The European Centre for the Validation of Alternative Methods (ECVAM) is renewing its scientific advisory structure and has called for life sciences experts interested in joining the ECVAM Scientific Advisory Committee (ESAC) or the ECVAM Expert Pool (EEP). The two calls are addressed to experts in environmental science, medicine, chemistry, toxicology, test method validation, test strategy validation, risk assessment, statistics, biometry, epidemiology and modelling approaches.
The first call is dedicated to the new ECVAM Scientific Advisory Committee (ESAC). The 19 ESAC members, preferably senior scientists with a generalist profile, will advise ECVAM on all scientific aspects of its work, and in particular with regard to the scientific validity of methods that replace, reduce or refine animal experiments. The deadline for submission is Sept. 30, 2009.
New ESAC members will be selected solely on the basis of their scientific and other qualifications and must act independently of any third party interest. The ESAC will continue to work as a standing committee and focus on providing scientific advice to ECVAM, e.g. through issuing published opinions on the scientific validity of ECVAM-evaluated alternative test methods and other aspects related to alternatives to animal testing.
The second call for the formation of an ECVAM Expert Pool (EEP) supports ECVAM's mission through direct expert advice to ECVAM and ESAC, e.g., through their participation in ESAC working groups, task forces or workshops. Preference will be given to experts with profound specialist knowledge in one or a few areas. This open call will be published mid-September. No deadline is foreseen at present. Scientists listed in the EEP may also contribute to other project-related working groups of ECVAM, such as task forces or validation management groups and specific ECVAM workshops.
To maintain stakeholder dialogue, ECVAM will create a new entity, the ECVAM Stakeholder Forum (ESTAF), dedicated to the active dialogue with various stakeholders in view of sharing information on ECVAM's work, discussing priorities in ECVAM's work plan, and harvesting stakeholder opinions with regard to forward-looking aspects of test method development, optimization and use. This body explicitly allows for the representation of specific (vested) interests, including the voicing of societal concerns.
All relevant information including the application procedure can be found on http://ecvam.jrc.ec.europa.eu/index.htm.