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The European Commission announced plans to invite scientists to join its Scientific Risk Assessment Advisory Structure of Scientific Committees, Pool of Advisors and Database of Experts. The Scientific Risk Assessment Advisory Structure is charged with providing the Commission with high quality and independent scientific advice on matters related to consumer safety, public health and the environment. A decision establishing the advisory structure is expected to be adopted by the Commission soon. It will replace the Commission Decision 2004/210/EC setting up Committees in the field of consumer safety, public health and the environment.
To that end, the Commission will launch a call for expression of interest. This communiqué is published as preliminary information only. Depending on level of interest and availability for work, scientists may apply for membership in one or more of the following: Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety (SCCS), Scientific Committee on Health and Environmental Risks (SCHER), Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks (SCENIHR), Pool of Scientific Advisors and Database of Experts. The Commission appoints the members of the Scientific Committees (SCCS, SCHER, and SCENIHR) and those of the Pool of Scientific Advisors on the basis of their expertise. Successful applicants are expected to be well-established scientists with more than 10 years of professional experience and multi-disciplinary accomplishments. The deadline for applications will be Oct. 31, 2008. More information about the current Scientific Committees is available at http://ec.europa.eu/health/ph_risk/risk_en.htm.
Membership in the Database of Experts will be open to all scientists who wish to contribute to the work of the Scientific Committees on an ad hoc basis, on specific issues, as members of working groups or on the occasion of hearings and workshops. For the Database of Experts, there is no application deadline and no requirement for a specific length of professional experience. The SCCS, the SCHER and the SCENIHR will each consist of a maximum of 17 members and may associate, at their own initiative, up to five scientific advisors from the Pool to contribute to a committee's work on specific issues. The associated members participate in the activities and deliberations on a given subject and have the same functions, responsibilities and rights as the members of the Committee. The Commission may also ask members of the Pool of Scientific Advisors to replace on a permanent basis members of the Scientific Committees who resign or whose membership is terminated. In addition, members of the Pool may be included in the activities of different working groups, in the provision of rapid advice requested by the Commission, or in thematic workshops/scientific meetings.
Members are appointed to the Scientific Committees for a term of three years and may not serve more than three consecutive terms. They remain in office until they are replaced or their appointments are renewed. Scientific advisors are appointed to the Pool for a period of five years and their appointment may be renewed.
Applicants must have: a university degree in a relevant scientific area, preferably at postgraduate level; at least 10 years of professional experience (not required for database-only applicants); and good knowledge of the English language. This call for expressions of interest is open to scientists from all over the world.