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Internships at PHR

The Syria Team

Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) takes pride in its strong internship program. Every semester, PHR is fortunate to host a group of intelligent and passionate students who are forming the next generation of human rights advocates. Students joining the PHR intern team come from a wide range of academic backgrounds, including international relations, history, human rights and humanitarian studies, political science, medicine, public health, and law, among others.

Our interns do a range of substantive work including desk research, data analysis, reviewing video footage and documenting attacks on medical facilities in Syria, and monitoring and researching human rights developments around the world. PHR’s program affords students interested in the field of human rights with the opportunity to work closely alongside PHR experts and contribute to our mission. You can read more about the work of our past interns here.

Internships at PHR are unpaid. Students may be able to arrange academic credit, and should check with their individual academic institutions for requirements.

Applicants who are offered an internship, but who are not U.S. permanent residents, U.S. citizens, or in possession of a valid student visa, must apply for a J-1 visa through a sponsoring organization. This process can take several weeks and applicants will have to incur their own costs.

Students may apply for the positions listed below based on their location, eligibility, and interest in the work of specific departments.

How to Apply

To apply, email a resume and cover letter to resumes@phrusa.org. Be sure to include the internship[s] in which you are interested in your subject line (you may be interested in more than one).

You will receive an auto-response to your email indicating that PHR has received your application. Please do not call us; PHR receives many resumes and cannot reply individually to every applicant. If your skills and interests match an open position, PHR will contact you.

Thank you for considering PHR for a possible internship; we wish you well in your quest for a fulfilling position!

Spring 2017 Internship Program 2016

New York

Accounting Intern, Spring 2017

Physicians for Human Rights is looking for a motivated and enthusiastic accounting intern to join our Finance department. The ideal candidate is eager to learn, and has a basic knowledge and understanding of accounting principles. You will be mentored by the Senior Accountant, and be involved in the daily activities of the Finance department. 

Internship Description

You will be taught the accounting software system Sage MIP as well as the expense management system Concur. Projects and tasks you may work on will include:

  • Month end close duties and reporting
  • Bank reconciliations and reconciling corporate credit cards
  • Budgetary monitoring
  • Auditing
  • Ensuring invoices are entered correctly with supporting documentation
  • Reviewing and ensuring proper approval of employee and consultant expenses
  • Working with the Senior Accountant to develop processes and implement new initiatives
  • Maintaining financial and administrative files and confidential records

You will also have the opportunity to attend regular learning and social events with other interns and staff from PHR to round out the learning experience and complement career mentoring provided by the Senior Accountant.

PHR internships are unpaid. You may be able to arrange academic credit, and should check with your individual academic institutions for requirements.

Qualifications and Experience

  • Current enrollment in an undergraduate or graduate program of study, specialization in accounting or finance preferred 
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Excel at the intermediate or advanced level
  • Well organized, detailed oriented, and able to maintain confidentiality and exercise discretion
  • Ability to communicate well and work as part of a team

Location and Hours

  • The internship is based in PHR’s New York office in midtown Manhattan
  • his unpaid internship may be either full-time or part-time
  • he internship will commence in mid to late January with at least a 10-week commitment

How to Apply

Please email a cover letter and resume to resumes@phrusa.org no later than January 3, 2017. Include "Accounting Intern Spring 2017" in the subject line.  


Advocacy and Policy Intern, Spring 2017

Internship Description

This internship is ideal for anyone looking for a career in international human rights and humanitarian advocacy or policy. You will be given exposure to a variety of PHR’s international and domestic advocacy and policy efforts on issues such as human rights in armed conflict, medical neutrality, international anti-torture initiatives, international justice, and refugee and asylum protection.

Projects and tasks you may work on include:

  • Assisting with research, policy papers, blog posts, press releases, and internal memos regarding PHR’s research, investigations, and advocacy initiatives. 
  • Monitoring and documenting relevant current events for internal discussion.
  • Contributing to the development of communications and strategic partnerships strategies to promote PHR’s advocacy priorities in U.S. domestic and foreign policy.
  • Assisting with general program and administrative work including meeting preparation, background research, data entry, and internal reporting.

