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Call for Expressions of Interest - EEA/SC/2020/1-7

Call For Interest Published 26 May 2020
14 min read
Call for Expressions of Interest 2020 for experts to be appointed as members of the European Environment Agency Scientific Committee

The European Environment Agency

The European Environment Agency (EEA) and the European Environment and Information Network (Eionet) were established by Regulation (EEC) No. 1210/90 of 7 May 1990 with later amendments (the codified version is Regulation (EC) No 401/2009 of 23 April 2009).

The primary objective of the EEA is to produce timely, relevant, comparable and reliable European, pan-European and regional environmental data and indicator sets, thematic analyses and integrated assessments in order to provide a sound decision basis for environmental policies in the EU and member countries of the EEA. The work includes cooperation with candidate and potential candidate countries to the EU and those covered by the European Neighbourhood Policy in Eastern and Southern Europe.

Data and information are gathered and disseminated through the Eionet, which is a collaborative network of the EEA, its 32 member countries – EU 27, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland and Turkey - and six collaborating countries in the Western Balkans. Eionet consists of National Focal Points (NFPs) and National Reference Centres (NRCs) in the EU and collaborating countries, and six European Topic Centres (ETCs) that are consortia of expertise drawn from Eionet and work under contract to EEA.

The EEA also works with a wide range of other partners, including the European Commission services, OECD, UN bodies, international conventions, research communities, the private sector and civil society.

The role of the EEA Scientific Committee

The Scientific Committee assists the EEA Management Board and the Executive Director in providing scientific advice and delivering professional opinion on any scientific matter in the areas of work undertaken by the Agency.

The Scientific Committee has three major tasks:

  • To deliver an opinion on the EEA multiannual and annual work programme;
  • To give an opinion to the Executive Director for the purposes of recruitment of the Agency's scientific staff;
  • To provide advice and/or opinion on any scientific matter concerning the Agency's activity, which the Management Board or the Executive Director may submit to it.

The Scientific Committee meets three times per year. Back to back with these meetings, the Committee holds seminars on topic of mutual interest with the EEA. Outputs from these are delivered, inter-alia, through seminar reports.

The Scientific Committee is an important link to the EEAcademy that formally began its work in 2016, and where members are invited to provide contributions through lectures, seminars and summer schools in support to knowledge developments and capacity building within EEA and Eionet.

Composition of the EEA Scientific Committee

The EEA Scientific Committee is composed of members of high scientific standing in one or more key areas of expertise relevant to the work of the EEA. Each member serves in an independent scientific capacity and do not represent countries or similar interests.

As a whole the members cover all key areas of expertise relevant to the work of the EEA, as well as reflecting regional and gender balances to the extent possible. The Committee has a chairperson and two vice-chairpersons who are elected from amongst its members.

Meetings and honoraria

The members of Scientific Committee are expected to attend its meetings on a regular basis. Meetings shall normally be held at the EEA premises in Copenhagen, the schedule of such meetings is normally agreed 8 months in advance.

Members of the Scientific Committee receive an honorarium for attending meetings in line with the Scientific Committee Rules of Procedure. Members will also receive travel and subsistence allowance in accordance with the Agency’s policy for the reimbursement of travel and accommodation expenses.

The Chairperson and rapporteurs are entitled to honorarium to defray costs related to the coordination of draft opinions on work programme and recruitment, and any other opinion on topics requested by the Executive Director and/or the Management Board.

In addition, Scientific Committee members shall be entitled to an honorarium for each full day of participation in EEA meetings and seminars when designated by the Management Board, or their contribution is specifically requested by the Chair of the board or the Executive Director.

Scope of the call

The EEA organises this call to appoint Scientific Committee members with expertise in one of the following areas as identified by the EEA Management Board to reflect departures of Scientific Committee members as well as priority areas for knowledge developments under the forthcoming EEA-Eionet Strategy 2021—2030 and the European Green Deal.

There are up to ten spaces in the Scientific Committee against the seven areas of this call. This means that for some areas, more than one expert may be selected.

Particular preference will be given to candidates who operate in recognised international scientific networks, given the increasing emphasis of this aspect in the forthcoming EEA-Eionet Strategy.

Area 1. Data and Information Technology

To assist the Agency with knowledge and scientific advice on the envisaged use of latest data and information technologies to support monitoring, assessments and reporting on EU environment and climate policies.

