Senior Scientific Officer – Chemical Informatics
The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), based in Parma, Italy
is looking for a
Senior Scientific Officer – Chemical Informatics
(Temporary Agent, Grade AD8)
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 passionate scientist keen on contributing to the risk assessment of EFSA under the new Transparency Regulation and on the ongoing collaboration amongst EFSA, ECHA, EMA and EEA, which are striving to move towards a more integrated and holistic assessment of chemicals while reducing animal testing (“one substance – one assessment” approach)? Do you have experience in IUCLID standard and tools, in defining or using OECD OHT templates or, more in general, in designing structured data formats for chemical dossiers, and supporting with dossier ingestion, validation and data extraction? Are you familiar with chemical safety assessment techniques and tools (ChemInformatics) e.g. Q-SAR, read-across, identification, grouping and categorisation of chemicals? Are you interested in liaising with key stakeholders, within a regulatory framework?
You will work in a multidisciplinary environment with scientific experts and colleagues from several EFSA units and with EFSA stakeholders in the field (e.g. other EU agencies, the European Commission, EU Member State competent authorities, Applicants, Laboratories).
If you are looking for an interesting and challenging opportunity in an international scientifically driven organisation, then do not hesitate and send us your application still today!
Your key responsibilities
The successful candidate will contribute to the further development and implementation of structured data for the submission of chemical dossiers and related studies, supporting dossier ingestion and automated validation, and improving the re-use of data through data extraction, analysis and dissemination as defined in the new Transparency Regulation by carrying out tasks relating to the coordination, future development and integration of format and tools adopted by EFSA for Chemicals dossiers (e.g. IUCLID, E-Submission Food Chain platform (ESFC)). Moreover the successful candidate will support the definition, enhancement and use of chemical safety assessment method and tools (Cheminformatics) used in the EFSA’s Regulatory context (e.g. Q-SAR, read-across, identification, grouping and categorisation of Chemicals) in support of new in vitro/in silico approach methodologies (NAMs) and will contribute to the development of the European Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability (CSS) and the implementation of the European Common Data Platform for Chemicals under definition.
In particular, the successful candidate will:
• Coordinate the enhancement, further development and User Acceptance Tests of IUCLID format and platform as required by EFSA, in agreement and collaboration with ECHA and OECD.
• Coordinate the enhancement, further development and User Acceptance Tests of ESFC format and platform as required by EFSA, in agreement and collaboration with DG SANTE.
• Coordinate the development and maintenance of OECD OHT templates in agreement and collaboration with OECD and ECHA.
• Support users in their daily use of the above-mentioned tools e.g. support to external and internal training events and preparation of user manuals, provide answers to technical questions and requests for support by applicants and member states competent authorities.
• Ensure the correct implementation of dossier submissions, related data collection, extraction and dissemination processes in support of the scientific assessment of EFSA’s Panels and Working Groups, its units and of the risk assessors in the Member States.
• Analysing, developing, testing and promoting the use of ChemInformatics methods and tools (e.g. (Q)SAR tools, read-across, identification, grouping and categorisation of Chemicals).
• Contribute to the implementation of the European Common Data Platform for Chemicals and more in general to the sharing and dissemination of Chemicals data according to the FAIR principles, the confidentiality decisions of EFSA and the protection of personal data.
• Participate to governance meetings with the European Commission, ENVI Agencies, OECD and international organisation in the context of sharing Chemicals information and development of Cheminformatics tools.
• Keeping abreast of scientific and regulatory developments and contribute to providing information on legislative, policy and scientific aspects and electronic submission tools.
• Work with scientists from a variety of backgrounds to understand the process of chemical risk assessment and develop cheminformatics approaches that are fit for purpose.
• Routinely present knowledge and progress at various technical and managerial levels, both internally and across Agencies.
• Prepare data set(s) for statistical analysis code, test and debug Cheminformatic tools and pipelines. Undertake and/or advise on appropriate statistical and/or Cheminformatic analysis. Understand, interpret and report on results of statistical and/or Cheminformatic analysis.
• Ensure quality standards compliance, contribute to streamline and harmonise the workflow of applications and support data quality and data interoperability initiatives with relevant stakeholders.
• Coordinate and manage projects, data products enhancements and outsourced contracts to support EFSA’s scientific activities.
You will play an active role in an organisation that makes a difference to the lives of 445 million EU citizens.
EFSA employs over 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.
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.
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
The successful candidate will be recruited as Temporary Agent Grade AD8 with the basic salary starting from € 7.898 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:
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) A level of education which corresponds to completed university studies of at least four (4) years attested by a diploma
b) A level of education which corresponds to completed university studies of at least three (3) years attested by a diploma, and in addition at least one (1) year of professional experience.
In addition to the above, at least nine (9) years of proven professional experience acquired after having obtained the qualifications mentioned in point 2.
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
i. At least 3 years of experience in using and enhancing tools for Chemicals dossiers intake, validation and data extraction (e.g. IUCLID, the E-Submission Food Chain platform (ESFC), or similar) and in defining structured data formats, templates, data models supporting the preparation, submission, validation and data extraction of chemicals dossiers and related studies.
ii. At least 3 years of experience in analysing, interpreting and reporting on data and evidence using analysis software, statistical software or programming languages (e.g. SAS, MicroStrategy, Power BI, R-Shiny, Python, R, Spark, or equivalent technologies), in risk assessment workflow management tools such as Business Process Management or Case Management tools (e.g. Appian) and in disseminating data and evidence according to the FAIR principles, preferably in Open Data Platforms (e.g. IPCHEM, eChemPortal, EU Open Data Portal, etc..).
• Regulatory risk assessment of chemicals
• Chemical identification and characterisation
• Chemistry (e.g. analytical chemistry, organic chemistry, inorganic chemistry, polymer chemistry, biochemistry, pharmaceutical chemistry, environmental chemistry which may include exposure modelling, food chemistry, etc..)
• New in vitro/in silico approach methodologies (NAMs) applied for hazard and risk assessment of Chemicals
• Toxicology (e.g. general toxicology, mammalian toxicology, epidemiology, ecotoxicology, toxicological pathology, environmental toxicology, immunotoxicology, endocrinology, neurotoxicology and developmental neurotoxicology, reproductive and developmental toxicology. cardiovascular toxicology, genetic toxicology and cancer biology, drug metabolism, toxicokinetics or ADME, toxicodynamics, etc…)
iv. Experience in defining and delivering ChemInformatic services applied for hazard and risk assessment of chemicals e.g. developing, testing, using and promoting the use of chemical safety assessment methods and tools (e.g. Q-SAR, read-across, identification, grouping and categorisation of Chemicals).
v. Experience in managing and coordinating networks, multidisciplinary working groups, outsourced contracts and/or task forces supporting or leading the identification, hazard characterisation and risk assessment of chemicals.
vi. Experience in drafting clear, concise, and structured scientific and technical reports using appropriate terminology and experience in providing scientific and technical support to different stakeholders, conveying technical and scientific concepts and/or regulatory requirements (both orally and in writing).
vii. Experience in project management and/or product management, ensuring on-time high quality delivery of project outputs and/or enhancement and maintenance of data or IT products by taking personal responsibility and initiative.
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.
This vacancy is published as well internally at the grade bracket AD8 – AD12.
 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.
 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. 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 copies of documents proving the candidate’s work experience.