External experts

Background information

ECDC requires the inputs of independent external expertise to fulfil its mandate and to deliver its work programme. Hence, ECDC may engage remunerated and non-remunerated external experts. The selection of external experts aims to complement ECDC’s scientific expertise and to assist ECDC with expert advice on specific tasks. ECDC’s external experts contribute to the scientific decision-making in the EU with their scientific input. Tasks requiring external expertise include contribution to ad hoc panels, working groups and committees as well as the provision of opinions or advice on other technical matters (e.g. Rapid Risk Assessments or scientific guidance) or meetings (e.g. country visits or seminars).

ECDC selects external experts based on their professional capacity following pre-defined selection criteria.

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 per June 2020) limited to maximally 450 Euros per working day. In addition to that, the external experts will have their work expense (e.g. travel and subsistence expenses) reimbursed.

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.

Engagement of remunerated independent external experts

General description of the procedure

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

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 expert directory.
  2. When ECDC looks for external experts in a specific area, it will publish a call for expression of interest on its webpage. This call shall contain a link to an EUsurvey
  3. Follow the link to the EUsurvey.
  4. Complete the EUsurvey. Enter your full name and email address as indicated in the expert directory in order to link your profile on expert directory with your expression of interest.
  5. Submit a Declaration of Interest (DoI) on ECDC’s eDoI tool. Please follow the link to the eDoI tool. For further information on how to submit a DoI, please follow the corresponding link.
  6. The eDoI tool will send you your DoI as a PDF file by email. Please upload your DoI on EUsurvey.
  7. Confirm that you fulfil all the selection criteria and submit the completed EUsurvey.

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 of remunerated external experts, we refer to the corresponding decision of the ECDC Management Board of 17 June 2020.

Profiles open for expression of interest for remunerated experts

Applications are currently open for the following expert profiles:

  • Renumerated external experts - Public health areas for country support (Ref. No. CEI/ECDC/2021/004), profile description  Experts may express their interest to this profile by uploading their CV to the ECDC expert directory and inserting the reference number of this call for expression of interest from a drop-down list under the tab “Reference” in the Expert Directory. Deadline: 09-04-2026
  • Renumerated independent external experts -  Infectious disease public health training specialist (Ref. No. CEI/ECDC/2021/003), profile description (Experts may express their interest in this profile by filling in this form and uploading a CVBefore being offered a contract, any selected candidate must provide a declaration on honour. Deadline: 25-02-2026)
  • Expert to contribute to strengthening Africa CDC capacities in preparedness, surveillance, and response to health threats posed by communicable diseases (Reference CEI/ECDC/DIR/2021/002): profile description
  • 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 (Reference: ECDC/EX/2020/001), Deadline: 31-08-2025: profile description

Details on the selection procedure

Experts wishing to work with ECDC should sign in to 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

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.

After completing a profile in the Expert Directory, the external experts can apply for projects or activities following a call for expression of interest. The Expert Directory then stores the names of all applicants who fulfil the eligibility/ selection criteria for each specific call. These data are then used as the basis for the appointment. Subsequently, ECDC draws up a list of the most suitable candidates, which are ranked according to their professional capacity. 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. 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.

Q&A

Why does ECDC need an expert directory?

One of the key tasks of ECDC 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.

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.

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. ECDC will not share profiles with other users.

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.

For remunerated experts, the profile will be checked against the pre-defined selection criteria published in the call for expression of interest.

These selection criteria may for example include:

  • a university degree with specific relevance to the expertise required in the call (e.g. in science or public health);
  • relevant professional experience (e.g. previous involvement in risk assessment and provision of scientific advice);
  • the ability to communicate and work in a given Community language;
  • scientific merits (e.g. number of publications in peer-reviewed journals, number of PhD students supervised);

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.

How are external experts selected to join a scientific panel, group or other ECDC scientific activity as a remunerated expert?

After the aforementioned pre-selection, ECDC ranks all candidates admitted to the list of experts on Expert Directory according to their level of professional skills. This ranking is based on pre-defined so call ranking criteria. Like the selection criteria, the ranking criteria are also closely related to the sought professional profile of the external expert and are linked to the skills required for a concrete task.

When a particular task comes up, ECDC approaches the most high-ranking candidates listed on Expert Directory to enquire their availability and their interest in the task.

The selection and ranking process ensures a transparent, fair and merit-based selection of external experts. It aims to maintain scientific excellence at ECDC and to complement ECDC’s in-house expertise by the best sources available.

What happens, if I am selected to join a scientific panel, group or other ECDC 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 with a lump sum per working day. The amount of work depends on your assignment. It may range from reviewing and commenting on a draft document, which usually involves just a few hours of work, to being part of a longer-term ECDC scientific panel, which may involve participation in physical or virtual panel meetings and extensive scientific work for a multiannual period.

However, the number of working days is limited to 30 working days per calendar year for ordinary experts. Experts entrusted with preparatory work or with a chairing function may be remunerated for up to 60 working days per calendar year.

In accordance with ECDC regulations, external experts required to travel to and stay in Stockholm (or at another location) will be reimbursed for their work-related travel, accommodation and subsistence expenses.

Further information about the remuneration processes and rules will be sent to the external expert upon his selection.

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.

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.

What if I applied or worked as ECDC expert before?

If you are already listed as an external expert on Expert Directory, you can apply for participating in a specific task by submitting a unique identifier to the corresponding call for expression of interest on EU Survey. This unique identifier links your profile on Expert Directory to an ongoing call and ensures that you can re-use your profile for several appointments.

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

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).

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