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Choices seeks a temporary, part-time Science Manager

Choices seeks an experienced nutrition scientist who will work together with the Choices team to execute desk research, organise a public consultation and write a manuscript of a scientific paper on Choices multi-level criteria.

Background

  • Choices aims to help governments and food companies to shape their nutrition strategy in order to reduce the double burden of malnutrition globally. The International Choices criteria are used as a tool to define healthy products.
  • The Choices International Scientific Committee (ISC) is the custodian of these criteria and is responsible for the regular revision and adaptations of the Choices criteria.
  • The International Choices criteria describe the healthiest products per product group, by setting limits for saturated fatty acids, trans fat, sodium, sugar, energy and fiber. (Roodenburg, Popkin, & Seidell, 2011) and are regularly revised (VandenAssum, et al., 2020).
  • The Choices criteria were developed to serve as a system for Front-of-pack (FOP) labelling. To serve more nutrition purposes, Choices International is in the process of developing a new set of multi-level criteria. These criteria not only describe the healthiest products per product group, but also the least healthy and all in between (in 5 levels).  
  • A first draft of these criteria have been developed and are in the process of being tested against other nutrient profiling systems, such as Health Star Rating, Nutri-score and WHO and validated against a set of indicator foods (foods that are generally perceived as healthy, unhealthy or somewhere in the middle) from countries in Europe, Asia and Africa. As the final part of this validation process, Choices aims to seek comments on the (final) draft multi-level criteria through a public consultation on Choices’ website.
  • Choices would like to publish the newly developed Choices multi-level criteria in a peer-reviewed scientific journal and is looking for a Science Manager to coordinate the research and to lead the writing of a scientific paper in close cooperation with students, the ISC and International Secretariat (Choices team).

Assignment

Choices seeks an experienced nutrition scientist who will work together with the Choices team to execute the required desk research, organise the consultation and write the manuscript of a scientific paper describing the above-mentioned research by June 2021. Activities are, among others:

  • Coordination and oversight (together with International Secretariat) of the research executed by students (the validation process and the global framework for the inclusion of positive nutrients).
  • Organise the public consultation process via Choices website.
  • Writing of manuscript of a scientific paper.
  • Discussing the research and manuscripts with the International Scientific Committee and incorporating their feedback into the manuscript.
  • Selection of a suitable journal for submission.
  • Submission of manuscript(s) to the editor.
  • Contribute to the team and the communication about the multi-level criteria through the regular Choices communication channels

The Science Manager will begin as soon as possible (preferably 1 March) and the duration for the contract is 4 months. The contract is for approximately 20 hours per week. The candidate is expected to have a PhD or MSc in nutrition or other relevant science area and a sincere interest in the work of Choices. We expect the candidate to have experience in nutrient profiling methodologies and have strong analytical and communication skills.

As the Choices International Foundation works office-less in the cloud, the candidate is expected to arrange its own workplace and laptop. Communication will take place online (most communication via video conference and email). Being part of a global team, the candidate is expected to be flexible and able to attend meetings beyond regular office hours. Meetings are normally scheduled between 12.00 – 16.00 CET. The working language is English.

Qualifications

  • PhD / MSc in Nutrition / or other relevant scientific field
  • Knowledge and experience in nutrient profiling systems Excellent scientific writing skills (English) (first author of at least two peer-reviewed publications)
  • Competencies: Analytical, pro-active, flexible, able to work in teams and independently, accurate, finisher

References

  • Roodenburg, A., Popkin, B., & Seidell, J. (2011). Development of international criteria for a front of package food labelling system: the International Choices programme. Eur.J.Clin.Nutr., 1190- 1200.
  • VandenAssum, S., Schilpzand, R., Lissner, L., Don, R., Nair, K., Nnam, N., . . . Roodenburg, A. (2020). Periodic Revisions of the International Choices Criteria: Process and Results. Nutrients, 2774.

Application and selection procedure

Please send your motivation letter, CV and at least two peer-reviewed publications of which you are the first author by 16 February 2021 to dr. Herbert Smorenburg, Managing Director, herbert.smorenburg@choicesprogramme.org. We will conduct interviews in the week of 22 – 26 Feb and make an offer to the preferred candidate in the same week.

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