You will also have the opportunity to attend departmental and staff meetings, as well as regular learning and social events with other interns and staff from PHR to round out the learning experience and complement career mentoring provided by the director.

Qualifications and Experience

  • Current enrollment in an undergraduate or graduate program of study.
  • Strong written and verbal communications skills required, including excellent editing skills.
  • Excellent research and analytical skills required.
  • Demonstrated interest in and commitment to human rights required.
  • Mature judgment, strong integrity, and ability to maintain strict confidentiality required.

Locations and Hours

  • The internship is based in PHR’s New York office in midtown Manhattan.
  • Hours can be flexible to accommodate different types of schedules.
  • The internship requires at least a 12-week commitment.
  • This is an unpaid position. 
  • You may be able to arrange academic credit, and should check with your individual academic institutions for requirements.

How to Apply

Please send a cover letter and resume to resumes@phrusa.org. Include “Advocacy & Policy Intern, Spring 2017” in the subject line.

Arabic-Speaking Investigations Intern, Spring 2017

Internship Description

The Research and Investigations Department is seeking an intern to assist with research for PHR’s online, interactive map of attacks on health care in Syria, and other programmatic research as needed. This is an opportunity to develop research, language, and analytical skills on topical and important human rights issues from our hands-on work.

PHR tracks the deliberate and indiscriminate attacks on medical workers and health facilities in Syria on an online, interactive map. To date, PHR has documented the deaths of +750 medical personnel and +350 attacks on hospitals, over 90% by Syrian government and allied forces. Through this documentation, PHR seeks to better inform the media, motivate governments and the UN to denounce such violations of international law, and reinforce that attacks on medical workers, hospitals, and health care infrastructure must stop.

The intern will be mentored by the Program Associate, Research and Investigations Department. Projects and tasks the intern may work on include:

  • Keeping abreast of daily developments and violations of medical neutrality in Syria
  • Conducting open-source research on attacks against medical facilities and health care workers in Syria
  • Providing preliminary analysis of research and/or organizing the research for analysis
  • Organizing the research and entering it into the PHR database
  • Analyzing video and other media and extracting the relevant data
  • Providing translations of articles and videos from Arabic to English

The intern will also have the opportunity to attend regular learning and social events with other interns and staff from PHR to round out the learning experience and complement career mentoring provided by the program associate.

Qualifications and Experience

  • Current enrollment in an undergraduate or graduate degree, or a recent graduate in a related field
  • Arabic fluency (written and verbal) in MSA and/or Levantine dialect preferred, but applicants who are heritage speakers or are enrolled in an upper level Arabic class (undergrad or grad) will be considered
  • Demonstrated interest in and commitment to human rights
  • Exceptional analytical, writing, and verbal communication skills
  • Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively, effectively, and professionally
  • Mature judgement, strong sense of integrity, initiative, and a self-starter
  • Strong organizational skills, attention to detail, and follow-through
  • Ability to maintain confidentiality
  • Willingness to work with graphic visual and written content

Location and Hours

  • The investigations intern will be based in PHR’s New York City Office.
  • This is an unpaid internship of at least 20 hours per week
  • PHR staff will assist with any paperwork required for institutional credit or external scholarships/fellowships.
  • The internship will commence in January or February with at least a 12-week commitment

How to Apply

Please send a cover letter, resume and brief writing sample to resumes@phrusa.org. Include "Arabic-Speaking Investigations Intern Spring 2017" in the subject line. Please include in your cover letter the number of weekly hours you would be able to commit to the internship.


Asylum Intern, Spring 2017

Internship Description

The Asylum program at PHR seeks a spring 2017 intern wishing to gain direct experience in the program activities as well as long-term data collection and retention projects of a growing international non-profit. The internship is ideal for someone looking for a career in immigration law, human rights or non-profit management.

The Asylum Program recruits and trains volunteer health professionals to provide evaluations and affidavits to asylum seekers and other immigrants who must provide documentation of torture and abuse in order to prevail in their immigration applications. Hundreds of volunteer clinicians have helped thousands of survivors of human rights violations gain asylum and other kinds of permanent status in the United States.

