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22 août 2018
Junior Scientific Officer - Entomology / Plant Pathology

Junior Scientific Officer - Entomology / Plant Pathology

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), based in Parma, Italy is looking for a Junior Scientific Officer - Entomology / Plant Pathology (Contract Agent, Function Group IV)

The text of this call is available in all EU official languages here.

Please send us your application by no later than 27 September 2018 at midnight (local time), following the instructions in the ANNEX.

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 31/12/2019. The validity of the talent pool may be extended.


Are you passionate about plant health and have you got experience in entomology or plant pathology (related to pests[1] of agriculture/landscape/forestry plants or plant products)? Do you have experience with the collection, generation and analysis of evidence?

Are you motivated and committed to contribute to EFSA's mission in ensuring food safety, animal and plant health in Europe?

We are looking for highly motivated and talented scientists who will contribute to ensuring plant health in Europe and support the preparedness of the European Union to new plant health risks, mainly through active participation in the conduct of commodity risk assessment in the area of plant health. The successful candidate will also be asked to contribute to other plant health risk assessment activities performed by EFSA in support of the new EU plant health law[2], such as pest categorisation, pest risk assessment, pest survey guidelines or horizon scanning to identify new plant health threats.

Your key responsibilities

The successful candidate will work under the responsibility of the Plant Health Team Leader and will be responsible for the following tasks:

  • Contribute to drafting and reviewing scientific outputs on plant health through the provision of evidence-based risk assessment, mainly in the area of commodity risk assessment but also in the area of other plant health risk assessment activities, such as pest categorisation, pest risk assessment, pest survey guidelines and horizon scanning to identify new plant health threats;
  • Provide administrative and scientific support to the activities of EFSA's Panels and Working Groups (i.e. preparation of working documents, scientific opinions, etc.);
  • Contribute to the collection, collation, analysis and evaluation of data for preparing scientific materials and working documents related to the scientific assessment;
  • Contribute to communicating and presenting scientific outputs by conveying the right messages and by making scientific concepts understandable to the public;
  • Keep abreast of scientific and regulatory developments and contribute to providing information on legislative, policy and scientific aspects, in particular in the area of plant health;
  • Contribute to the coordination of grants and procurements, including monitoring procedures, in particular in the area of plant health.


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.

Find out more about EFSA, visit us at


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 5 years with the possibility of renewal.

The successful candidate will be recruited as Contract Agent Function Group IV with the basic salary starting from € 3.404,15, 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:

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;[3]
  • 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: agriculture, agronomy, biology, entomology, plant pathology or related areas.[4]

3. Experience

In addition to the above, at least one (1) year of relevant and proven professional experience gained after obtaining the diploma.[5]

In case you do not fulfil all the eligibility criteria, your application will not be taken into consideration.

II. Selection criteria

1. Technical competencies

  1. Professional experience (field/laboratory/research) in entomology or plant pathology (bacteriology, mycology, virology or nematology) related to pests of agriculture/landscape/forestry plants or plant products;
  2. Perform scientific plant health risk assessments, such as commodity risk assessment, pest categorisation, pest risk assessment, pest survey guidelines or horizon scanning for new plant health threats;
  3. Generate, collect and collate evidence, e.g. from literature or statistical databases and perform statistical analysis of data;
  4. Write and review scientific documents such as scientific reports, articles, opinions, guidance documents;
  5. Manage projects by selecting and using appropriate project management techniques and tools;
  6. Communicate scientific outputs to different target audiences;
  7. Knowledge of the regulatory framework in the area of plant health is considered an asset.

2. Behavioural competencies

  1. Communication and English: Strong ability to communicate clearly and effectively in both spoken and written English;
  2. Working with others: Ability to work with others harmoniously and towards a common goal to obtain best results in the interest of EU citizens;
  3. Analysis and problem solving: Ability to identify the critical facts in difficult issues and develop creative and practical solutions;
  4. Drive for Results: Ability to take personal responsibility and initiative for delivering high quality work;
  5. Resilience and Composure: Ability to deliver effectively under high workload and adapt to a changing work environment.


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] According to the International standard for Phytosanitary measure n. 5 Glossary of phytosanitary terms, a pest is any species, strain or biotype of plant, animal or pathogenic agent injurious to plants or plant products (


[3] 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.

[4] 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.

[5] 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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