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Head of Risk Assessment Services Department

Italy (Italy)

  • Organization: EFSA - European Food Safety Authority
  • Location: Italy (Italy)
  • Grade: FG I, Function Group 1, Contract Agent - Administrative support
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Managerial positions
  • Closing Date:

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Head of Risk Assessment Services Department 

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), based in Parma, Italy 
is looking for a 
Head of Department - Risk Assessment Services 
(Temporary Agent, Grade AD12) 
Please send us your application by no later than
7 September 2021 at midnight (local time), following the instructions in the ANNEX




Are you a seasoned manager with experience in developing and implementing organisational strategies? 
Do you have a passion to generate innovation and accompany changes?  
Do you feel ready to tackle a new challenge and lead the newly created Risk Assessment Services Department? As a dynamic and resilient individual with strategic insight, this is the job for you!

The Risk Assessment Services Department is one of the four departments of EFSA which is being created under a new organisational structure that will be implemented as of 1 January 2022. Its size is estimated at around 180 staff. It will have the mission to deliver services enabling, supporting and guiding the risk assessment production work, promoting integration and synergies between the sectoral areas and ensuring the quality and efficiency of the scientific process. 

The Department:

  • Coordinates and develops methodologies and guidance to conduct scientific assessments;
  • Delivers data analysis, literature searches and methodological assistance to support the production of risk  assessment (including crisis management and urgent responses);
  • Provides data management services;
  • Supports the work of the Scientific Committee and its Working Groups and Networks for the assessment of risks in cross-cutting scientific topics and for the development of cross-sectorial methodologies and guidance;
  • Ensures centralised planning of EFSA’s scientific workforce;
  • Provides front office services to risk managers and applicants;
  • Provides centralised risk assessment logistics, administrative and information services throughout the risk assessment process.

The Department will be composed of 4 Units: Front Desk & Workforce Planning, Integrated Data, Risk Assessment Logistics, and Methodology and Scientific Support.

The Head of Department reports to the Executive Director of EFSA.

Your key responsibilities

  • As a member of the Senior Management Team of EFSA, contribute to driving the overall vision and strategic positioning of the organisation;
  • Ensure the development and implementation of innovation and collaboration initiatives regarding data, methodologies and expertise, thereby fostering EFSA’s preparedness for current and future challenges; 
  • Foster cooperation and partnership initiatives with EU institutions, EU agencies, Member States, international organisations and third countries;
  • Steer the delivery of comprehensive scientific services - ensure clear coordination, communication and implementation of the department workplan in line with EFSA's strategy, providing people with vision, direction and leadership; 
  • Review working processes and working practices to ensure optimisation of resources and deliver continuous improvement/innovation to reduce costs and increase quality. Ensure effective resource allocation and utilisation considering strategic goals and outcomes and sound management principles;
  • Represent EFSA with external parties when needed.




You will play an active role in an organisation that makes a difference to the lives of 445 million EU citizens.
EFSA employs around 500 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.
As an EFSA staff member, you will have the chance to make a difference to European food safety working in an international and dynamic environment. You will also be able to participate in several valuable networking opportunities across Europe.
Furthermore, you will be joining EFSA at an exciting time as we are implementing the Transparency Regulation: EFSA expanded its mandate and will grow considerably over the next few years.
To find out more about EFSA, visit us at




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
EFSA can offer the selected candidate a contract of 5 years with the possibility of renewal. 
The successful candidate will be recruited as Temporary Agent Grade AD12 with the basic salary starting from € 11.671 monthly, 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.
  • 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 up to 50% of working time.
  • 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;[1]
•    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)    A level of education which corresponds to completed university studies of at least four (4) years attested by a diploma[2] in one of the following fields: food science, food technology, chemistry, biochemistry, toxicology, biology, microbiology, human nutrition, human medicine, veterinary medicine, epidemiology, dietary exposure assessment, life sciences or related areas;


b)   A level of education which corresponds to completed university studies of at least three (3) years attested by a diploma[2] in one of the following fields: food science, food technology, chemistry, biochemistry, toxicology, biology, microbiology, human nutrition, human medicine, veterinary medicine, epidemiology, dietary exposure assessment, life sciences or related areas, and in addition at least one (1) year of professional experience.


3.    Experience

In addition to the above, at least fifteen (15) years of proven professional experience[3] acquired after having obtained the qualifications mentioned in point 2 in positions corresponding to the nature of duties of the vacant post. Out of these fifteen (15) years, at least two (2) years must have been acquired as a manager.

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 excellent communication in both spoken and written English as well as strong motivation for the position.

1.    Technical competencies

i.    Demonstrated experience in designing, managing, coordinating and implementing strategies in scientific areas related to EFSA’s remit; ability to co-create and co-develop the main axes and direction of the strategy, translating it into delivery;

ii.     Proven experience (at least 6 years) in leading, coaching and motivating teams and driving high performance (as Head of Unit, Head of Sector or equivalent), preferably gained in an international/multicultural environment;

iii.    Experience in leading work plans and operations with medium to long term objectives; ability to manage budgetary resources and a wide range of workforce/contractual modalities optimizing the allocation of the resources to support the delivery of scientific outputs;

iv.    Good knowledge of the EU regulatory and policy framework, including EU food and feed safety legislation and risk assessment principles.

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;
ii. Demonstrate political savvy and strategic agilityDemonstrated business acumen, and ability to stay abreast of industry and organizational trends. Ability to manage and promote change as a creative, value-adding and innovative leader;
iii. Focus on stakeholder needs: Ability to apply strong communication, influencing and negotiation skills within a complex organisation jointly with advanced partnering and networking skills;
iv. Plan and measure for resultsAbility to focus on critical facts in complex contexts and coordinate multiple activities to achieve goals;
v. Work with othersWork confidently within a group and contribute to achieve the common goals; able to network, cooperate, listen actively;

vi. Lead and develop a team: Ability to get the best out of team members, inspire and motivate them.


The talent pool (reserve list) will be valid until 31/12/2022. The validity of the talent pool may be extended.

Candidates are invited to read the ANNEX that represents an integral part of this vacancy and provides information on how to complete the application, the steps of the selection process and appeal procedures.

[1] 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.

[2] 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.

[3] 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.


We do our best to provide you the most accurate info, but closing dates may be wrong on our site. Please check on the recruiting organization's page for the exact info. Candidates are responsible for complying with deadlines and are encouraged to submit applications well ahead.
Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.

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