The advice is expected to embrace digitalisation, the potential of big data, artificial intelligence, Copernicus data and information services to improve information delivery for decision making. Relevant data for monitoring and assessment will become increasingly available from a variety of new sources and monitoring processes such as citizen science, sensor networks, industry, eDNA, Internet of Things, big data and open data.

The advice will address aspects from the full ‘data to knowledge cycle’ including observations, data management and treatment, analysis and communication. This will link to EEA’s work on data accessibility, data mining, statistics, spatial analysis, indicators, graphical representation, dissemination and communication to policy makers, scientists and the public via the web and social media.

Area 2. Science Communication

To assist the Agency with knowledge and advice on how best to use available tools and information technologies to support clearer communication of scientific aspects of EEA’s work to decision makers and the public.

The advice is expected to cover opportunities for data visualisation for communication and outreach purposes. Visuals can enhance the understanding of the content, and can also have a strong emotional appeal. Different audiences need different approaches to communication. The use of right visuals can contribute to make the story and-or the message more appealing and understandable.

Advice is also expected on how to use social science and social watch approaches to better understand societal debate and their impact on behavioural patterns that are relevant for future EEA assessments and their external communication. Recent linguistic and cognitive science show that facts often play a relatively minor role in how people shape their behaviour. Rather, moral beliefs and cognitive frames are often more relevant in how decisions are made. This knowledge is important for example, on how to communicate uncertainty and use story-telling to communicate complexity in ways that capture audience attention.

Area 3. Environment and Health/Chemicals

To assist the Agency with knowledge around environment and health and chemicals, and specifically the impacts on health of (multiple) stressors such as chemical exposure, air pollution and water quality, indoor air quality and/or environmental noise. This includes knowledge of exposure pathways relevant to human health including for example human biomonitoring of hazardous chemicals, and chemical exposure via dietary intake and from product use.

Advice is also expected around assessment methodologies, knowledge of frameworks to assess ‘early warnings’ for hazardous chemicals, novel sources of data, and to the estimation of health impacts based upon latest epidemiological knowledge and evidence, in particular on emerging methods that support a combined health impact assessment of exposure to multiple pollutants.

The advice is expected to further address the elaboration of relationships exploring inequalities in exposure to and impact of environmental pollutants associated with socio-economic and demographic status, as well as the health and wellbeing benefits delivered by ecosystem services, access to nature etc.

Area 4. Circular economy and resource use

To assist the Agency with knowledge for a more circular, green economy; and with environmental and climate considerations associated with the necessary transition of Europe’s industrial socio-economic systems.  

The advice is expected to cover knowledge of initiatives and best practices involving the re-design of Europe’s supply chains, processes and business models; eco-design principles including ‘safe-by-design’ initiatives to replace hazardous chemicals in products;  the consolidation of secondary raw material markets in view of achieving closed loops in European supply chains; the role that sustainable infrastructure developments may have in helping accelerate a shift towards resource efficiency and low-carbon objectives, and innovation opportunities in resource use (e.g. raw material processes, nanomaterials), shaping consumer behaviour, and uptake of digital technologies. 

Advice is also expected around assessment methodologies, links to novel sources of data, and how to address the challenges in this area concerning lack of data necessary to monitor uptake of circularity and innovative industrial actions, metrics and targets. 

Area 5. Biodiversity and ecosystems 

To assist the Agency with knowledge around how biophysical and socio-economic systems interact in order to inform transformative actions aimed at reducing the threats to biodiversity and natural resources, and ensuring that ecosystems are used sustainably. This includes knowledge on ecosystems dynamics supported by interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary study of the relationship between humans and their natural, social, and built environments.

Advice is sought in the context that ecosystems are coupled to human environments, that the ecological commons delivers services that sustains society’s well-being, and that ecosystems regulate the global geophysical cycles of energy, climate, soil nutrients, and water that in turn support and grow natural capital. This encompasses all aspects of nature and biodiversity especially species, habitats and natural resources, and their ecological dynamics to enable thorough analysis of the main pressures and cumulative impacts ecosystems are, and will be, exposed to.

