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Cost-free experts

Opportunities for professionals with specialized skills

The IAEA offers job opportunities to professionals with specialized skills that are either not readily available among the Agency’s staff or cannot be financed under the IAEA’s Regular Budget.

There are three types of such cost-free experts (CFE) arrangements: types A, B and C. Which type of arrangement is chosen depends on negotiations between the donor Member State and the IAEA.

Cost-free experts – Type A

Cost-free experts under the type A arrangement (CFE-As) are appointed by the Director General of the IAEA and are subject to the IAEA Staff Regulations and Staff Rules. While the IAEA pays their salary, benefits and entitlements directly, the donor State provides the IAEA with the full funds to cover all costs incurred.

CFE-As are accorded a grade level commensurate with the duties and responsibilities of the job (from P-3 to P-5), as classified by the Division of Human Resources in accordance with the International Civil Service Commission’s classification system. During their service at the IAEA, CFE-As work under the authority of the Director General and shall neither seek nor accept instructions from any government or any authority external to the IAEA.

CFE-A candidate requirements

Candidates interested in CFE-A assignments are expected to:

  • hold a suitable academic qualification, namely a university degree, (for P-3 level positions) or an advanced university degree (for P-4 and P-5 level positions), in line with the requirements specified in the job description;
  • have at least five years of relevant work experience for positions at the P-3 level, at least seven years of relevant work experience for positions at the P-4 level, and at least 10 years of relevant work experience for positions at the P-5 level; and
  • be below the age of 64 on initial appointment with the IAEA.

Duration and conditions of CFE-A assignments

The initial duration of a CFE-A assignment is one to two years and can be extended up to seven years of service on any combination of appointments or assignments with the IAEA.

Extensions of appointment are subject to the needs of the hiring IAEA Department, satisfactory performance and agreement by the donor State.

CFE-As cannot be engaged in a managerial, supervisory, representative, policy-formulating or decision-making capacity.

CFE-A financial requirements

The assignment of a CFE-A must be fully funded by a donor State.

Cost-free experts – Types B and C

Cost-free experts under the type B (CFE-Bs) and type C (CFE-Cs) arrangements are experts sent by donor States or institutions at no cost or partial cost to the IAEA to perform specific functions or tasks for which no resources are available in the IAEA’s Regular Budget. They are engaged under a Special Service Agreement (SSA) and are subject to the conditions set therein.

While it depends on negotiations between the donor State and the IAEA which type of arrangement is chosen for a CFE, if a CFE is assigned to the IAEA’s Department of Safeguards and requires access to information classified as Safeguards Confidential, this expert can only be appointed under the type A arrangement.

CFE-B and CFE-C candidate requirements

Candidates interested in CFE-B and CFE-C assignments are expected to:

  • hold a suitable academic qualification in line with the requirements specified in the task list stipulated by the IAEA;
  • have appropriate work experience in their chosen profession, as per the task list requirements; and
  • be below the age of 70, except for CFEs working exclusively from home.

Duration and conditions of CFE type B and C assignments

The maximum duration of an initial SSA for a CFE-B and CFE-C assignment is two years and can be extended to up to three years.

CFE-B and CFE-C financial requirements

In the case of CFE-Bs, the donor State pays the salary, benefits and entitlements directly to the CFE. The IAEA has no financial obligations vis-à-vis the CFE or the donor State.

In the case of CFE-Cs, the costs are shared between the IAEA and the donor State. This arrangement will be made for CFEs sent by a donor State or institution from a developing country with a non-convertible currency.

Applying for CFE opportunities

As the assignment of a CFE is financially supported by the government of the respective IAEA Member State, the candidates are selected by the donor countries, either on an ad-hoc basis or following a structured approach. Candidates interested in CFE opportunities are encouraged to inquire with their Ministry of Foreign Affairs where they can apply.

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