Article 6 of the ECDC Founding Regulation (EC) No 851/2004
states that ECDC "shall provide independent scientific opinions, expert advice, data and information" and "shall seek to maintain scientific excellence at all times through the best expertise available".
Hence ECDC requires independent external expertise to fulfill its mandate and to deliver its work programme. Tasks requiring external expertise include conducting scientific working groups, developing and reviewing risk assessments, scientific guidance and other scientific opinions, and carrying out scientific and technical consultations.
In order to widen its roster of potential experts, ECDC has set up a “Candidate Expert Directory”, to which all experts with relevant expertise are invited to submit an application. Candidate experts may then be asked to participate in the work of ECDC on the basis of their specified competence.
External experts can assist the Centre in provision of scientific advice to support the policies and decisions of Europe’s risk managers and policy/decision makers in the European Commission, European Parliament and EU Member States.
For more information, please see Q & A and invitation to submit an application.
Apply to become ECDC external expert
ECDC invites scientists with relevant expertise to participate in the Centre’s scientific and technical work and assist the Centre in providing scientific advice.
Scientists with relevant expertise who are interested to support ECDC’s work are invited to register their interest in ECDC Candidate Expert Directory.
ECDC welcomes applications from experts in all fields of its mandate, such as:
• Burden of communicable diseases
• Climate change
• Epidemic intelligence
• Evidence-based methods
• Health communication
• Health economics
• Health informatics
• Human medicine
• Hygiene and infection control
• Outbreak investigation
• Public health crisis
• Public health policy
• Public health programme monitoring and evaluation
• Risk assessment
• Risk management
• Social and ethical science
• Social determinants
• Training and capacity development
• Veterinary medicine
All experts who wish to be included in ECDC Candidate Expert Directory are invited to register in the Directory. The information required is not extensive, and a profile can be completed in approximately 5-10 minutes.
Experts are asked to give the following information:
• generic personal information (Name, work situation, contact details, …)
• professional competencies (area of expertise, PH/Medical/Scientific competencies, etc.)
• Language abilities
• Annual Declaration of interests
Note that most fields are optional (the directory will guide the user if this is not the case), but it assists selection to give as much information as possible.
After initial registration in the Directory, ECDC will perform a minimal validation process to determine if the profile information is complete, consistent and the person has demonstrable expertise in the fields of ECDC’s competence. Following successful validation, the expert will be informed that their profile has been included in the ECDC Candidate Expert Directory. This means that the expert is now available to selection.
All experts in the Directory are requested to update their profiles regularly. Experts are also required to resubmit an annual declaration of interest and confirm their interest to remain active in the Directory. Those experts that do not update their profiles every year become temporarily unavailable for selection until such time as their information is updated.
Why does ECDC need an expert directory?
One of the key tasks of ECDC is timely delivery of evidence based scientific advice to support the policies and decisions of Europe’s risk managers and policy/decision makers in the European Commission, European Parliament and EU Member States. This can only be achieved through effective use of scientific knowledge and expertise. To this end, ECDC maintains a Directory of external scientific experts (ECDC Expert Directory).
The purpose of the Directory is to achieve the following:
- enhance the transparency of the process through which experts are invited to participate in the scientific activities of ECDC;
- enhance the ECDC’s capacity to conduct its activities, including the provision of Scientific opinion and advice, and
- allow ECDC to fulfil its mission by supporting more effective and flexible delivery of its work programme, particularly in cases where very specialised, unexpected or urgent work may be required.
What happens after I respond to this announcement?
ECDC maintains a directory of external experts. The Directory contains the profiles of all experts that have expressed their interest in being an ECDC expert and who have submitted information. This directory is used in the process of selecting experts to support ECDC work. The range of tasks to which external expertise is needed is large, and hence the method of expert identification and selection is not uniform.
However, in principle each time ECDC needs the support of an external expert for a specific scientific task, a shortlist of potential experts is drawn up from the directory. The candidates who closely match the sought profile are contacted to check on their availability and interest in participating in the identified task.
Please note that sending your application to ECDC Expert Directory does not mean that you will be automatically be invited to contribute to the work of the Centre; the nature of the ECDC’s mandate means that the range of diseases and public health issues that require ECDC engagement are fluctuating and not always predictable.
However, you can maximise your chances of being asked to take part in ECDC activities as an external expert by giving as much detail as possible, and keeping your profile up to date.
Is the Directory only available for ECDC use?
The use of the Directory is not restricted to ECDC. Member States (via their members of the Advisory Forum and National Focal Points) are also be able to query experts for their own scientific projects. However experts must indicate their consent for their profiles to be viewed by Member States. When no consent is given, profiles will only be available to ECDC staff; and their profile will not be invisible to other users
What is the validation process to be part of the EDC Candidate expert Directory?
The process for inclusion of scientific experts in the Directory is based on the submission and validation of a set of mandatory data consisting of: personal data; contact data; institutional data; CV; Declaration of Interests and data describing the expertise. The approval of each application is to be coordinated by the Scientific Advice Coordination Section, supported by ECDC´s internal experts. The applicant shall be informed of the outcome of the approval.
