Scholars at Risk is seeking a highly-motivated, flexible individual to join the Scholars at Risk team as a Program Associate. This full-time, temporary position is a natural fit for a detail-oriented person with excellent research and writing skills. The responsibilities of the position include offering protection services: reviewing, researching and assessing applications for assistance from scholars facing threats to their lives while providing support for placement efforts at SAR network university members. The Program Associate is responsible for communicating with scholars assisted by the network; providing scholars with advice and referrals; compiling nomination documents for SAR staff to share with network representatives; supervising casework interns; and other duties, as assigned.
Key Responsibilities and Duties
80% - Protection services and Prevention/Promotion activities
Assessment of applications for assistance & placement efforts
- Research case information and conduct initial assessment of each applicant seeking assistance from Scholars at Risk;
- Research human rights and academic freedom situations in countries where scholars are facing threats to their lives;
- Make recommendations to SAR supervisory staff regarding applications;
- Serve as primary contact for scholars and applicants to SAR;
- Prepare case information—including drafting case summaries, contacting references, and collecting publications/samples of work—for circulation to SAR members and other partners to support placement efforts;
- Identify appropriate research, fellowship, legal aid and other opportunities for SAR scholars;
- Maintain online list of cases and their summaries, which are available to SAR members;
- Assist in preparing outreach emails sharing information on scholars seeking placement; and
- Provide support to program staff on casework as needed.
20% - Communications and program administration
- Supervise volunteers and interns supporting casework;
- Maintain database and case files;
- Provide support for outreach, membership and fundraising activities, including mailings, purchase orders and reimbursements, as needed; and
- Generate case-related figures and prepare reports on a semi-annual basis for funders, mailings and meetings;
- Perform other administrative duties, as needed.
The ideal candidate is a self-starter who works well under tight deadlines; handles confidential materials with care; has excellent written and oral communication skills; displays compassion in communications with clients; has excellent judgment, attention to detail, research and analytic skills and a strong familiarity with human rights situations around the world; and wants to be an important contributor to a collegial office dedicated to protecting individuals, preventing future violations and promoting human rights generally.
- Graduate degree in relevant field preferred, undergraduate degree required;
- Previous experience for non-profits in the fields of international education, program management, human rights, immigration/refugee services or related fields preferred;
- Excellent research, analytical and oral and written communication skills required;
- Solid judgment and demonstrated ability to handle sensitive, confidential information in a discrete, professional manner required;
- Ability to meet deadlines, to handle increasing levels of responsibility, and to work with minimal supervision required;
- Attention to detail, flexibility, initiative and good problem-solving abilities required;
- Excellent interpersonal and cross-cultural skills required
- Language skills very helpful;
- Computer skills, including proficiency in Excel, Word, Adobe required; website and database experience a plus;
- Experience supervising junior staff, interns or volunteers beneficial; and
- Familiarity with higher education systems and human rights/relief/refugee organizations, or other relevant entities preferred.
Compensation and Benefits
This is an hourly position for 40 hours per week. Compensation is commensurate with experience and pro-rated from comparable SAR full-time, salaried positions.
How to apply
PLEASE APPLY IMMEDIATELY (no phone calls or email inquiries, please) by emailing in a single submission: a letter of interest, your resume, list of references or letters of reference, and a brief, unedited writing sample. Please use "Program Associate-[Your last name]" as the subject of your email. Applications accepted on a rolling basis until the position is filled. Submit to firstname.lastname@example.org.
SAR regularly hires New York-based graduate and undergraduate students to work in the office as researchers, assistant case managers and administrative support. Contact the SAR office for more information on p/t student employment opportunities.
Internships at the SAR Network Office
SAR welcomes student interns for part- and full-time opportunities. All positions are unpaid. Preference for internships is given to students at SAR member institutions. SAR will work with interns to comply with the requirements of any stipend or internship-for-credit programs at their institution. Most internships are based at SAR's offices at New York University, although remote internship opportunities (from the student's home campus) are possible. Current internship opportunities include:
- Assistant case officers (Advocacy): Responsibility for SAR advocacy on behalf of threatened and imprisoned scholars still in their home countries. Monitor primary sources (media, internet, ngos, etc.) for reports of threats to scholars, students & universities. Evaluate cases and report to SAR staff. When appropriate, prepare alerts and updates for SAR members and SAR website.
