External experts

Background information

ECDC requires the input of independent external expertise to fulfil its mandate and to deliver its work programme. External experts complement ECDC’s scientific expertise and assist ECDC with expert advice on specific tasks that contribute to the scientific assessment and decision-making in the EU Institutions. Tasks requiring external expertise include:

  • prevention preparedness and response planning, 
  • public health risk assessment, 
  • scientific and technical assistance and training 
  • data collection and analysis. 
  • contribution to ad hoc panels, working groups and committees 
  • support the production of opinions or advice on technical matters (e.g. Rapid Risk Assessments or scientific guidance) 
    meetings (e.g. country visits or seminars).

ECDC may engage both remunerated and non-remunerated external experts. The selection of external experts is based on their professional capacity following pre-defined criteria.

The external experts must strictly avoid any conflict of interest at any time during their assignment. They must adhere to ECDC’s Independence Policy for non-staff.

Please see the following sections for more details on activities and processes related to:

  • Remunerated Experts
  • Non-renumerated Experts    
     

The ECDC Candidate Expert Directory

Experts wishing to work with ECDC should sign into the Expert Directory and submit a professional profile.

Applicants shall give the following information:

  • Generic personal information (name, work situation, contact details
  • Professional competencies (area of expertise, scientific competencies, etc.)
  • Language skills
  • CV
  • Annual Declaration of interests

In addition, candidates wishing to register in an ongoing call for remunerated experts (see below) should also select:

  • The relevant reference number(s) to ongoing calls for expression of interest published on ECDC’s website.

A profile can be completed in approximately 5-10 minutes, as most fields are optional. However, the more information you provide, the better the selection process. 

ECDC will perform a validation process to determine if the profile information is complete, consistent and the person has demonstrable expertise in the fields of ECDC’s competence. Applicants who fulfil simple validation requirements are included in the Directory, which then allows ECDC staff to view their profile when seeking external expertise.

External experts should keep their profiles on Expert Directory regularly updated and (re)submit an annual declaration of interest. 

Engagement of remunerated  external experts

Background

Pursuant to Article 237.2 EU Financial Regulation, ECDC may remunerate external experts for their work with a lump-sum indemnity (“fee”). The indemnity is determined and announced before the external experts accede to their task. It is currently (as of September 2023 ) limited to maximally 450 EUR per working day. In addition to that, the external experts will have their work expenses (e.g. travel and subsistence expenses) reimbursed.

General description of the procedure

Natural persons are invited to submit an expression of interest for any of the profiles open for application at this website at any time during the validity of the relevant call.

Where a particular task relating to the field described in a profile is to be performed by an external expert, the ECDC will select experts for the task on the basis of pre-defined criteria, such as the skills, experience and knowledge necessary and in accordance with the principles of non-discrimination, equal treatment and absence of conflict of interests.

Detailed instructions on how to express interest to be included in the list of remunerated experts for a particular profile:

  1. Create a profile on the ECDC Expert Directory.
  2. When ECDC looks for external experts in a specific area, it will publish a call for expression of interest on this webpage. Every call has a unique reference number (e.g. CEI/ECDC/DIR/2021/002).
  3. Log in to the expert directory and express your interest for the relevant scientific area. Indicate the reference number of the published call you are applying to.
  4. Submit a Declaration of Interest (DoI) on ECDC’s eDoI tool. Press the button “eDoI application” on expert directory, which will re-direct you to the eDoI tool.  See how to submit a DoI.
  5. When you have submitted your DoI, you can upload it to expert directory by clicking the button “refresh”.
  6. Submit your profile in expert directory.

Before being able to take up an assignment, the expert will be required to submit a Declaration of Commitment (see template), a LEF and FIF and sign a contract (see template).

For further information of the selection and remuneration of remunerated external experts, please refer to

Profiles open for expression of interest for remunerated experts

Applications are currently open for the following expert profiles:

  • Disease-specific surveillance, prevention, and control (Ref. No. CEI/ECDC/2021/005), profile description . Deadline: 10-07-2026.
  • Public health areas for country support (Ref. No. CEI/ECDC/2021/004), profile description . Deadline: 09-04-2026.
  • Infectious disease public health training specialist (Ref. No. CEI/ECDC/2021/003), profile description. Deadline: 25-02-2026).
  • Expert to contribute to strengthening Africa CDC capacities in preparedness, surveillance, and response to health threats posed by communicable diseases (Ref. No. CEI/ECDC/DIR/2021/002), profile description. Deadline: 30-09-2025.
  • Expert public health emergency preparedness and response capacities and capabilities in EU candidate and potential candidates (EU Enlargement) countries and European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) partner countries (Ref. No. ECDC/EX/2020/001), profile description. Deadline: 31-08-2025. 

