Call for expression of interest for fellows

Early to mid-career scientists are invited to apply for the EU-FORA Fellowship Programme funded and organised by the European Food Safety Authority.

With the EU-FORA Fellowship Programme, EFSA offers motivated scientists an exciting opportunity to gain expertise in food safety risk assessment. The EU-FORA fellowship is a one-year programme, consisting of an on-the-job ‘learning by doing’ placement at a hosting site organisation outside the country where the fellow is currently employed. The placement is complemented by state-of-the-art training on different aspects of food safety risk assessment (for a total of six weeks). All hosting sites are organisations under Art. 36 with recognised expertise in areas relevant to food safety risk assessment.

Through on-the-job ‘learning-by-doing’ fellows will gain in-depth knowledge and hands-on experience in food safety risk assessment. The principal focus of the EU-FORA fellowship programme is on chemical and microbiological risk assessment. It is aimed at early to mid-career professionals from relevant fields such as: molecular biology, biology, microbiology, veterinary/human medicine or agronomy/agricultural science, biochemistry, chemistry, environmental science, food technology or toxicology.

To complement the 12-month ‘learning-by-doing’ placement, joint training modules are arranged by EFSA in Parma, Vienna, Berlin and Athens. They will last six weeks in total and are mandatory for all fellows. The fellow hosting sites are required to anticipate the participation of their fellows at these training modules.

The modules will be structured as follows:

  1. General induction training (3 weeks) at the start of the programme in September of each year.
  2. Three specific modules spread over the rest of the 12-month period, each lasting one week.

Module 1 covers:

  • Animal health and welfare
  • GMO
  • Plant health
  • Nutrition
  • Regulated products
  • Environmental risk assessment

Module 2 covers:

  • Introduction to risk communication and crisis response
  • Risk perception
  • Risk participation
  • ‘Hands-on’ risk communication

Module 3 covers:

  • Emerging risks
  • Nanotechnology
  • Risk ranking
  • Adverse Outcome Pathway (AOP), Mode of Action (MoA), and Integrated Approaches to Testing and Assessment (IATA)

Your benefits

You will be awarded a certificate of participation by EFSA. A report on your scientific work as a fellow will be published in a special issue of the EFSA Journal. You will also become a member of an EU-wide alumni network, which will include scientists from all areas of food safety risk assessment. As a fellow, you will receive a monthly net subsistence allowance of 2 200 EUR (multiplied by a correction factor reflecting the cost of living in the country of the hosting site) for the 12-month duration of the fellowship, plus an additional one-month allowance at the start of the programme.

What it takes to become a fellow

  • You have a university level degree in a field relevant to food safety (e.g. molecular biology, biology, microbiology, veterinary/human medicine or agronomy/agricultural science, biochemistry, chemistry, environmental science, food technology or toxicology).
  • You have no more than 15 years of work experience in the area of food safety.
  • You are a national of an EU or EFTA Member State.
  • You have a very good command of English, both oral and written (minimum level: B2 according to CEFR).
  • You are interested and motivated in pursuing a future career in the area of food safety risk assessment.
  • See here for the full eligibility and selection criteria.


  • November 2018 – 31 January 2019: Publication of call for fellows
  • March 2019: Offers of placement to successful candidates
  • September 2019: Start of the 12-month fellowship programme

Application procedure

  • Before applying you should discuss your participation with your current employer and verify that your organisation supports your participation in the programme.
  • Download the application form here
    • Fill in all relevant fields in the application form.
    • Draft a motivation letter where you describe why you apply for the programme.
    • Prepare your CV using the EUROPASS format.
    • Send an email with all documents attached to: EU-FORA [at] (subject: Application%20for%202018%20EU-FORA%20programme) .
    • For information on data protection, see here.

The deadline for applying is 31 January 2019, 12:00 CET

Selection and placement procedure

  • 30 candidate fellows will be short-listed by an EFSA evaluation committee.
  • A placement will be offered to those fellows who best match the proposed work programmes of the hosting site organisations. The remaining short-listed fellows will be placed on a temporary reserve list in case vacancies become available at an early stage of the programme (up to one month after the end of the induction training).
  • Find here more details on the selection and placement process

Please send your applications or any further questions you may have to the following mail box: EU-FORA [at]