Scientific Officer in Plant Health

Parma, Italy
Industry Sector:
International Public Sector
Type of contract:

Scientific Officer in Plant Health

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Is this job for you?

EFSA is looking for a highly motivated scientist in entomology or plant pathology [1] of agriculture, landscape or forestry plants or plant products, experienced in the application of quantitative plant health [2] risk assessment and/or population dynamics or epidemiological modelling for plant pests [3]. As a scientific officer in plant health you will contribute to ensuring plant health in Europe while at the same time you will have the opportunity to bring forward innovative ideas and improvement to current processes and practices.

Your key responsibilities

Coordinate the delivery of EFSA scientific outputs via working groups, grants and procurements in the field of plant health in accordance to the administrative rules and procedures of the Authority;

Contribute to the quantitative risk assessment and/or modelling for quarantine plant pests and diseases;

Contribute to risk assessments in the field of plant health for the EU territory;

Collection and evaluation of scientific information and data in the area of plant health;

Provide scientific support to and pro-actively participate in the activities of the Plant Health (PLH) Scientific Network, Panel and team;

Represent EFSA and present PLH scientific outputs at meetings and scientific events;

Follow scientific and regulatory developments in the field of plant health to drive process improvements and innovative initiatives.


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.

What can we offer you?

Life in Parma

Parma is a city of around 200.000 inhabitants with a historic centre, located in the Italian region of Emilia-Romagna. It is famous for its food, local wines and musical heritage. Its surrounding countryside includes a varied landscape with medieval castles, attractive villages and historic towns.  Parma is strategically located between the major Italian cities of Milan and Bologna, with it being possible to reach ski resorts, natural parks, the seaside and mountains all within a few hours.

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 AD6 with the basic salary starting from € 5,247.33, 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

Find out more about EFSA, visit us @

Please note that the ANNEX represents an integral part of this vacancy notice and should be consulted before completing your online application form.

This established reserve list may be used for the recruitment of a similar position depending on the needs of EFSA, and will be valid until 31/12/2018 (the validity of the reserve list may be extended).

[1]  Plant pathology includes here in its broader definition plant mycology, plant bacteriology, plant virology and plant nematology.

[2]  Plant health is defined here as regulatory science dealing with the scientific assessment of the risk and of the risk mitigations for quarantine plant pests.

[3]  Plant pest definition includes “any species, strain or biotype of plant, animal or pathogenic agent injurious to plant or plant products” (FAO, 2009. International standards for phytosanitary measures, ISPM No. 5 Glossary of phytosanitary terms, FAO, Rome).

What are the selection requirements?

You must satisfy the following requirements on the closing date for submission of your application:

  1. Eligibility criteria
  2. 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.

  1. 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: biology, agronomy, agricultural sciences, environmental sciences, plant pathology and epidemiology, entomology, mathematics, statistics or related areas.[2]

  1. Experience

In addition to the above, at least three (3) years of relevant and proven professional experience gained after obtaining the diploma. [3]

  1. Selection criteria
  2. Experience and knowledge
  3. Extensive experience in entomology or plant pathology of agriculture, landscape or forestry plants or plant products;
  4. High level of expertise  in quantitative risk assessment or in  population dynamics modelling or in epidemiological modelling, in the fields of plant health or entomology or plant pathology, for agriculture, landscape or forestry plants or plant products;

iii. Experience in analysing scientific information, often from a wide range of scientific disciplines and sources, and in preparing reports in a clear and understandable language;

  1. Experience in managing scientific projects involving a group of multidisciplinary experts;
  2. Experience in data collection, analysis and management;
  3. Knowledge of the EU regulatory framework in the area of plant health is considered an asset;

vii. A PhD in a scientific area directly relevant for the job is considered an asset.

  1. Competencies

viii. Communication and English: Strong ability to communicate effectively in English, orally and in writing, at all levels;

  1. Working with others: Works co-operatively with others in teams and across organisational boundaries and respects differences between people; is able to create a positive environment facilitating efficient scientific cooperation between EFSA staff and external experts;
  2. Analysis and problem solving: Ability to identify the critical facts in difficult issues and develops creative and practical solutions;
  3. Drive for Results: Ability to take personal responsibility and initiative for delivering high quality work;

xii. Negotiating: Can negotiate skilfully in tough situations with both internal and external groups.


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European Food Safety Authority (EFSA)

EFSA is a European agency funded by the European Union that operates independently of the European legislative and executive institutions (Commission, Council, Parliament) and EU Member States.

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