Careers and Internships at PHR | Senior Researcher, U.S.

Senior Researcher, U.S.

The senior researcher works as part of Physicians for Human Rights’ (PHR’s) Research and Investigations team in documenting and exposing human rights violations in the United States and the US.-Mexico border region. The Senior Researcher will be responsible for monitoring and documenting rights violations, helping to design and execute rapid response and longer-term field investigations in partnership with volunteer consultant health professionals, cultivating relationships with stakeholders, writing reports and communications materials, and conducting advocacy briefings.

The senior researcher has a genuine commitment to human rights and PHR’s mission. S/he is a strong communicator with significant field experience and a proven track record in undertaking advocacy work and meeting tight deadlines amid multiple competing priorities. This position will be based in PHR’s NYC headquarters, but will require regular travel in connection with PHR’s U.S-Mexico border asylum work.

This position is grant-dependent. Under the terms of the grant, this position will start immediately and is estimated to last for up to two years. PHR hopes to offer, but does not guarantee, any continuation beyond that point, as it would be dependent upon securing additional grant-specific funding.

Reports to: Director of Research and Investigations

Location: PHR’s headquarters in New York, NY


  • Work in partnership with staff and PHR’s extensive network of volunteer consultant health professionals to design rapid response and research projects that document and expose violations of human rights, through the systematic collection and analysis of information from eyewitnesses, survivors, organizations, media, government officials, and other field sources both in the United States and Mexico, and in asylum seekers’ and torture survivors’ countries of origin.
  • Draft timely, well-substantiated, and compelling reports on human rights violations.
  • Write shorter quick response or proactive documents for relevant governments, government agencies, intergovernmental agencies and other stakeholders, as well as blog posts, op-eds, and social media communications.
  • Identify advocacy opportunities and develop and implement advocacy and media strategies in collaboration with PHR advocacy and communications teams.
  • Build and maintain relationships with stakeholders.
  • Be willing to work flexible hours, travel domestically and internationally as required, and respond to crises and urgent situations.
  • Carry out other duties as assigned and required.


  • An advanced degree in international relations, journalism, law, public health, or a related field, or equivalent experience.
  • Minimum three to five years’ experience working on human rights or related issues, with extensive field and rapid response experience.
  • Excellent writing and editing skills, and a demonstrated ability to concisely explain complex issues and information for a variety of audiences.
  • A demonstrated self-starter with experience in successful multi-tasking and working quickly under pressure to meet tight deadlines.
  • Sound political judgment and familiarity with U.S. and international human rights law, advocacy, and justice mechanisms.
  • Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to work collaboratively within PHR, as well as with local partners, government officials, and others.
  • Experience in ethical research practices and a proven ability to work collaboratively with a wide range of people, including survivors and witnesses of human rights abuses.
  • Experience in the use of social media both as an information source and as a platform to media outreach and advocacy.
  • A track record of influencing decision makers and lobbying to effect change is desirable.

Skills and Qualities

  • Bilingual fluency in English and Spanish mandatory, fluency in additional languages a plus.
  • Ability to remain focused in the face of multiple time-sensitive competing priorities.
  • Skilled communicator and comfortable working with people from diverse backgrounds, cultures, and levels of professional work experience.
  • Ability to exercise tact and diplomacy in organizational settings, and to build rapport with colleagues, partners, and advocacy targets.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, maturity, creativity, flexibility, passion for the program mission, patience, and a good sense of humor.
  • Ability to work collaboratively, effectively, and professionally with multiple stakeholders and organizations.


Commensurate with experience.

How to Apply

Please send a cover letter (with required compensation) and resume to including “Senior Researcher-U.S.” in the subject line. Please indicate where you saw this job posting in your cover letter. The deadline is rolling, but applicants are encouraged to apply as early as possible.

Physicians for Human Rights is an equal opportunity employer committed to inclusive hiring and dedicated to diversity in its work and staff.