The Joint Research Centre (JRC) is the European Commission's science and knowledge service which employs scientists to carry out research in order to provide independent scientific advice and support to EU policy [1] . Working in close cooperation with policy Directorates-General, the JRC addresses key societal challenges while stimulating innovation through developing new methods, tools and standards, and sharing its know-how with the Member States, the scientific community and international partners  [2] . The research carried out by JRC contributes to jobs and economic growth, a healthy and safe environment, secure energy supplies, sustainable mobility, consumer protection and safety and nuclear safeguards [3] .

The entire scientific, technical and financial management of the JRC is conducted in the headquarters located in Brussels, Belgium. Most of the scientific work of the JRC is carried out in seven research institutes located in five Member states: Geel in Belgium, Petten in Netherlands, Karlsruhe in Germany, Ispra in Italy and Seville in Spain. These institutes have a great variety of laboratories and unrivaled research facilities [4]. The institutes are:

  • The Institute for Environment and Sustainability (IES) (Ispra, Italy)
  • The Institute for Energy and Transport (IET) (Ispra, Italy and Petten, the Netherlands)
  • The Institute for Health and Consumer Protection (IHCP) (Ispra, Italy)
  • The Institute for the Protection and Security of the Citizen (IPSC) (Ispra, Italy)
  • The Institute for Prospective Technological Studies (IPTS) (Seville, Spain)
  • The Institute for Transuranium Elements (ITU) (Karlsruhe, Germany and Ispra, Italy)
  • The Institute for Reference Materials and Measurements (IRMM) (Geel, Belgium)

The JRC employs over 3000 people, from EU countries and candidate countries [5]. The JRC offers various temporary and permanent work opportunities and training for scientific and technical staff. Over two thirds of the staff work on scientific projects to help resolve current and future scientific challenges. Other staff members carry out administrative or support activities [6].

The JRC budget amounts to approximately €330 million annually. The JRC is funded by the EU's framework programme for research and innovation, Horizon 2020 for its non-nuclear work and by the EURATOM Research and Training Programme for its nuclear work [7].