Introduction to EPPO
The European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organization (EPPO) is an intergovernmental organization responsible for cooperation in plant health. Founded in 1951 by 15 European countries, EPPO now has 52 members, covering almost all countries of the European and Mediterranean region and Central Asia. Its objectives are to protect plants, to develop international strategies against the introduction and spread of dangerous pests and to promote safe and effective control methods.
EPPO’s activities on Diagnostics
Since 1998, EPPO has had a work programme in the area of diagnostics to harmonize procedures across the EPPO region. This involves the preparation of pest-specific diagnostic protocols, as well as horizontal standards providing guidance on validation of tests or on the performance of inter-laboratory comparisons.
Validation in the EPPO region
Performing validation in the region still mainly relies on initiatives from individual laboratories, although recently several inter-laboratories comparisons have been performed in the framework of Euphresco projects, which are highly valuable for setting standards for analysis at European and international levels (EPPO and IPPC protocols for diagnostics). Consequently, to improve the situation the EU has decide to fund a project on validation which is presented below.
EU project Valitest
The project was launched in May 2018 and its objectives are
1. To provide more complete and precise descriptions of the performance of diagnostic tests
2. To stimulate, optimize and strengthen the interactions between stakeholders in Plant Health for better diagnostics
3. To lay the foundations for structuring the quality and the commercial offers for plant health diagnostics tools
More information on the project is available at https://www.valitest.eu
EPPO’s participation in the VALITEST project
EPPO is leading the Work Package on dissemination, communication and training (WP6) and also participating in all the other Work Packages. WP6 will target the different identified stakeholder groups (including researchers, policy makers, inspectors, advisory services, diagnostic laboratories, industries) in order to facilitate the take-up and successful exploitation of the project results.
EPPO will use its network of plant pest diagnostic laboratories to organize surveys on the needs for improvement of its diagnostics database, in particular regarding, the section on validation data. EPPO will also organize workshops for the dissemination of the outcomes of the project as well as for training of staff in plant pest diagnostic laboratories. Several members of the EPPO Staff will work on this project but one additional person will be recruited for the duration of the project who will also participate in other activities to support the EPPO Work programme on Diagnostics.
Open data and open access policy for plant health research activities
Since 2014, EPPO is hosting the Euphresco network for phytosanitary research coordination and funding. In order to increase the visibility of plant health research outcomes, to ensure the availability, use and re-use of data and to foster trans-disciplinary collaboration and innovation, an open data/open access policy has been adopted. In the framework of the EU-funded project XF-ACTORS a pilot portal is been built to reference digital objects on Xylella fastidiosa.
The Scientific Officer will work under the supervision of the Assistant Director of EPPO.
Essential skills and qualifications:
Desirable skills and qualifications:
Please provide names and contact details of two referees who may be asked to provide information for short-listed candidates.
Contact for further information: Françoise Petter (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Monthly Net Salary full time: approximately 3 200 EUR (plus allowances for dependents if applicable).
If you are interested please register to the EPPO specific webpage (link) and provide a covering letter, a Curriculum Vitae and referee names. Applications should be submitted by 2018-11-26. All documents should be written in English and provided as separate files.
Short listed candidates will be invited to an interview which will include a written exercise. Interviews will be organized in December and the selected candidate would be asked to start as soon as possible.