EFSA Call for Expression of Interest External Experts - Food Contact Materials / Recycling Plastics

Parma (IT)
February 16 2021
Position Type
Part Time
Organization Type

Location: Parma, Italy
Deadline for applications: 15th April 2021

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), based in Parma, Italy is looking to expand its pool of scientists with expertise in the areas of Food Contact Materials and/or Recycling Plastics. 

Scientists with the required expertise are invited to express their interest by applying to this call and may be considered for participation in one of EFSA’s Working Groups under the Scientific Panel on Food Contact Materials, Enzymes and Processing Aids (CEP).


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

The Authority’s mission is to contribute to the safety of the EU food and feed chain, ensuring a high level of protection of human life and health. 

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.

To find out more about EFSA, visit us at www.efsa.europa.eu.


EFSA’s Working Groups are composed of experienced, independent experts tasked to gather scientific evidence on certain topics, to draft scientific opinions and conduct preparatory work for EFSA’s scientific panels and the Scientific Committee. Currently, EFSA is coordinating more than 100 Working Groups with 500+ experts, who deliver on a wide array of mandates.

Working Groups on Food Contact Materials and Recycling Plastics 

The role of the Working Group on Food Contact Materials is to perform the following preparatory work for consideration by the CEP Panel: 

  • To carry out safety assessments of substances used in food contact materials including active and intelligent materials as required under the applicable European Regulations;
  • To deliver draft scientific opinions on the food contact materials examined;
  • To deliver draft guidance document(s) for presentation of an application for safety assessment of a substance to be used in food contact materials prior to authorisation.

The role of the Working Group on Recycling Plastics is to perform the following preparatory work for consideration by the CEP Panel: 

  • To carry out safety assessments of recycling processes as required under the applicable European Regulations;
  • To deliver draft scientific opinions on the recycling processes examined.

The draft scientific opinions are presented to the CEP Panel, who is responsible for the adoption of the scientific opinions. 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. Members of the Panels and Working Groups are co-authors of the scientific opinions. 

 Working Group Experts

Members of the Working Groups are expected to work in cooperation and have a high degree of professional ethics and integrity. 
Members of the Working Groups are entrusted with the following responsibilities:

  • Timely preparation and discussion of scientific opinions, guidance documents and statements of the CEP Panel;
  • Contribute to independent scientific advice on matters falling within the remit of the Working Group;
  • Contribute to the consistency of EFSA’s scientific assessment approaches;
  • Ensure adherence to sector specific and horizontal EFSA guidance documents and relevant EU legislation.

General Conditions

Members of the Working Groups are expected to attend and contribute actively and timely to the meetings of the Working Groups where opinions, statements or guidance documents are prepared. Attendance and active contribution at the meetings of the Working Groups requires preparatory work, including prior reading, data analysis and drafting of documents. Meetings are held in English and the documents are in the English language.

Members of the Working Groups will be requested to attend two-to-three day meetings around six to eight times per year, by teleconference or physically in Parma (Italy) or in other EU cities. Experts will receive an indemnity in accordance with its rules laid down in the Experts’ Compensation Guide (https://www.efsa.europa.eu/sites/default/files/Experts_compensation_guide.pdf)


In order to express their interest in one of these Working Groups, candidates should fill in and submit the online application form. The selection and appointment of Working Group experts follows EFSA’s standard operating procedure on experts selection. If additional expertise is needed, EFSA may also draw external experts from other relevant databases.

Expertise required for the Working Groups on Food Contact Materials and Recycling Plastics

  • Proven experience in one or more of the following areas:
  • Risk assessment of chemicals used in the production of food contact materials;
  • Analytical chemistry: chemical identification and specification of chemical substances present in food contact materials;
  • Organic and polymer chemistry;
  • Migration testing and modelling for food contact materials;
  • Recycling technologies used for plastics and chemical engineering;
  • Food technology.

EFSA may contact pre-selected candidates for further assessment on their expertise and motivation and to check their availability. 

Please note that only pre-selected candidates will be contacted.

Declaration of Interest (DoI)

Suitable candidates identified as having the most appropriate expertise for the Working Groups shall be requested to submit a Declaration of Interests (DoI), which will be screened by EFSA in accordance with EFSA’s Independence policy. In the absence of a Conflict of Interest (CoI)[1], candidates may be invited for Working Group membership.


The decision on the appointment of the most suitable experts shall take into consideration the matching of the experts’ profiles with the scientific profile required for the specific scientific task in question, thorough knowledge of the English language, nationality and gender balance within the Working Group.

The members of the Working Groups are appointed in a personal capacity. They shall therefore not delegate their responsibilities to another member or to a third person. 

Should you have any queries please send an email to selection.experts@efsa.europa.eu.

A conflict of interest may arise e.g. where a candidate is employed by 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.


Please apply by clicking the 'Apply' button!