Details on the selection procedure

Principles for expert selection

ECDC is committed to identifying the most suitable experts with best alignment between the competencies, knowledge and experience needed for the defined task and the expertise available. ECDC also ensures that the selection and engagement of externals experts follow the principles of fairness and transparency. The Expert Directory is an important resource to support these aims, as the depth and breadth of global public health knowledge and experience it contains ensures that ECDC is able to identify and engage suitable experts to contribute to ECDC activities.    

Selection procedure: renumerated experts

Experts wishing to work with ECDC should sign into the Expert Directory, submit a professional profile and if interested in remunerated activities, express interest for one or several specific profiles in the Expert Directory by inserting the reference number (Ref. No.) of the relevant call for expression of interest from a drop-down list under the tab “Reference”.

Without an explicit expression of interest, an applicant cannot be selected as a remunerated external expert.

ECDC admits applicants who meet the selection criteria indicated  in the call to a list of pre-selected experts. The list is used as the basis for appointments during the validity of the call. The list of experts is valid for 5 years from the publication of the call of interest or for a period specified under the advertised expert profile. When external expertise is needed for a specific scientific task, the ECDC Director shall select and appoint one or several external experts from the aforementioned list based on pre-defined ranking criteria. The external expert and ECDC shall subsequently conclude a written contract, which regulates their mutual rights and duties.

In order to remain eligible for appointment, external experts must keep their profiles on Expert Directory regularly updated and resubmit an annual declaration of interest. If the external expert fails to resubmit his or her declaration of interest annually and (s)he will not be able to be selected for an assignment.

Selection procedure: non-remunerated experts

There are a number of different tasks requiring non-remunerated external expertise. In these instances, the ECDC will select the experts with the needed profile for a non-remunerated task based on pre-defined criteria relating the experts’ professional capacity.
 

Q&A

Questions relevant for all experts

Why does ECDC need an expert directory?

One of ECDC's key tasks is the 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. ECDC can only achieve these objectives through an effective use of scientific knowledge and expertise. For some tasks, ECDC has to complement its in-house expertise with scientific expertise from external specialists. In order to engage external scientific experts, ECDC maintains a Directory of external scientific experts (ECDC Expert Directory).

The purpose of the Expert Directory is to achieve the following:

  • enhance the transparency of the selection process through which experts are invited to participate in the scientific activities of ECDC;
  • enhance ECDC’s capacity to conduct its activities, including the provision of scientific opinion and advice; and
  • allow ECDC to fulfil its mission, particularly in cases where very specialised, unexpected or urgent work may be required.

ECDC may use the expert Directory for the engagement of both remunerated and non-remunerated experts. The profiles for which ECDC may engage remunerated experts are advertised under the links above.

Who is responsible for the management of the ECDC Candidate Expert Directory?

The responsibility for the operation of the Directory lies with the Scientific Methods and Standards Unit (SMS) 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 SMS. What happens after I respond to a call for expression of interest for remunerated experts?

The Expert Directory contains the profiles of all applicants who have expressed their interest in becoming a remunerated ECDC expert following a call for expression of interest and whose scientific expertise has been validated.

Each time ECDC needs support from an external expert for a specific scientific task, a shortlist of potential experts is drawn up from the directory. ECDC contacts the candidate(s) who closely match the sought profile, to check on their availability and interest in participating in the identified task.

Please note that submitting your application to ECDC’s Expert Directory does not automatically guarantee an invitation to contribute to the work of the Centre nor imply any right to remuneration. Due to the wide scope of ECDC’s mandate, the range of diseases and public health issues that demand external expertise are fluctuating and are not always predictable.

However, you can maximise your chances of being selected as an external expert by providing as much information as possible, and by keeping your profile regularly updated.

Please note also that an application as an external expert does not lead to employment with ECDC as a staff member. If you are interested in a permanent employment at ECDC, please see the job opportunities for vacancies at ECDC.

What is the validation process to be part of the ECDC Candidate Expert Directory?

In order to be validated as a potential external expert, the candidate has to meet the pre-defined minimum requirements. The minimum requirements are based on the mandate of the Centre, and the associated scientific expertise and professional capacity required to contribute to ECDC’s work. The aim of the validation process is to ensure that experts assigned to the Directory have a minimum level of scientific and technical experience and aptitude to support the Centre’s work. The minimum requirements to be included in the Directory are:

  • 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.