  • The asylum intern may be involved in some or all of the following tasks and projects:
  • Drafting de-identified case summaries to be sent to clinicians interested in conducting evaluations.
  • Reviewing and coding affidavits to identify trends and potential research topics.
  • Assisting with vital data-entry and auditing tasks, including brainstorming solutions on how to improve data management.
  • Following up with attorneys on adjudication results of clients examined and other case-related information.
  • Working closely with the asylum program officer and team to develop and implement new systems to collect and report out the results of the program’s work.  
  • Assisting with the planning of forensic trainings. 
  • Corresponding with physicians for contact information and availability updates. 
  • Monitoring current events and developments in immigration law and detention policy.

Qualifications and Experience

  • Current enrollment in an undergraduate or graduate degree; program of study specializing in international development/relations, public policy, law, human rights, or related field preferred but not required.
  • Demonstrated interest in and commitment to human rights, including immigrant rights.
  • Exceptional analytical, writing, and verbal communication skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively, effectively, and professionally with PHR staff and external partners. 
  • Mature judgement, strong sense of integrity, initiative, and a self-starter.
  • Creativity and problem-solving skills.
  • Strong organizational skills, attention to detail, and follow-through.
  • Excellent communication, strategic thinking, and interpersonal skills.
  • Cultural sensitivity and ability to maintain confidentiality.
  • Experience working with Microsoft Office and databases.

Location and Hours

  • The asylum intern will be based in PHR’s New York City Office.
  • This is an unpaid internship, part-time or full-time, with a minimum of at least 10 hours per week. PHR staff will assist with any paperwork required for institutional credit or external scholarships/fellowships.
  • The internship will commence in January and will last at least 10 weeks.

How to Apply

Please send a cover letter, resume and brief writing sample to resumes@phrusa.org. Include “Asylum Intern Spring 2017” in the subject line. Please include in your cover letter the number of weekly hours you would be able to commit to the internship. 


Communications Intern, Spring 2017

Internship Description

The communications department at PHR is seeking an intern to join our team from January to May 2017. The communications team works on materials and messaging for all of PHR’s programmatic areas, including topics such as sexual violence in conflict zones, attacks on Syria’s medical community, U.S. anti-torture work, and more. 

The intern will have the opportunity to work on media relations, online communications, and research and publications. The intern will also be taught how to use Meltwater, a leading media relations database, and contribute to the organization’s social media messaging. Projects and tasks the intern may work on include:

  • Tracking relevant news stories on human rights violations around the world.
  • Conducting research and suggesting content for social media, blog posts, web content, and other communications materials.
  • Running reports to track website traffic and online ad campaigns.
  • Writing, proofreading, and copy-editing newsletter articles, blog posts, press releases, and web content.
  • Tracking PHR’s media coverage.
  • Researching information on journalists and outlets covering topics and regions related to PHR’s work.
  • Compiling and organizing media lists.

The intern will have the opportunity to attend regular learning and social events with other interns and staff from PHR to round out the learning experience and complement career mentoring provided by the communications team.

PHR internships are unpaid. Students may be able to arrange academic credit, and should check with their individual academic institutions for requirements.

Qualifications and Experience

  • Current enrollment in an undergraduate or graduate program of study specializing in communications, journalism, international relations, or other relevant major; master’s preferred.
  • Interest in communications work in a non-profit setting. Passion for human rights is essential.
  • Familiarity with Microsoft Office and Adobe Creative Suite.
  • Superior organizational skills, attention to detail, and ability to manage a project from start to finish.
  • Great written and verbal communication skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively, effectively, and professionally in a multi-faceted organization.
  • Mature judgment, strong sense of integrity, confidentiality, and capacity to work with minimal supervision.
  • Sense of humor a plus.

Location and Hours

  • The intern will be based in PHR’s New York City office.
  • This unpaid internship may be either full-time or part-time.

How to Apply

Please apply immediately by sending a cover letter, resume and writing sample to resumes@phrusa.org. Include “Comms Intern Spring 2017” in the subject line.  


