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Consultant - Development of web-based application to support global food authenticity and origin database (NAFA)

Vienna (Austria)

  • Organization: IAEA - International Atomic Energy Agency
  • Location: Vienna (Austria)
  • Grade: International Consultant - Internationally recruited Contractors Agreement - Consultancy
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Nutrition
    • Food Security, Livestock and Livelihoods
    • Information Technology and Computer Science
    • Statistics
  • Closing Date: 2022-01-25

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Organizational Setting


The Department of Nuclear Sciences and Applications implements the IAEA's Major Programme 2, "Nuclear Techniques for Development and Environmental Protection". This Major Programme comprises individual programmes on food and agriculture, human health, water resources, environment and radiation technologies. These programmes are supported by laboratories in Seibersdorf, Monaco and Vienna. The Major Programme's objective is to enhance the capacity of Member States to meet basic human needs and to assess and manage the marine and terrestrial environments through the use of nuclear and isotopic techniques in sustainable development programmes.

The Joint FAO/IAEA Centre of Nuclear Techniques in Food and Agriculture assists Member States of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the IAEA in using nuclear techniques and related technologies to improve food security, alleviate poverty and promote sustainable agriculture. The Joint Centre consists of five Sections, each with an associated laboratory (located in Seibersdorf, 45 km south-east of Vienna), in the areas of\: animal production and health; plant breeding and genetics; insect pest control; soil and water management and crop nutrition; and food and environmental protection.

The Food and Environmental Protection Section and Laboratory assist Member States in ensuring the safety and quality of food and agricultural commodities through the development of analytical techniques and application of food irradiation, focusing on the use of nuclear and related technologies in the management of food and environmental hazards and on strengthening capacities for nuclear emergency preparedness and response in agriculture.


Main Purpose


The incumbent will perform geospatial and statistical analysis of the IAEA global isotope data networks (GNIP) in conjunction with existing isotope data for food (e.g. EU FP6 IP TRACE dataset) to produce new scientific mapping and database products for use by Member States, by using a toolset of Relational Database Management Systems (RDBMS), Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and statistical software.


Functions / Key Results Expected

  • Develop on-line tools that can demonstrate geographical assignment and origin of selected foods using H and O isotope datasets based on comparison to existing data and spatial patterns in the (GNIP) database (isotopic geospatial modelling or "H and O isotope tracking").
  • Use datasets, such as the IAEA GNIP and new high-resolution prediction maps to calibrate H and O isotope tracking for known-origin sample food datasets (e.g. EU FP6 IP Trace Project database) as initial case studies to confidently calibrate software for application to determine origins of unknown samples.
  • Develop computer-based online probabilistic geographic assignment methods (in R code) for validation of isotope methods and models.
  • Assemble commodity-specific isotopic datasets for open use in the analysis of food and animal material, with recommendations for potential complementary techniques (e.g. trace element analysis).
  • Provide training to colleagues in use of the developed isotope mapping systems for food authenticity data interpretation.
  • Advise and facilitate procurement related to WRP databases.


Knowledge, Skills and Abilities



  •    Data Analysis

  •    Data Modelling

  •    Geographic Information System



  •    Database Administration

  •    Database Development

  •    Database Management


Qualifications and Experience


  •   Master's Degree in Information Technology and/or Geographical Information Systems or related 

  •   Minimum of five years relevant work experience. 

  •   Strong background in geospatial data analysis and map production using GIS, and relational database operation and design. 

  •   Familiarity with isotope nomenclature and a good fundamental understanding of the role of environmental isotopes in global water and bio-geochemical cycles.

  •   Excellent computing skills, with demonstrable experience in RDMS (Microsoft Access as the IAEA's standard desktop RDBMS), GIS (primarily, but not limited to
      ESRI ArcGIS), and statistical software packages (e.g. R, SPSS), including their programming and scripting. 

  •   Knowledge of computer network infrastructure and its administration desirable. 

  •   Excellent interpersonal skills, including the ability to operate effectively across organizational boundaries and the ability to establish and maintain effective
      working relations in a multicultural, multi-ethnic environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity.

  •   Good working knowledge of spoken and written English essential. Knowledge of German desirable for interaction with local IT suppliers and technical services.
      Knowledge of another official IAEA language (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian, Spanish) an asset.



The remuneration for this consultancy is a daily fee of up to a maximum of € 300, based on qualifications and experience. In case duty travel is required within the assignment, a daily subsistence allowance (DSA) and travel costs are provided. Health coverage and pension fund are the responsibility of the incumbent.



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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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