Validation is to ensure that all mandatory data were provided, the profile is consistent and the person has demonstrable expertise in the fields of ECDC’s competence.
Experts will be validated based on a combined assessment of professional experience, education and publication record. Only those profiles that demonstrate specific engagement in areas within ECDC’s remit will be accepted; Assessment will be made on the basis of the following desirable criteria:
- a university degree (ISCED level 7 as defined by UNESCO ) in one or more areas of expertise within the remit of ECDC;
- Professional experience relevant to the expertise declared, at a former or current employment for at least 5 years;
- Scientific articles in peer-reviewed journals or other published scientific documents relevant to the expertise declared; and
- Declaration of Interests completed and consistent with the information provided in other section of the profile.
Applicants who don’t provide enough information will be asked to add more details to their profiles before being approved. Applicants not meeting the criteria described above will be informed of their non-approval after a decision of the ECDC’s scientific committee.
Who is responsible for the management of the ECDC Candidate Expert Directory?
The responsibility for the operation of the Directory lies with the Scientific Advice Coordination Section (SACS) in ECDC. However, the application of the Directory; including the identification of expertise for specific tasks, and engagement with specific experts is the responsibility of the leader of each activity in ECDC, but supported by SACS.
What if I applied or worked as ECDC expert before?
If you applied before October 2010 it will unfortunately be necessary to re-apply.
If you applied after October 2010 your profile will be automatically migrated into the new database saving you from inserting the same information again. This migration does not replace the acceptance of the new data protection policy. Once you profile is migrated you need to authenticate in the database, read and agree with the data protection policy. Moreover you need to complete any missing data in your profile and submit it for approval before it becomes visible is searches for experts.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
if you have difficulties or questions regarding recovering your previous profile.
When and how can I join a scientific panel, group or otherwise participate in ECDC scientific activity?
To be selected for a particular panel, experts will have to meet certain criteria of scientific competence to assure optimal level of scientific advice provided by the Centre. These criteria include, but are not limited to:
1. relevant professional experience e.g. previous involvement in risk assessment and provision of scientific advice
2. ability to communicate and work in at least one Community language
3. some measure of scientific capacity and experience, such as number of publications in peer-reviewed journals, number of PhD students supervised, etc.
In case your profile would be of interest for a given panel or another type of scientific involvement with the Centre, to review your profile in more detail against the criteria listed above, you will be asked to provide additional information.
What happens if I am selected to join a scientific panel, group or other ECDC scientific activity?
The amount of work depends on the type of specific activity. It may range from reviewing a draft risk assessment document produced by internal ECDC experts and providing comments (which usually involves no more than a few hours work) to being part of a longer-term ECDC scientific panel working on a specific guidance which may involve a few one-two days trips to ECDC premises in Stockholm or (rarely) another location for face-to-face panel meetings and individual work from home location of varying duration by e-mail or internet forum.
In accordance with ECDC regulations, selected experts from the directory who participate in specific scientific activities requiring travel to and stay in Stockholm or at another location, shall receive travel and daily subsistence allowances (including accommodation allowance if needed). More information about the allowances as well as expense reimbursement processes and rules will be sent to the experts selected for providing scientific advice to ECDC.
Why do I need to complete an Annual Declaration of interest?
ECDC independence policy determines that in most cases external experts engaged in ECDC activities must complete an annual declaration of interest. IN order to support the rapid identification and engagement of experts for urgent tasks, such as rapid risk assessments; experts are requested to complete the Declarations of interest when registering their profile. This ensures that is an expert is selected, the assessment of potential conflicts can be made, and an expert can be engaged quickly while still fulfilling the requirements of ECDC Policy on Independence.
Do I need to keep my profile updated and resubmit an annual declaration of interest every year?
Yes. Experts in the Directory are requested to update their profiles regularly. In addition experts are required to resubmit an annual declaration of interest and confirm their interest to remain active in the Directory. Those experts that do not update their profiles every year become temporarily unavailable for selection until such time as their information is updated.
How does ECDC assure absence of conflicts of interest regarding members of its scientific panels?
Absence of interests prejudicial to the independence of potential external ECDC experts is based on review of submitted declarations of interest. ECDC has internal operating procedures regulating review of declarations of interest and prescribing steps to avoid such conflicts to interfere with the Centre’s scientific independence.
Who will use the directory and will my data be protected?
Your personal data will be processed, pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 45/2001
of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 December 2000, under the responsibility of ECDC’s Chief Scientist (the ‘controller’) for the purpose of possibly selecting you for collaboration at ECDC.
They will be made available to ECDC staff with a work-related interest in the directory, and may be shared with other EU institutions and agencies, where necessary. However, in response to each such request to share data outside of ECDC, the Centre will ask for your permission before forwarding any of your personal data. Willingness to share profile information with trusted institutions in EU Member States can be done explicitly by each expert in the application but it does not constitute a requirement to be eligible to enrol ECDC activities.
Furthermore, names of experts selected for participation in scientific panels will be published on ECDC's website.
Please note that provision of data in fields marked with an asterisk is a necessary condition for your inclusion in the directory. You will have at any time the right to obtain free access to your personal data and to have ECDC verify, rectify or erase them.