Additionally profiles of remunerated experts (experts who expressed interest for remunerated work by selecting the reference number of a call for expression of interest in the Expert Directory) will be checked against the pre-defined selection criteria published in the call for expression of interest.

After the applicant has expressed his/her interest and submitted his credentials (such as his CV, Declaration of Interest), ECDC will assess, whether the applicant’s profile meets the selection criteria. Only candidates who meet all the selection criteria are included in the list of eligible external experts developed following each specific call. Please note, that the list of experts generated from each call is only valid for maximally five years from the data of its publication.

Why do I need to complete an Annual Declaration of interest?

As an independent EU agency, ECDC is obliged to act in public interest and to fulfil its tasks objectively and independently from external interests. It must therefore avoid any situations, which might raise any reasonable doubt of bias.

ECDC’s Independence Policy for non-staff obliges external experts who influence ECDC’s scientific position to avoid any conflict of interest. External experts must therefore complete an annual declaration of interest and keep the latter updated. Based on the information stated in declaration of interest, ECDC can assess whether there might be a potential conflict of interest with regard to a particular scientific output (e.g. evidence, expert opinion or advice). The annual declaration of interest hence facilitates a swift evaluation of conflicts of interest.

Do I need to keep my profile updated and resubmit an annual declaration of interest every year?

Yes. Experts listed on Expert Directory shall update their profiles regularly. Additionally, they must resubmit an annual declaration of interest and confirm their interest to remain active in the Directory. Therefore, the external experts who do not update their profiles annually become unavailable for selection.

How does ECDC assure absence of conflicts of interest regarding external experts?

After having reviewed the submitted declarations of interest, ECDC can assess, if a potential external expert has interests, which are prejudicial to the independence of ECDC. ECDC has internal procedures regulating the 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 (EU) 2018/1724 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2018, under the responsibility of the Head of the Scientific Methods and Standards Unit (the ‘delegated controller’) and solely for possibly selecting you for collaboration with ECDC.

All data included in your profile, included personal data, will be visible to ECDC staff who wish to look for specific expertise. You profile may also be accessed by other EU institutions and agencies as well as with EU Member State if you agree. ECDC will not share your personal data with third parties without your prior permission or without a legal ground for such a data transfer prescribed by law. You can express your permission to share your profile information in the application. However, such a permission is not mandatory for the listing on Expert Directory.

Furthermore, it is worth noting that, pursuant to EU law, the names of selected external experts, whose compensation has exceeded EUR 15 000 per assignment (signed contract) must be published on ECDC’s webpage for the sake of transparency.

As an external expert listed on Expert Directory, you are entitled to obtain information about the processing of your personal data as well as to access, rectify, delete and transfer your personal data as stipulated under Regulation (EU) 2018/1724.

For further information on the processing of the personal data, please consult the corresponding privacy statement or contact ECDC’s Data Protection Officer (dpo@ecdc.europa.eu).

Is the Directory only available for ECDC use?

Yes, profiles will only be available to ECDC staff on a need-to-know basis. ECDC will not share profiles with any external users.

Questions relevant for remunerated experts only 

What happens after I have responded to a call for expression of interest for remunerated external experts?

The Expert Directory contains the profiles of all applicants who have expressed interest in becoming a remunerated external expert following a call for expression of interest. The applicants who meet the selection criteria set out in the call are admitted to a list of pre-selected experts that is valid for 4 years since the publication of the call. 

Each time ECDC needs support from an external expert for a specific scientific task, ECDC selects one or several pre-selected experts from the above-mentioned list. This selection is based on pre-defined ranking criteria that have been set out in the Terms of Reference pertaining to a specific assignment. They enable ECDC to evaluate and to compare the experts’ qualifications relevant for the assignment. In addition, ECDC assesses the declared interests of the experts in order to avoid or to mitigate potential conflicts of interest (see questions below). If the outcome of these assessments is positive ECDC appoints the selected experts and concludes a written contract with them. 

Please note that submitting your application to ECDC’s Expert Directory does not automatically guarantee an invitation to contribute to the work of the Centre nor does it imply any right to remuneration. Due to the wide scope of ECDC’s mandate, the range of diseases and public health issues that demand external expertise are fluctuating and are not always predictable.

However, you can maximise your chances of being selected as an external expert by providing as much information relating to the selection criteria (e.g., education, work experience, merits) as possible, and by keeping your profile regularly updated.

