The European Commission invites scientists to join its Advisory Structure of Scientific Committees and Database of Experts
The Scientific Risk Assessment Advisory Structure established under Commission Decision 2008/721/EC provides the Commission with high quality and independent scientific advice on matters related to consumer safety, public health, and the environment.
This call for the expressions of interest concerns the replacement of the current members of the three Scientific Committees appointed by Commission Decision 2009/146/EC whose terms expire on 18 February 2012. This call does not concern the replacement of the members of the Pool of Scientific Advisors on Risk Assessment (hereinafter "the Pool") as their terms expire on 18 February 2014.
The official text for this call of expressions of interest is available at the following site: http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:C:2011:297:0004:0007:EN:PDF
Depending on their interests and availability for work, scientists are encouraged to apply for membership in one or more of the following :
- Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety (SCCS)
- Scientific Committee on Health and Environmental Risks (SCHER)
- Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks (SCENIHR)
- Database of Experts
The Commission appoints the members of the Scientific Committees (SCCS, SCHER, and SCENIHR) on the basis of their expertise in one or more fields of competence which are set out in Annex I of Decision 2008/721/EC. Successful applicants are expected to be well-established scientists with more than 10 years of professional experience and multi-disciplinary accomplishments. The deadline for applications is 15 November 2011. More information about the Scientific Committees is available at http://ec.europa.eu/health/scientific_committees/about/index_en.htm.
Membership in the Database of Experts is open to all scientists who wish to contribute to the work of the Scientific Committees on an ad hoc basis, on specific issues, as members of working groups or on the occasion of hearings and workshops. For the Database of Experts, there is no application deadline and no requirement for a specific length of professional experience.
The SCCS, the SCHER and the SCENIHR will each consist of a maximum of 17 members and may associate, at their own initiative, up to 5 scientific advisors from the Pool to contribute to a committee's work on specific issues. The associated members participate in the activities and deliberations on a given subject and have the same functions, responsibilities and rights as the members of the Committee. The Commission may also ask members of the Pool of Scientific Advisors to replace on a permanent basis members of the Scientific Committees who resign or whose membership is terminated. In addition, members of the Pool may be included in the activities of different working groups, in the provision of rapid advice requested by the Commission, or in thematic workshops/scientific meetings. Members are appointed to the Scientific Committees for a term of three years and may not serve more than three consecutive terms. They remain in office until they are replaced or their appointments are renewed. Scientific advisors are appointed to the Pool for a period of five years and their appointment may be renewed.
Applicants must have:
- a university degree in a relevant scientific area, preferably at postgraduate level;
- at least 10 years of professional experience (not required for database-only applicants);
- good knowledge of the English language.
This call for expressions of interest is open to scientists from all over the world.
Preference will be given to candidates who possess:
- professional experience in the fields of competence listed in Annex I of Decision 2008/721/EC.
- experience in carrying out scientific risk assessment and/or providing scientific advice;
- analytical skills: analysing complex information and peer reviewing scientific publications;
- professional experience in a multi-disciplinary and international environment;
- managerial/organisational skills, in particular in chairing and organising working groups.
In its selection process, the Commission will also consider candidates' independence (potential conflicts of interest), representation from different geographic regions, and gender balance. In order to ensure the optimal composition and functioning of the Scientific Committees, applicants may be offered a possibility to become members of a Scientific Committee for which they have not applied or for which they have applied indicating it as a second or third choice. Each expression of interest will be assessed individually by at least two members of the selection board. The European Commission is an equal-opportunity employer and committed to avoiding any form of discrimination.
Workload and Indemnities
Applicants for membership in a Scientific Committee should be prepared to attend meetings on a regular basis, to actively contribute to scientific discussions, to examine documents and to make comments during meetings, to attend workshops and hearings on invitation and act as "chairs" and/or "rapporteurs" of working groups, on an ad hoc basis. Most of the working documents are in English and the meetings are also conducted in English. Applicants should take into account that meetings in general involve preparatory work. It is estimated that each scientific committee will meet in plenary sessions between five and ten times per year. Members involved in working groups will need to attend additional meetings. Candidates should be willing to work with electronic methods for the management and exchange of documents. Meetings usually take place in Brussels.
Members of the Advisory Structure and the experts are entitled to an indemnity related to their participation in the meetings of the committees and for serving as a rapporteur on a specific question (Commission Decision 2010/309/EU). Meeting participants are also entitled to travel and subsistence allowances.
Interested scientists should consult the EC Decision 2008/721/EC establishing the Advisory Structure and in particular its annexes. Those annexes contain more details about the fields of competence and the applicable indemnities.
Interested scientists are invited to fill out and submit the online application form which includes a curriculum vitae and a list of publications as attachments. The application form requires Adobe Acrobat Reader 8.1.2 or higher which may be downloaded from: http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep2.html. The closing date for submitting applications is 15 November 2011. Please note that registration in the Database of experts will remain permanently open (no deadline set). Only online applications submitted via the internet will be considered. The application form is available at the internet link below.