Social Scientist

EFSA - European Food Safety Authority

Social Scientist

Temporary Agent – Grade AD6

EFSA - European Food Safety Authority

Parma, Italy

The text of this call is available in all EU official languages here.

Please send us your application by no later than 5 February 2018 at midnight (local time, GMT +1), following the instructions in the ANNEX.


Are you a dedicated social scientist with expertise in applying social science evidence to the development of clear and impactful communications?

Are you interested in applying your skills to conduct social science research and evaluate the impact and effectiveness of communications on complex and controversial scientific topics?

The successful candidate will identify where social science advice, research and analysis can be of added value for EFSA’s communication initiatives and projects. The job holder will build effective relationships with science and communication colleagues to provide social science based support and advice to commission research projects and to improve the impact of EFSA’s communications.

The jobholder will work in the Communication, Engagement and Cooperation department. The mission of the department is to improve trust in EFSA by increasing the visibility of its work, protecting and enhancing its reputation, and fostering co-operation among partners and stakeholders at national, EU, and global levels.

Your key responsibilities

  • Identify where social science advice, research and analysis can be of added value for the organisation’s initiatives and projects;
  • Develop social science research and provide analytical advice on social science evidence to support risk assessment activities;
  • Provide, interpret and analyse data and evidence from a social perspective to support risk assessment and risk communication;
  • Support the establishment of a Working Group - and related secretariat - of social science experts under the Scientific Committee;
  • Work closely with leading experts in social sciences, and build links with external organisations, agencies and academic institutions.


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.


Life in Parma

Parma is an elegant city of around 200.000 inhabitants located in the Italian region of Emilia-Romagna. Its centre is rich of art, parks and treasures from different ages. Parma is famous for its food, wine flavours and its variable surrounding landscape with small villages, rich of history and liveliness, medieval castles, and picturesque countryside. Parma is strategically located between major Italian cities like Milano and Bologna, and also within reachable distance to ski resorts, natural parks, 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 in Temporary Agent Grade AD6 with the basic salary starting from € 5.326,04, 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 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 31/12/2019 (the validity of the reserve list may be extended).


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 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: sociology, communications, or any social science related discipline. [2]

3. Experience

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

II. Selection criteria

1. Experience and knowledge

i. At least 3 years of professional experience in a social science discipline, related to the tasks outlined under ‘key responsibilities’, preferably gained in an international/EU environment;

ii. Experience in designing and conducting social science research aimed at understanding social behaviours and perceptions;

iii. Experience in applying social science research results to the development of communication for defined target audiences, preferably gained in multidisciplinary teams;

iv. Very good knowledge of methodologies for qualitative and quantitative research for the evaluation of communication interventions, including statistical analysis;

v. Knowledge of published research on communication of risk and the role of scientific and public institutions in the amplification of risk;

vi. A Master’s degree or PhD in a social science discipline will be considered an asset.

2. Competencies

i. Communication and English: Strong ability to communicate clearly and effectively in both spoken and written English;

ii. Negotiating: Ability to negotiate skilfully in tough situations with both internal and external groups;

iii. Working with others: Ability to work with others harmoniously and towards a common goal to obtain best results in the interest of EU citizens;

iv. Analysis and problem solving: Ability to identify the critical facts in difficult issues and develop creative and practical solutions;

v. Drive for Results: Ability to take personal responsibility and initiative for delivering high quality work;

vi. Political savvy and strategic ability: Ability to anticipate future consequences and trends in the strategic application of social science evidence to the development of clear and impactful communications.


In the event of inconsistency or discrepancy between the English version and any of the other linguistic versions of this publication, the English language version shall prevail.

[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.

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