Development Intern, Spring 2017

Internship Description

A development internship provides an opportunity for a budding human rights activist to gain experience in and familiarity with areas such as fundraising, philanthropy and the day-to-day operations of a Nobel Prize winning nonprofit organization with a global reach. The intern will be mentored by the development associate and be given exposure to a wide range of database, research and administrative tasks carried out by a nonprofit fundraising development department. 
Projects and tasks the intern may work on include:
  • Researching and preparing thorough, well-written briefings on prospective funders including individuals, governments, and foundations.
  • Helping to identify new funding opportunities for the major gifts program and institutional development team. 
  • Assist the development associate in entering data into The Raiser’s Edge, PHR’s donor database.
  • Maintain and help create development materials to be used in donor meetings.
  • Assist with mailings, filing and special projects as needed.
The intern will also have the opportunity to attend departmental and staff meetings, as well as regular learning and social events with other interns and staff from PHR to round out the learning experience and complement career mentoring provided by the development associate.

Qualifications and Experience

  • Current enrollment in an undergraduate or graduate program of study, or a graduate in 2016.
  • Strong interest in human rights.
  • Exceptional analytical, writing, and verbal skills and superior research skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively, effectively, and professionally in a multi-faceted organization.
  • Superior organizational skills, attention to detail, commitment to data accuracy, and follow-through.
  • Openness to working with individuals from all different backgrounds.
  • Self-motivated and able to “own” projects from start to finish.

Location and Hours

  • The development intern will be based in PHR’s New York office in midtown Manhattan.
  • Hours can be flexible to accommodate different types of schedules.
  • The internship will commence at the start of September with at least a 10-week commitment.
  • This is an unpaid position. Students may be able to arrange academic credit, and should check with their individual academic institutions for requirements.

How to Apply

Please send a cover letter and resume to resumes@phrusa.org. Include “Development Intern, Winter 2017” in the subject line.  


Investigations Intern, Spring 2017

Internship Description

The Research and Investigations Department is seeking an intern to assist with research for PHR’s online, interactive map of attacks on health care in Syria, and other programmatic research as needed. This is an opportunity to develop research and analytical skills on topical and important human rights issues from our hands-on work.

PHR tracks the deliberate and indiscriminate attacks on medical workers and health facilities in Syria on an online, interactive map. To date, PHR has documented the deaths of +750 medical personnel and +350 attacks on hospitals, over 90% by Syrian government and allied forces. Through this documentation, PHR seeks to better inform the media, motivate governments and the UN to denounce such violations of international law, and reinforce that attacks on medical workers, hospitals, and health care infrastructure must stop.

The intern will be mentored by the Research Coordinator, Research and Investigations Department. Projects and tasks the intern may work on include:

  • Researching and analyzing data regarding PHR’s investigations in Syria and elsewhere
  • Keeping abreast of international developments and human rights violations
  • Organizing the research and entering it into the PHR database
  • Contributing to the development of advocacy strategies to promote PHR’s voice

The intern will also have the opportunity to attend regular learning and social events with other interns and staff from PHR to round out the learning experience and complement career mentoring provided by the program associate.

Qualifications and Experience

  • Current enrollment in an undergraduate or graduate degree, or a recent graduate in a related field
  • Strong organizational skills, attention to detail, and follow-through
  • Exceptional research and analytical skills
  • Excellent communication, strategic thinking, and interpersonal skills
  • Demonstrated interest in and commitment to human rights
  • Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively, effectively, and professionally
  • Mature judgement, strong sense of integrity, initiative, and a self-starter
  • Ability to maintain confidentiality

Location and Hours

  • The investigations intern will be based in PHR’s New York City Office.
  • This is an unpaid internship of at least 20 hours per week
  • PHR staff will assist with any paperwork required for institutional credit or external scholarships/fellowships.
  • The internship will commence in January or February with at least a 12-week commitment

How to Apply

Please send a cover letter, resume and brief writing sample to resumes@phrusa.org. Include “Investigations Intern Spring 2017” in the subject line. Please include in your cover letter the number of weekly hours you would be able to commit to the internship. 


Former Soviet Union Intern (Research & Capacity Building), Spring 2017

Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) is seeking an intern for a minimum of 20 hours/week to work with the senior program officer in our New York City office. The intern will assist in PHR’s effort to end impunity for torture through implementation of the Istanbul Protocol standards for the effective investigation and documentation of torture and ill treatment.