More specifically, the advice is expected to cover concepts relating to the study of resilience, robustness, sustainability, and vulnerability and ecological limits, as well as ecological economics and valuation of nature in an effort to address the inequity between market-based economies and biodiversity loss. Links to novel sources of data to underpin those studies will be addressed to help on considerations regarding long-term ecological monitoring schemes, on the one hand, and applications of ecosystem-based management principles, on the other.

Area 6. Climate change 

To assist the Agency with advice and knowledge around the transition of Europe towards a climate neutral and climate resilient economy and society. The inputs would be based on a thorough knowledge on climate action governance at the EU and national level, and the mitigation and adaptation policy measures being implemented across society. 

In the field of climate change mitigation, expertise is sought with in-depth knowledge on energy systems in Europe to give advice on the decarbonisation of Europe’s economy, its drivers and enabling factors. In the field of climate adaptation, expertise is sought to give advice on how to achieve climate resilience within and across sectors such as agriculture, energy and transport. 

In addition, advice is expected on the trade-offs and synergies of climate mitigation and adaptation policies with other environmental issues for example, biodiversity, air quality and freshwater and marine environments.

Area 7. Sustainability and foresight 

To assist the Agency in developing knowledge and assessments on sustainability transitions in European society, in line with EU policy priorities. Success will depend on the extent to which they stimulate changes across society, as raised in the European Environment State and Outlook Report 2020 (SOER 2020).

Scientific advice is sought in the areas of systems innovation, societal transitions and foresight to help EEA improve its knowledge base including its next SOER in 2025. The advice is expected to cover dependencies between environment and demography, urbanisation, economy, lifestyles/behaviour, social and technological innovations, and politics, which are crucial drivers of change with very different evidence bases. Particular emphasis will be given to the environmental, social and governance considerations that can guide investment decisions in longer-term, sustainable economic activities, in line with the EU taxonomy for sustainable finance.

The advice would also inform improved understanding of future prospects, emerging issues, synergies, trade-offs and possible pathways to sustainability. Behaviours and values are fundamental drivers of political and sustainability success, but little understood or integrated in assessments like SOER and in EU policy making.  

Eligibility

Candidates must have:

  • a university degree in a relevant scientific area, preferably at postgraduate level,
  • at least 10 years’ professional experience at a level to which the qualifications give admission,
  • be a national of one of the member countries of the EEA (Member States of the European Union, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland and Turkey).

Selection criteria

Eligible expressions of interest will be subject to a comparative evaluation against the following criteria:

  • Scientific excellence;
  • Experience in carrying out scientific assessments and/or providing scientific advice in the listed areas of expertise;
  • Broader expertise in the field of environment sciences;
  • Experience in peer reviewing scientific work;
  • Ability to analyse complex information;
  • Professional experience in an inter-disciplinary environment in an international context.

In case of equal scientific excellence, the need to ensure gender and geographical balance shall represent a further criterion. Furthermore, excellent knowledge of English is important since this is the working language of the Scientific Committee.

The Management Board may decide on additional criteria on a case-by-case basis.

In order to foster gender balance in the Scientific Committee, applications from qualified women are strongly encouraged.

Selection process

Scientific Committee members are identified through an open process, leading to designation of chosen candidates by the EEA Management Board on the basis of a recommendation from the Executive Director after consultation of the Scientific Committee.

The Chair of the Management Board can call on a panel to assess the professional experience of candidates.

Shortlisted candidates will be invited for an interview in November 2020.

Appointment and term

The experts who meet best the above criteria will be appointed for a term of four years which may be renewed once for a maximum of another four-year period.

Independence and declarations of interest

Selected experts will be appointed on a personal basis. They are required to sign declaration of commitment and make a declaration of interests on an annual basis, which may be deemed prejudicial to their independence. Declarations of commitment and of interest are published on the EEA website.

Equal opportunity

The EEA is an equal opportunities institution committed to avoid any form of discrimination, both when it comes to recruitment and when dealing with involvement in networks and governance bodies such as the Scientific Committee.

Application procedure

Interested candidates are requested to submit their expression of interest by filling in the on-line application form and the template CV to be found under each of the links indicated below.

The CV shall contain a list of the applicant’s scientific publications, preferably in English, and other professional experience.

The CV shall contain a list of the applicant’s scientific publications, preferably in English, and other professional experience.

