Careers and Internships at PHR | Syria Research & Investigations Associate

Syria Research & Investigations Associate

Location: This position is usually located in our headquarters in New York City, but is remote while offices remain closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Classification: Full-time, temporary position 40 hours per week. The assignment will conclude on December 30, 2021. | Non-Exempt

Work Authorization: Applicants must be authorized to work in the United States.

Organization Description

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. We investigate and document abuses, give voice to survivors and witnesses, and plant seeds of reconciliation by ensuring that perpetrators can be held accountable for their crimes. PHR uses our core disciplines – science, medicine, forensics, and public health – to inform our research and investigations and to strengthen the skills of frontline human rights defenders. We work closely with hundreds of partners around the world, using facts to wage effective advocacy and campaigning and providing critical scientific evidence so that survivors can seek justice.

PHR, which shared in the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize for our work to end the scourge of landmines, is poised for even greater growth and impact. As part of that strategy, we are seeking committed activists with a passion for human rights.

Role Description

Reporting to the MENA Researcher, the Research & Investigations Associate will conduct research and coordinate research projects focused on the attacks on health and healthcare personnel within the MENA Research & Investigations team.

Reports to: The MENA Researcher


  • Monitor and research (mostly via open-source and desk research) key human rights issues for the Middle East and North Africa and Research & Investigations teams, with a focus on Syria; collaborate closely with the MENA Researcher on the analysis of data trends; maintain the integrity of data containing sensitive human rights information.
  • Create and/or coordinate with other team members on the drafting of case studies, briefing papers, reports, op-eds, press releases, op-eds, blogs, and other content as directed; conduct editorial tasks such as proofreading, fact-checking, and referencing for R&I publications.
  • Assist in the organization of research and adhere to PHR’s rigorous research methodologies and instruments such as research protocols, project design memos, consent forms, Institutional Review Board, or PHR’s Ethics Review Board applications.
  • Liaise professionally with domestic and international medical, public health, humanitarian and human rights groups, and defenders in PHR’s network as directed and in coordination with other PHR staff; coordinate new partner collaborations and case-building initiatives and support existing efforts in that regard to ensure smooth progress toward deliverables; ensure lists of contacts are updated and stored securely.
  • Work closely with the finance department to assist R&I staff to manage and track programmatic expenditures; grant budget development; submission of purchase orders and reimbursements; and facilitation of independent consultant contracts.
  • Schedule meetings and take notes/minutes for the R&I team and coordinate the logistics (including security protocols and procedures) of travel and events, as needed; draft and compile R&I monthly reports.
  • Work with the Development team to provide subject matter input into grant proposals and reports; provide the PHR development staff subject matter input and materials necessary to finalize these documents.
  • Respond promptly to queries and requests for information from PHR colleagues and external parties where appropriate.
  • Assist with other research and programmatic support as needed. 

Qualifications and Skills

  • Bachelor’s degree at a minimum; an advanced degree in public health, international relations, medicine, law, social sciences, education, or related field is preferred.
  • At least two years of relevant work experience in a professional setting, preferably in a complex and fast-paced organization, interacting intensively with internal and external contacts.
  • Fluency in English and Arabic, and experience working in or with colleagues in the MENA region is strongly preferred.
  • Research experience focused on Syria, preferred.
  • Demonstrated understanding of and experience with human rights issues, principles and values; ability to cope with exposure to graphic human rights content.
  • Strong analytical, writing, and verbal skills, as well as organizational skills, attention to detail, and follow-through.
  • Budget and project management experience preferred.
  • Energetic self-starter with the ability to anticipate upcoming needs and work with minimal supervision.
  • Professional team player with mature judgment. A strong sense of integrity, and strict confidentiality.
  • Cross-cultural understanding and sensitivity; experience working and interacting with diverse groups of people.
  • Willingness to work flexible hours in response to emerging and urgent events.

Salary and Benefits

PHR offers competitive compensation, with options for medical, dental, disability, and life insurance, a retirement savings plan, and generous vacation. PHR observes the last week of the calendar year as an opportunity to refresh, with all offices closed. 

How to Apply

Please combine your cover letter and resume as a pdf or word document and send it to Indicate your “Last Name/First Name, Syria Research & Investigations Associate” in the email subject line.

A complete application consists of:

  • A thoughtful cover letter explaining why you are qualified for/interested in the Syria Research & Investigations Associate position with PHR. 
  • Resume/curriculum vitae.

Only complete applications in the format requested sent to will be considered.

Physicians for Human Rights is an equal opportunity employer. We recruit and hire without regard to race, national origin, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, prior conviction, arrest history, disability, marital status, veteran status, or age.

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