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EU-FORA – The European Food Risk Assessment Fellowship Programme

Applications for fellows, cycle 2021-2022, are now closed.
Applications for hosting sites, cycle 2021-2022, are now closed.

The European Food Risk Assessment (EU-FORA) Fellowship Programme is a key initiative for building the EU’s scientific assessment capacity and knowledge community.

EU-FORA is a unique opportunity for early to mid-career professionals from EU and EFTA countries, offering candidates the chance to widen their knowledge and hands-on experience of food safety risk assessment. The aim of the programme is to enhance cooperation among Europe’s food safety organisations and between them and EFSA, thus contributing to the harmonisation of food risk assessment practices across Europe.

How does it work?

The programme’s principal focus 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. (Note that food safety encompasses risk assessment, risk communication and risk management in any field under EFSA’s remit). Check out the FAQ in the toolbox (right) for more information.

For a 12-month period of “learning-by-doing”, fellows are placed in a European food safety risk assessment organisation outside their country of residence and preferably not in their native country. At the hosting sites, fellows are fully integrated, participate in the organisation’s work, gain first-hand experience, and increase their knowledge of many scientific aspects relevant to food safety risk assessment. They also benefit from dedicated training.

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.

Are you interested in becoming a fellow? Is your organisation interested in hosting a fellow? Find out more below.

Information for fellows

Are you an early to mid-career professional in the field of food safety looking for an exciting opportunity to boost your professional development? Do you want to be trained in the area of food risk assessment while acquiring hands-on experience in leading EU organisations in the food safety area?

If you are national from an EU/EFTA country, have a full university degree in a field relevant to food safety, and have less than 15 years of experience in this area, read on and find out about the benefits of the fellowship programme.

What are the benefits for you?

The “learning-by-doing” approach will allow you to acquire valuable practical experience in many areas of risk assessment.

In addition, you will benefit from several high-level training opportunities; a three-week induction training at EFSA and further training modules along the 12 months of the fellowship, held in different capital cities around Europe.

During the Fellowship, you will receive a monthly net subsistence allowance of 2,200€ (multiplied by the yearly revised correction coefficients reflecting the cost of living in the country of the hosting site) for the 12-month duration of the fellowship. 

Check out the FAQ to learn more!

  • Increase your knowledge and take part in building the scientific assessment community. You will gain extensive and hands-on knowledge of many scientific aspects related to food safety risk assessment and will develop the ability to connect across disciplines.
    You will discover how to select and apply risk assessment methodologies, how to collect and analyse relevant data, how to use computer models in risk assessment, and how to provide effective risk communication.
    At the end of the programme you will receive a certificate of completion and the scientific report of your work as a fellow will be published in a special issue of the EFSA Journal.

  • Network and collaboration opportunities. Become a part of the food safety risk assessment knowledge community! Get inspired by the many interesting, innovative and enthusiastic people you will meet during the 12 months of your fellowship and stay in touch with your colleagues by actively shaping and participating in the fellowship alumni network.

How does your home organisation benefit?

Are you currently employed in a in an organisation working in any field under EFSA’s remit? Then your organisation will also benefit from your participation in EU-FORA.

  • You will return to your organisation with new skills, more expertise and hands-on experience in food safety risk assessment.
  • Your home organisation will have the opportunity to start networking with the hosting organisation and to engage in joint activities.
  • You will become a member of a strong EU-wide network of scientists in the area of food safety.
  • Your network connections will enhance your home organisation’s cooperation activities in the EU food risk assessment environment.

Information for fellow hosting organisations

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? EFSA offers you the opportunity to host motivated early to mid-career professional(s) and strengthen Europe’s capacity in food risk assessment.

Following a call for proposals, EFSA will rank the work programmes received based on their quality and relevance, and seek appropriate matches with fellow candidates who have responded to the call for expression of interest.

What are the benefits?

  • You will enjoy the support of a motivated scientist with a food safety related background from a different Member State. He or she will become an integral part of your workforce for one year and contribute to your organisation’s activities. Having a fellow in your team will enable you to gain insights into food safety issues in other European countries.
  • You will also create a common forum with other hosting site organisations to exchange experience and best practice, and you will cooperate with other hosting site organisations across Europe 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.


EU-FORA [at]