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EU-FORA – The European Food Risk Assessment Fellowship Programme

The European Food Risk Assessment (EU-FORA) Fellowship Programme is a key initiative for ensuring preparedness for future risk analysis needs. The upgraded programme (2.0) introduces several significant changes based on five years of experience, the implementation of 80 work programmes, and the participation of more than 60 supervisors from 33 organisations in 16 EU Member States and the UK.

The programme aims to increase the pool of food safety risk assessment experts available in Europe and stimulate the involvement of Member States in risk assessment work, all with the ultimate objective of building a common EU culture for risk assessment.

EU-FORA 2.0 presents a unique opportunity for national competent organisations from EU Member States, Iceland or Norway to widen their networks, exchange knowledge and best practices and contribute to achieving a harmonised EU risk assessment culture by:

  • Identifying among their staff a fellow to be trained by a partnering organisation;

and / or

  • Offering a work programme to a fellow from another Article 36 organisation.

How does it work?

The principal focus of EU-FORA is on chemical and microbiological risk assessment. It is aimed at professionals with a background in biological sciences relevant to food safety and competent organisations with strong capacity in one or more areas of food safety risk assessment. Check out the FAQ in the toolbox (right) for more information.

The fellowship lasts for 12 months, during which time the fellow is released from his/her regular tasks at a competent organisation (fellow-sending organisation) to follow a work programme offered by another competent organisation (hosting site).

Although most of the work programme is followed remotely, around one third of that time is spent at the hosting organisation gaining first-hand experience, with the aim of enhancing knowledge exchange and networking.

Following a call for proposals, EFSA will rank the work programmes received based on their quality and relevance, as well as on the suitability of the identified fellow. Fellow sending organisation and hosting site apply as a consortium.

Has your organisation identified a potential fellow? Is your organisation interested in training a fellow? Find out more below.

Information for applicant organisations

The proposal must be co-submitted by a consortium of two eligible organisations (competent organisations under Art. 36 of the EFSA founding regulation), from two different EU countries, Norway or Iceland. One of the organisations will act as sending organisation, proposing a fellow to be trained under a work programme offered by the consortium partner, who will act as hosting site and will be responsible for the training of the fellow.

Do you need support to identify a consortium partner? Ask your EFSA national Focal Point! EFSA national Focal Points support and facilitate the creation of consortia, acting as a networking interface between national organisations.

Has your organisation identified a mid-career professional in the field of food safety with a full university degree in a relevant field and with less than 15 years of experience? Are you a competent authority in an EU Member State, Iceland or Norway with strong capacity and an extensive track record in one or more areas related to food safety risk assessment that would like to help strengthen Europe’s capacity in food risk assessment? Read on and find out about the benefits of the fellowship programme will bring to your organisation.

Watch the video below and hear what previous fellows and supervisors have to say about their reasons for participating in the programme and their experiences.

What are the benefits for fellow-sending organisations?

  • Fellows will bring back new skills, more expertise and hands-on experience in food safety risk assessment, acquired during the practical work and the training opportunities offered by EFSA over the 12 months.
  • Sending organisations will benefit from the direct contacts established with the hosting site.
  • Sending organisations and fellows will become members of a strong EU-wide network of professionals in the area of food safety.
  • At the end of the fellowship placement, your organisation will gain visibility from the final scientific report on the fellow’s work, which will be published in a special issue of the EFSA Journal.

What are the benefits for hosting sites and supervisors?

  • As a hosting site, your organisation will benefit from the skills and knowledge a fellow brings from his/her institution of origin, helping you to better understand the issues and perspectives of colleagues in other countries.
  • Hosting sites will have the opportunity to strengthen bilateral co-operation with other institutions. Moreover, during the 12-month fellowship, the fellow will become part of the scientific workforce of the fellow hosting site, contributing to their tasks and activities.
  • Hosting organisations will also create a common forum with other hosting organisations across Europe to exchange experience and best practice, helping to build the new generation of risk assessors.
  • At the end of the fellowship placement, your organisation will gain visibility from the final scientific report on the fellow’s work, which will be published in a special issue of the EFSA Journal.

Contact

EU-FORA [at] efsa.europa.eu