Careers and Internships at PHR | Senior Medical Advisor

Senior Medical Advisor

For more than 30 years, Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) has used science and medicine to document and call attention to mass atrocities and severe human rights violations. This is a difficult moment for human rights, one in which facts are challenged, basic protections are under assault, and hard-won norms are being eroded at every turn. But it is also a moment in which we are witnessing great courage from those who refuse to give up their freedoms and to allow others to violate human rights. And we are seeing the remarkable power of evidence to bring human rights abusers to justice.

PHR, which shared in the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize for its work to end the scourge of landmines, works at the intersection of medicine, science, and law to end human suffering, save lives, and secure justice and universal human rights for all. PHR investigates and documents human rights violations, gives voice to survivors and witnesses, and plants seeds of reconciliation by ensuring that perpetrators can be held accountable for their crimes.

PHR is poised for even greater growth and impact, and is recruiting committed scientists, health professionals, and activists with a passion for human rights. One such role is that of senior medical advisor. The person in this position will use medical and scientific expertise to advise and guide PHR’s research, advocacy, and communications work. The senior medical advisor will also strengthen ties with health professionals in the PHR network, and with medical associations and the health community more generally.

A part-time work option may be considered to accommodate an academic affiliation.

Reports to: Director of Programs

Location: New York, NY


• Ensure the academic/scientific rigor of PHR’s research by advising on use of qualitative and quantitative research (including innovative and novel research methods), as well as the interpretation of forensic evidence, ethics reviews, and human subject protections.
• Review medical/forensic/scientific analyses in PHR reports to ensure accuracy and consistency on terminology and interpretation.
• Participate in PHR field research; liaise with and brief medical experts deployed to PHR missions.

Networking and Capacity Development
• Assist in locating and recruiting relevant medical and scientific experts and institutions for PHR’s Advisory Council and database of experts to support PHR’s research and advocacy work.
• Act as a clearinghouse for requests from other organizations for medical expertise/opinions.
• Train PHR staff and other health professionals on relevant medical/health and human rights issues and methodologies.
• Assess the medical and scientific landscape for specific opportunities for PHR to contribute to innovation and advise on new areas of work.

Public Representation
• Speak to the media as requested and seek opportunities to do so; draft blog posts, op-eds, and social media submissions for mainstream, human rights, and medical outlets.
• Author or co-author submissions to peer-reviewed medical journals to enhance PHR’s standing in the field.
• Participate in advocacy initiatives and meetings, advocate with medical associations and authorities on their responsibility to protect human rights, and engage them with specific PHR advocacy initiatives, as appropriate and in coordination with advocacy director.
• Represent PHR at expert meetings and conferences on medical issues as they pertain to human rights in general and to PHR’s specific agenda.

• MD degree, preferably with an MPH, is desired.
• An academic affiliation is strongly preferred.
• Medical expertise on a wide range of relevant human rights issues; well-versed in a number of research tools and methods.
• A global perspective and international experience required.
• Willingness and ability to travel to challenging/politically volatile places, sometimes with very little notice.
• Experience working with PHR and/or other NGOs is a plus.

• Demonstrated commitment to human rights and an understanding of the international human rights system.
• A quick writer able to effectively translate medical issues into language that will resonate with the mainstream, while, at the same time, speaking with authority and credibility in a way that reinforces PHR’s niche with clinicians and forensic experts.

Salary and Benefits
Salary is commensurate with experience. PHR offers comprehensive benefits and generous vacation.

How to Apply
Please email cover letter (with salary requirements) and resume to Please include the job title of the position you are applying for in the subject line of your email. Kindly indicate where you saw this job posting in your cover letter.