Applicable rules of procedure of the Scientific Committee of the EEA can also be found under the following link:

http://www.eea.europa.eu/about-us/governance/scientific-committee/scientific-committees-rules-of-procedure/view

When applying via the on-line application form, please ensure that you observe the following:

  1. Remember to take time zones into consideration when submitting your application.
  2. Once your application has been submitted, you will receive an automatic reply.
  3. It is your responsibility to keep the automatic reply message as proof of submission of your application.
  4. Should you not receive an automatic reply message, please check whether the e-mail has been filtered by the spam filter set up on your e-mail account. Please re-submit your application if this is not the case, or contact Human Resources on the e-mail address indicated at the end of this vacancy notice.
  5. Please do not leave it until the last minute to submit your application. Experience has shown that the system can become overloaded as the deadline for applications approaches and you may find it difficult to submit your application in time.
  6. You may apply in any of the official languages of the European Union but the use of English is encouraged to facilitate the process.

On-line application forms (English) and template CV (English) for the different areas can be found under the following links:

 

The candidates are kindly requested to direct any questions on the current call to the following e-mail address: sc.call20-questions@eea.europa.eu

Supporting documents may be requested at a later stage.

All expressions of interest will be treated as confidential.

Personal data protection

Any personal data provided by the applicant shall be processed pursuant to European Regulation related to personal data protection, in particular Regulation (EU) 2018/1725 on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data by the Community institutions and bodies and on the free movements of such data. This applies in particular to the confidentiality and security of such data.

The purpose of processing the personal data which candidates submit is to manage expressions of interest with a view to possible pre-selection, selection and the appointment of Members of the Scientific Committee of the EEA.

The applicant shall have the right of access to his/her personal data and the right to rectify or update any such data that is inaccurate or incomplete at any time during the application procedure. The right to rectify can only be exercised up to the closing date for submission of applications. However, inaccurate identification data may be rectified at any time during and after the application procedure. Any request for access or rectification of personal data shall be addressed in writing to the Human Management Resource Group at the address: European Environment Agency, Kongens Nytorv 6, 1050 Copenhagen K, Denmark, or at the e-mail address:
recruitment.enquiries@eea.europa.eu.

The applicant can, upon request, be provided with her/his evaluation results at all stages of the selection procedure. The request must be submitted to the Human Management Resource Group at the address: European Environment Agency, Kongens Nytorv 6, 1050 Copenhagen K, Denmark, or at the e-mail address:
recruitment.enquiries@eea.europa.eu.

Should the applicant have any queries concerning the processing of her/his personal data, s/he shall address them to the European Environment Agency at the following e-mail address:
dataprotectionofficer@eea.europa.eu

Applicants are entitled to have recourse at any time to the European Data Protection Supervisor (http://www.edps.europa.euEDPS@edps.europa.eu) if they consider that their rights under Regulation (EC) No 1725/2018 have been infringed as a result of the processing of their personal data by the EEA.

Closing date

Expressions of interest shall be submitted via the specific on-line application form not later than Tuesday, 7th July 2020 at 12.00 Central European Time.
Area 1: Data and Information Technology — 26 May 2020
Call for Expressions of Interest 2020 for experts to be appointed as members of the European Environment Agency Scientific Committee (EEA/SC/2020/1-7)
Area 2: Science Communication — 26 May 2020
Call for Expressions of Interest 2020 for experts to be appointed as members of the European Environment Agency Scientific Committee (EEA/SC/2020/1-7)
Area 3. Environment and Health/Chemicals — 26 May 2020
Call for Expressions of Interest 2020 for experts to be appointed as members of the European Environment Agency Scientific Committee (EEA/SC/2020/1-7)
Area 4. Circular economy and resource use — 26 May 2020
Call for Expressions of Interest 2020 for experts to be appointed as members of the European Environment Agency Scientific Committee (EEA/SC/2020/1-7)
Area 5. Biodiversity and ecosystems — 26 May 2020
Call for Expressions of Interest 2020 for experts to be appointed as members of the European Environment Agency Scientific Committee (EEA/SC/2020/1-7)
Area 6. Climate change — 26 May 2020
Call for Expressions of Interest 2020 for experts to be appointed as members of the European Environment Agency Scientific Committee (EEA/SC/2020/1-7)
Area 7. Sustainability and foresight — 26 May 2020
Call for Expressions of Interest 2020 for experts to be appointed as members of the European Environment Agency Scientific Committee (EEA/SC/2020/1-7)

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