Please note also that an application as an external expert does not lead to employment with ECDC as a staff member. If you are interested in a permanent employment at ECDC, please see the job opportunities for vacancies at ECDC.

What if I applied or worked as ECDC expert before?

If you are already listed as a non-remunerated external expert on Expert Directory, you can also apply for a remunerated assignment. Please update your profile on expert directory and express your interest in an ongoing call that is published on ECDC’s webpage. You express your interest by selecting the reference number of an ongoing call from a drop-down-list in expert directory. 

This reference number links your profile to an ongoing call. Please be advised that without an explicit expression of interest following a published call, you cannot be appointed as a remunerated external expert. However, may still be considered for non-remunerated assignments.

Please contact CSS@ecdc.europa.eu, if you have difficulties or questions regarding recovering your previous profile.

What happens, if I am selected to join a scientific activity as a remunerated expert?

After having been approached by ECDC and accepted your nomination, you will conclude a written contract with ECDC, which defines your task and stipulates the mutual rights and duties. In particular, you shall commit yourself to confidentiality, transparency and accountability as well as to rendering work, reporting and acting in public interest. ECDC, on the other hand, shall commit itself to indemnifying you for the work rendered and to reimbursing the expenses incurred in the course of the assignment.

How will I be indemnified for my work?

ECDC will indemnify you for the work rendered with a lump sum per day worked on the assignment. The amount of the indemnity is enshrined in the appointment decision and in the expert contract. It shall not exceed the amount of EUR 450 per day of work

The number of days of work depends on your assignment but it is limited to 30 ways of work per calendar year for ordinary experts. Experts entrusted with preparatory work or with a chairing function may be remunerated for up to 60 days of work per calendar year.

Will the expenses I incurred during the assignment be reimbursed?  

If an assignment requires you to perform work at a place that is not your place of residence or your usual place of work (such as participation in physical meetings or study visits), ECDC will pre-authorise the travel to the relevant place of mission. The dates of this travel will be indicated in the expert contract. It is your responsibility to arrange the travel and the accommodation once the expert contract is signed. You may claim reimbursement for the travel related expenses afterwards.

ECDC will reimburse the expenses incurred based on the provision of supporting documents (e.g., invoices, receipts) up to a pre-defined maximum amount (see Annex 1.9). The following conditions apply:

  • Travel expenses:

    Expenses for trains and economy flights from (a) your place of residence or your usual place of work to (b) the place of mission as well as airport transfers by public transport are reimbursable up to a maximum amount. This maximum amount depends on the place of mission (link to Annex 1.9).
     

  • Accommodation expenses:

    If, due to the duration of the necessary travel, you must stay away from your place of residence for one or more nights, ECDC will reimburse your accommodation expenses incurred up to a maximum amount pre-defined for each country of destination (see Annex 1.9). Accommodation expenses are only reimbursable if the linear distance between your place of residence/work and the place of mission exceeds 100km.

Additionally, you are also eligible for a daily subsistence allowance (DSA), if the linear distance between the place of mission and your place of residence is 100km or more. The daily subsistence allowance is a flat-rate lump sum that covers all expenses incurred during a necessary travel, such as breakfast, two main meals and other incidental expenses such as local public transportation or, meeting room rental. The amount of the DSA depends on the country of destination (see Annex 1.9). DSA is payable for each calendar day spent at the place of mission as requested by ECDC in the interest of the assignment. A full DSA will be paid, if you must stay at the place of mission for more than 12 hours per calendar day, whereas a half DSA will be paid if you must stay there for 6 to 12 hours per calendar day. 

Please take note that ECDC does not reimburse experts for purchasing work equipment, bank fees incurred, or any other expenses that were already reimbursed under another EU or Euratom contract.

How do I get remunerated?

You shall submit a request for payment to ECDC in order to claim your indemnity and the reimbursement of expenses. You shall use the template provided by ECDC (see Annex 4 to the expert contract). For one-off assignments, the request for payment is to be submitted no later than 30 calendar days after the submission of the last deliverable or after the last meeting, respectively. For ongoing assignments, you shall submit a request for payment every quarter of the year until the assignment is completed. Factual evidence of the work rendered and of the expenses incurred shall be enclosed.

The remuneration will be paid within 30 calendar days from the receipt of the request for payment. Please  take note that it is your responsibility to ensure compliance with the applicable tax regime. 

Payments will be made in euros. Conversions between the euro and other currencies will be made at the daily euro exchange rate applicable on the day on which ECDC issues the payment order. Please consult the Official Journal of the EU or the relevant European Commissions webpage.  

Page last updated 20 Oct 2023