Junior research scientist in epidemiology on the environmental dimension of food in the perinatal period


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INRAE presentation

The French National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food, and the Environment (INRAE) is a public research establishment under the dual authority of the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Research.

INRAE is recruiting researchers by open competition and offering permanent position.

It is a major player in research and innovation created on 1st of January 2020. INRAE is a research institute resulting from the merger of INRA and IRSTEA. It is a community of 12,000 people with more than 200 research units and 42 experimental units located throughout France.

The institute is among the world leaders in agricultural and food sciences, in plant and animal sciences, and is 11th in the world in ecology and environment. INRAE’s main goal is to be a key player in the transitions necessary to address major global challenges. In the face of the increase in population, climate change, scarcity of resources and decline in biodiversity, the institute develops solutions for multiperformance agriculture, high quality food and sustainable management of resources and ecosystems.

Work environment, missions and activities

The Research Centre in Epidemiology and StatisticS (CRESS) is a joint research unit composed of 9 teams from INSERM, Université Paris Cité, and INRAE. Two of these teams devote all or part of their research activities to the field of human nutrition.

The early life origins of health research team (EAROH, 8 researchers, 2 ITAs) focuses on the study of prenatal and early childhood exposure and conditions that influence the physical, cognitive, and health development of children and the implication of these findings for screening and prevention. The team's research focuses on a range of aspects of child development and health: growth, obesity, metabolism, cognitive and motor development, immunity, and sleep, for which we study internal (genetic, epigenetic, microbiota) and external determinants (environmental contaminants, diet during pregnancy and feeding practices in the first years of life, social determinants). To successfully carry out its research projects on the early life origins of health, the team has invested in the creation of a medium-sized regional cohort (n=2002) with recruitment during pregnancy, the EDEN cohort (2003-2006, ongoing), and is strongly involved in the coordination of the Elfe nationwide birth cohort (in progress since 2011, n=18329).

While the team has been working for many years on the influence of perinatal diet on health and development, through the study of dietary patterns or intake of some food groups and nutrients, we would like to develop our research on the environmental aspect of diet and the benefit/risk balance related to food consumption. First, you will conduct your research on the links between exposure to food contaminants (assessed by a combination of food intake data with food contamination data from the Anses total diet surveys, or from exposure biomarkers) and health (infections, respiratory health, allergies, growth) and neurodevelopment in children. You will also look at the extent to which the consumption of organic food in early life is associated with children's health and development. You may be involved in European projects on the exposome in which the team participates. You will provide expertise on the statistical methodologies used to analyse the links between the exposome and health. You will develop research on the benefit/risk balance related to food intake during the perinatal period and will be responsible for strengthening collaborations with units specialised in toxicology or environmental epidemiology. These analyses will be based on data already collected in the cohorts but you will also participate in the development of new collection protocols and in funding applications to use the biological collections of the cohorts.

Possible relocation to Paris

Training and skills

PhD or equivalent

Candidates must have a PhD or equivalent.
A PhD in epidemiology and public health would be highly desirable. Skills in toxicology or environmental epidemiology would be appreciated.
Proficiency in statistical analysis software (SAS, R) would be desirable.
Candidates should have a good command of English (both written and spoken), and long-term international experience would also be desirable. Successful candidates who have not yet acquired this experience abroad will be required to do so after their probationary period (1st year).

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INRAE's life quality

By joining our teams, you benefit from:

- 30 days of annual leave + 15 days "Reduction of Working Time" (for a full time);
- parenting support: CESU childcare, leisure services;
- skills development systems: training, career advise;
- social support: advice and listening, social assistance and loans;
- holiday and leisure services: holiday vouchers, accommodation at preferential rates;
sports and cultural activities;
- collective catering.

For international scientists: please visit your guide to facilitate your arrival and stay at INRAE

Offer reference

  • Profile number: CR-2023-ALIMH-2
  • Corps: CRCN
  • Category: A
  • Open competition number: 9


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