By continuing to browse this site, you agree to our use of cookies. Read our privacy policy

Head of Risk Assessment Services Department

Brussels (Belgium)

  • Organization: EFSA - European Food Safety Authority
  • Location: Brussels (Belgium)
  • Grade: AD-12, Administrator - Open to citizens of an EU country - Senior level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Biology and Chemistry
    • Nutrition
    • Managerial positions
  • Closing Date: 2021-09-07

Click "SAVE JOB" to save this job description for later.

Sign up for free to be able to save this job for later.

Location: Parma, ITALY

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 organizational 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.



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.

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 preparing for the implementation of the Transparency Regulation: EFSA will expand its mandate and 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. Parma is famous for its food and 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 AD 12 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 (welfare package, household and expatriation allowances,...). Further information can be found in the full job description, on EFSA's career page.




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 effective 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 agility: Demonstrated 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 results: Ability to focus on critical facts in complex contexts and coordinate multiple activities to achieve goals;

v. Work with others: Work 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 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 31/12/2022. 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] [2] [3]: see official job description on EFSA career website.


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.

What does it mean?

Click "SAVE JOB" to save this job description for later.

Sign up for free to be able to save this job for later.