- Law student researchers: With supervision from SAR staff undertake research and writing on international standards for protection of academic freedom. Work on other special projects as appropriate.
- Development department intern: Development Director is seeking an intern to help build capacity by identifying new sources of funding for Scholars at Risk. Intern will research a variety of donors likely to fund SAR programs; prepare profiles that will be used by staff and leadership to cultivate prospects. In addition, the intern will help plan and present a 10th anniversary conference with international scope.
- New media intern: Assist in the development of creative visual representations of SAR’s work. Candidates should be proficient in platforms such as flash, PowerPoint, Photoshop, Video and Audio Streaming, RSS feeds, social networks and blogs. Opportunity for creative impact.
- Outreach and special projects: Research new partnerships with universities and colleges worldwide, including Canada, Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Assist to strategize and coordinate events and faculty working groups. Assist with special projects.
- Student Advocacy Seminars: Scholars at Risk seeks interest from network institutions to participate in SAR’s Student Advocacy Seminars, an opportunity for teams of faculty-supervised students to engage in research and advocacy on behalf of detained, imprisoned or missing scholars, in cooperation with SAR’s Scholars in Prison project. As part of the project, each participating campus will adopt one or more imprisoned or missing scholars. Participating faculty will arrange for and supervise a small group seminar, independent study, or internship workshop for students from their own institution. The program can be designed for one semester or longer, and for academic, service or writing credit. Students enrolling in the seminar would gain experience in human rights research, standards and mechanisms; persuasive writing (including case dossiers, letters and appeal campaigns); leadership development; advocacy and lobbying; and awareness-building. Students will work to raise awareness of the scholar’s situation and conditions in the country or region. Faculty will supervise student activities and coordinate with SAR staff. For additional information, download SAR's informational flyer or contact the Scholars at Risk network office.
Candidates must be able to assume significant responsibility. Excellent communication, organization and writing skills required. Proficiency in Microsoft office programs required. Interest or experience in international affairs, human rights advocacy, NGO or non-profit organization/management preferred. Graduate students preferred but qualified undergraduates are welcome. Foreign language skills preferred but not required. SAR prioritizes candidates from network member universities and colleges.
Volunteers are invited to contact SAR at any time. Intern applications are considered 3 times each year: Fall (by September 15), Spring (by December 1) and Summer (by April 1).
How to apply
Interested candidates are invited to send a copy of their resume and cover letter to email@example.com. Please describe your interest in SAR's work, what you would hope to gain from an intership and the area of SAR's work on which you would most like to work (direct assistance to scholars, human rights research and advocacy, outreach and capacity-building, building partners with institutions abroad; legal/international standards building.)
Volunteers are invited to contact the SAR office to discuss their interests and availability. Current volunteer opportunities include (click for PDF):
- Newsletter contributor (10-15 hours/semester): Each semester, SAR publishes a newsletter featuring members, scholars, events and issues. SAR seeks a volunteer to interview scholars and SAR member institutions to be featured in the newsletter and to write short articles based on interviews.
- Fellowship researcher (2-3 hours/week): SAR seeks a volunteer to research available fellowship and scholarship opportunities.
- Campus event coordinator: Member institutions are encouraged to promote academic freedom issues, involving the university community. Host a departmental brown bag lunch and invite your primary rep to discuss academic freedom issues. Invite a SAR scholar or officer to speak to classes or on a panel. Offer to co-host an academic freedom event with SAR.
- Scholar-advocate (12 hours/case): SAR seeks volunteers to assist scholars with job and fellowship searchs; offering assistance with formatting resumes, cover letters, etc.; and contacting colleagues who might be interested in working with or advising the scholar.
- Academic freedom survey development (10 hours/week): SAR seeks volunteers to assist in the development of an academic freedom survey and poll. Experience in methodology development is preferred. Groups or teams of students and faculty at member institutions are encouraged to apply.