Recruitment of COT specialist and non-specialist members

Last updated:
22 July 2016
Committee on Toxicity logo
The Chair of the Food Standards Agency and the Chief Medical Officers of the Department of Health and the devolved administrations invite applications for specialist and non-specialist members of the COT which will become vacant on 31 March 2017.

The COT is an advisory non-departmental public body providing independent expert advice on toxicological risk to humans. The Committee’s advice has consistently provided the sound scientific basis for the development of policy on issues that have major implications for public health, the economy and consumer confidence in food safety.

Position of specialist members

The following types of expertise are required by the Committee, and applications are invited from experts in these areas:

  • Analytical techniques    
  • Biochemistry
  • Bioinformatics    
  • Cell biology
  • Clinical practice    
  • Dietary exposure assessment
  • Endocrinology     
  • Environmental exposure assessment
  • Epidemiology    
  • Epigenetics
  • Human toxicology    
  • Immunology
  • Mathematical Modelling    
  • Mechanistic toxicology
  • Molecular biology    
  • Neurotoxicology
  • Nutrition    
  • Paediatrics
  • Pharmacokinetics    
  • Pharmacology
  • Probabilistic modelling    
  • Reproductive toxicology
  • Respiratory toxicology    
  • Risk assessment
  • Statistical aspects of experimental design    
  • Statistics
  • Systems biology    
  • Toxicogenomics
  • Toxicological pathology    
  • Xenobiotic metabolism

Non-specialist members

Applications are invited from the general public to fulfil the role of non-specialist member to the Committee. These members do not need scientific expertise but will perform a vital function in providing a different perspective to the work of the Committee, helping to ensure that the considerations of the Committee meet the needs of the public.

Candidates must be strong team players, with effective communication, negotiation, judgement and influencing skills combined with strong analytical and problem solving skills.  As a COT member you must be able to weigh issues outside your own specialist areas and to appreciate the impact that COT decisions may have on public health, consumers and the environment.  You must be able to work in a committee structure to arrive at sound, balanced and timely decisions.


Appointments will initially be for a three-year term, and may be renewed subject to satisfactory performance reviews, which will be carried out annually. There are normally seven meetings a year in London.  A nominal attendance allowance and reading payment will be paid and all legitimate expenses will be fully reimbursed.

Although these appointments do not come within the remit of the Commissioner for Public Appointments, they are being made using a process which takes into account the Commissioner's Code of Practice as best practice. Selection will be in accordance with the Government's Equal Opportunities policy.

The Food Standards Agency is committed to providing equal opportunities for all, irrespective of race, age, disability, gender, marital status, religion, sexual orientation, transgender and working patterns and to the principle of public appointments on merit with independent assessments, openness and transparency of process.

Please note that these positions do not offer employment.

Application details

If you are interested in applying for the specialist or non-specialist member of the COT, please e-mail: or write to Hetty Gbormittah, COT Secretariat, Food Standards Agency, Aviation House, 125 Kingsway, London WC2B 6NH. 

The closing date for receipt of completed applications is 16 September 2016.

Further information on the committee