the Scientific Committee and Scientific Panels may be elected as Chair, vice-Chair of the Scientific Committee/Scientific Panels or their working groups or designated as rapporteurs of working groups.

Working conditions and compensations

Members of a Scientific Panel and of the Scientific Committee will be requested to attend around six (6) to ten (10) plenary meetings per year, for a total of around ten (10) to twenty (20) days of meetings per year.

About one-third of the meetings within a year are organised in presence[3], mainly at EFSA premises, Parma, Italy. About two-thirds of the meetings shall be organised online.

Meetings are held in English and working documents are in the English language, the working language of EFSA.

As part of EFSA’s commitment to openness and transparency, some plenary meetings of the Scientific Panels/Scientific Committee are open to observers and/or web streamed.

Members are expected to attend and contribute actively and in a timely manner to the meetings of the Scientific Panels/Scientific Committee where opinions, statements or guidance documents are reviewed, discussed and adopted.

Attendance and active contribution at the meetings of the Scientific Panels/Scientific Committee requires preparatory work, including prior reading, reviewing and, in some cases, drafting of documents. Preparatory work is expected to consist of at least one (1) day of work for one (1) day of meeting.

EFSA will monitor, document and appraise the participation and contribution of members of the Scientific Panels/Scientific Committee.

Members of the Scientific Panels/Scientific Committee shall be offered training modules and tutorials on EFSA’s risk assessment methodologies, guidance documents and practices.

In accordance with its financial rules, EFSA will compensate experts for the work incurred by providing indemnities that would cover the preparation of and the participation to meetings (both physical and online meetings). EFSA will also bear the travel costs, accommodation and daily allowance of experts when travelling to EFSA premises. Detailed information is provided in the EFSA Expert compensation guide.[4]


[2] Implementing Rule of the Management Board of the EFSA laying down the rules on the selection, appointment and operations of the Scientific Committee, Scientific Panels and of their Working Groups:

[3] Experts who cannot join the meeting in presence due to justified reasons can be offered the option to join the meeting online.

[4] EFSA Expert Compensation Guide: http://www.efsa.europa.eu/sites/default/files/Experts_compensation_guide.pdf




Candidates are requested to fill in and submit their application online using the EFSA Careers site at https://careers.efsa.europa.eu/Expert 

In order to apply, candidates need to create an account on the EFSA Careers site, unless they already have one. Experts already working for EFSA should use their existing EFSA account and credentials to apply.

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/Scientific 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 are invited to fill in their application form in English and should give careful consideration to the criteria and expertise required when preparing their applications.
The application form contains specific sections and questions which are meant to assess the suitability of the candidate for the position. Candidates should mandatorily fill in all sections of the application form, providing the necessary information and evidence, as this will form the basis for their evaluation. 

The online EFSA Careers site is the only way of submitting applications. Once the application is submitted, candidates automatically receive an acknowledgement of receipt at the email provided in the application form. Candidates are requested to ensure that they provide a correct email address in their application form as this will be the only channel of communication for correspondence relating to the selection procedure. After the application is submitted, candidates can access and modify it until the deadline.

Applications will be deemed valid only if a duly completed online application form is submitted in the system within the deadline. Draft applications not submitted via the system by the deadline or submission of a general profile instead of the specific application form shall not be considered.
Candidates are strongly advised not to wait until the last few days before the deadline for submissions of applications since heavy internet traffic or issues with the internet connection could lead to not being able to submit the application on time.
All candidates will be informed by email about the outcome of the selection process.
EFSA reserves the right to conduct at any stage an online interview and to check the applications of candidates considered for membership against proof of documents and certificates in order to confirm the accuracy and the veracity of the application.

The personal information EFSA requests from candidates and any other personal data on candidates will be processed in accordance with Regulation (EU) 2018/1725 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2018 on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data by the Union institutions, bodies, offices and agencies and of the free movement of such data.[5]
The purpose of the data processing is to manage applications for membership of the EFSA Scientific Panels and the Scientific Committee.
A Data Protection Notice concerning EFSA talent selection and recruitment processes is available on the website:


For technical questions or issues related to the application form, please contact EFSA Service Desk at servicedesk@efsa.europa.eu.

For questions related to the selection and appointment process, please contact EFSA Talent Selection at selection.experts@efsa.europa.eu.


[5] Official Journal of the European Union OJ L 295, 21.11.2018, p. 39–98




EFSA applies the principles of transparency, fairness and non-discrimination in its selection procedures.

EFSA reserves the right to consult third parties on the professional experience of candidates and on the veracity of the information declared by the candidates in the context of their application.

Eligibility criteria

Candidates must satisfy the following requirements on the closing date for submission of the application:

  1. 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.
  2. Thorough knowledge of the English language (equivalent of C1 level or above, according to CEFR: Common European Framework of Reference for Languages).
  3. 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, bio-informatics, 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.
  4. At least seven (7) years of professional experience[6] relevant to the remit of any EFSA Scientific Panel/Scientific Committee, gained after obtaining the requested education diploma.
  5. Active scientific production, proven by authorship/contribution, during the last five (5) years, in at least five (5) of the following type of scientific documents:
  • scientific publications (authorship) in peer-reviewed international journals published in English, on area(s) relevant to the remit of any EFSA Scientific Panel/Scientific Committee, documented through a list of scientific publications; 


  • scientific assessments[7] (authorship/contribution) at national/international level, on area(s) relevant to the remit of any EFSA Scientific Panel/Scientific Committee, documented through a list of performed assessments/related scientific reports. 

Selection criteria

To assess their level of scientific expertise, applications meeting the eligibility requirements will be admitted to a comparative assessment carried out on the basis of the selection criteria indicated below. 
Each eligible application will be evaluated against the following 3 selection criteria in relation to their first Scientific Panel/Scientific Committee of choice. Candidates may also be evaluated in relation to their second Scientific Panel/Scientific Committee of choice or other panels, as needed. The minimum cumulative threshold to pass this evaluation is 50 points (out of 100).

  1. Experience in scientific assessment: Experience in carrying out scientific assessment in fields related to safety of the food chain, in the areas of competence and expertise of the preferred Scientific Panel/Scientific Committee. (40 maximum points out of 100)
  2. Scientific excellence: Scientific excellence in one or several fields linked to the area covered by the preferred Scientific Panel/Scientific Committee and proven through scientific publications in peer reviewed journals published in English. (40 maximum points out of 100)
  3. Experience in reviewing scientific work: Experience in reviewing scientific work and ability to analyse complex information in the areas covered by the preferred Scientific Panel/Scientific Committee. (20 maximum points out of 100)

Draft list of suitable candidates 

The Executive Director of EFSA draws-up a draft list of candidates including applications having scored at least 50 points in the selection criteria evaluation. 

The Executive Director shall assess the specific multidisciplinary expertise needed in the Scientific Committee and each Scientific Panel, with a view to making an indication for their membership and for the number of members of each Scientific Panel and the Scientific Committee.

To this end, applications inserted in the draft list referred above will be further analysed and mapped for the evidence of multidisciplinary expertise/knowledge areas (the specific multidisciplinary expertise of each Scientific Panel and the Scientific Committee are outlined in ANNEX I) as well as in relation to competencies considered as assets: project management, risk communication and chairing of scientific meetings.

As a result of the above evaluation, the Executive Director shall finalise the draft list of candidates and provide it to the EFSA Management Board, together with a proposal for memberships of each Scientific Panel/Scientific Committee including the indication on the specific multidisciplinary expertise needed in each of them. The proposal shall also include consideration on balance of gender and geographical distribution. 

Scientists should note that inclusion on the draft list of candidates does not guarantee appointment as a member of a Scientific Panel/Scientific Committee, which remains a prerogative of the EFSA Management Board, and that the score obtained is not determining a priority order for appointment consideration.

Declaration of Interest

Only experts with a Declaration of Interests (DoI) compatible with EFSA’s Independence policy and rules will be considered for the subsequent phase of the appointment. Candidates placed on the draft list and having the most appropriate mix of competencies and expertise in relation to a given Scientific Panel or to the Scientific Committee will be asked to submit a DoI, which will be screened by EFSA in accordance with EFSA’s Independence policy and with its rules on Competing Interest Management[8], in force at the time when the screening takes place. 

Candidates who fail to submit a DoI will not be considered for appointment as members of a Scientific Panel/Scientific Committee. Candidates may be contacted for further clarification on their DoI.

See below an example of what is considered a Conflict of Interest. 

  • Example: The Membership of Scientific Panels is not allowed for candidates who, at the moment of submitting their DoI, are employed by or act in a consultancy role for 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 business operators above.

For questions related to the Declaration of Interests, please contact EFSA Interest Management at interestmanagement@efsa.europa.eu.


The members of the Scientific Committee who are not members of the Scientific Panels and the members of the Scientific Panels shall be appointed by the Management Board, acting upon the above proposal from the Executive Director, for a five (5)-year[9] term of office.

Where candidates have equivalent scientific expertise, the EFSA Management Board shall ensure that the broadest possible geographical distribution is achieved in the appointments. Moreover, the EFSA Management Board shall endeavour to achieve a gender balance in the appointments.

An expert that has previously served as a member of a scientific entity (EFSA Scientific Committee/Scientific Panel) is considered eligible for appointment to a scientific entity provided that, at the time of renewal (the start of mandate), the expert’s past membership of the same concerned scientific entity has not reached ten (10) years. As a consequence:

  • Experts who at the time of renewal have served less than ten (10) years as members of a given scientific entity are eligible for appointment for the same or a different scientific entity;
  • Experts who at the time of renewal have served ten (10) years or more as members of a given scientific entity are eligible for appointment for a different scientific entity only.

Reserve List 

The Management Board shall draw up a reserve list consisting of candidates from the draft list who have not been appointed. The reserve list shall serve for future appointment needs for members of the Scientific Committee, Scientific Panels and Working Groups and shall remain valid until the end of the term of office of members appointed. 

Appeal procedures

  • 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:

General Court of the European Union
Rue du Fort Niedergrünewald L-2925 Luxembourg
Tel.: (352) 4303-1
Fax: (352) 4303 2100
E-mail: GeneralCourt.Registry@curia.europa.eu 

  • 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



[6] Professional experience shall be taken into account from the date on which the person fulfils the minimum education qualifications for eligibility. 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. Paid traineeships are counted as working experience. Ongoing/completed PhDs in a field relevant to EFSA remit can be counted as professional experience.

[7] Scientific assessment = scientific advice, risk assessment, assessment of dossiers for approval of products or development of scientific guidance, carried out at international/national level, upon request from authorities and/or reference centres.

[8] For more information see EFSA’s website at http://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/topics/topic/independence

[9] The term of office of members appointed at a later date than those appointed at the time of renewal shall terminate at the same time as the term of office of the latter members.  


Source URL: https://careers.efsa.europa.eu/jobs/call-for-expressions-of-interest-for-membership-of-the-scientific-panels-and-the-scientific-committee-of-efsa-2023-343

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