At PHR, we know from more than 25 years of experience investigating and documenting torture that forensic medical evidence is one of the most powerful forms of material evidence to corroborate a victim’s allegations of abusive treatment and that breaking the cycle of impunity for torture depends largely on effective investigation and documentation practices. We also know from our experience that longstanding and widespread torture practices are facilitated by many, country-specific factors, which need to be identified and addressed for torture investigation and documentation efforts to be successful.

The intern will assist in monitoring the development in Former Soviet Union countries, assessing their legal framework and in establishing and engaging with a network of health professionals. This internship is an opportunity to gain professional skills in torture and human rights and an invaluable experience interacting with health professionals who are using forensic science to document human rights abuses.

This internship is ideal for anyone looking for a hands-on learning experience at a global human rights organization.

Internship Description

The intern will be mentored by the senior program officer, and project and tasks the intern will work on include:

Research
Assessing prevailing country-specific conditions and challenges including:

  • Causes of torture and ill treatment, gaps in legal provisions, procedural safeguards for detainees, and forensic documentation practices, or lack thereof
  • Capacities of forensic experts, including mental health, as well as attorneys, prosecutors and judges
  • Political will of state officials
  • Leadership potential among civil society representatives and state officials
  • Potential partnerships with NGO’s, anti-torture coalitions, relevant State officials, UN agencies, and other international human rights organizations

Capacity Building

  • Engaging closely with PHR’s constituency in post-soviet union countries
  • Collaborating with program staff to implement multiple strategies for creating and/or strengthening a constituency of clinicians, lawyers and other human rights defenders committed to end impunity for torture
  • Supporting the production of training content and the implementation of distance-learning activities
  • Assisting with editorial tasks such as proofreading, fact checking, and referencing

The intern will also have the opportunity to attend regular learning and social events with other interns and staff from PHR to round out the learning experience and complement career mentoring.

PHR internships are unpaid. Students may be able to arrange academic credit, and should check with their individual academic institutions for requirements.

Qualifications and Experience

  • Current enrollment in an undergraduate or graduate degree and excellent academic record required
  • Fluency in Russian
  • Strong interest in and commitment to human rights
  • Rigorous analytical, writing, and verbal skills; sophisticated research skills
  • Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively, effectively, and professionally in a multi-cultural environment
  • Mature judgment, strong sense of integrity, ability to improvise and develop creative solutions
  • Strong organizational skills, attention to detail, and follow-through
  • Ability to maintain strict confidentiality and to cope with repeated exposure to graphic pictures
  • Comfortable and versatile using Google apps, Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and Outlook

Location/Hours

  • The intern will be based in PHR’s New York office
  • This unpaid internship will ideally require a minimum of 20 hours/week
  • The start date and scheduling are flexible however, we prefer candidates who are able to commit for at least a 3-month period

How to Apply

Please send a cover letter and resume to resumes@phrusa.org. Include “Former Soviet Union Intern Spring 2017” in the subject line.


Special Events Intern, Spring 2017

Internship Description

The special events intern will be mentored by the development associate and will have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience with all aspects of event management and fundraising for PHR’s annual gala. 

Projects and tasks the intern may work on will include:

  • Researching high-profile individuals who will be in attendance, helping to identify and researching potential sponsors, committee members, and event attendees. 
  • Assisting the development associate and major gifts manager with event logistics. 
  • Maintaining and entering data into the Raiser’s Edge event module, PHR’s donor database.
  • Assisting with mailings, filing and special projects as needed for the development department.
  • Taking part in conducting post-event analysis, evaluating event attendance, and follow-up strategies as needed.

The intern will also have the opportunity to attend departmental and staff meetings, as well as regular learning and social events with other interns and staff from PHR to round out the learning experience and complement career mentoring provided by the development associate.

Qualifications and Experience

  • Current enrollment in an undergraduate or graduate program of study.
  • Strong interest in human rights.
  • Resourceful in performing research on the internet and through other channels.
  • Well organized, detailed oriented, and able to maintain confidentiality.
  • Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively, effectively, and professionally in a multi-faceted organization.
  • Openness to working with individuals from all different backgrounds.
  • Self-motivated and able to “own” projects from start to finish.

Location and Hours

  • The development intern will be based in PHR’s New York office in midtown Manhattan.
  • Hours can be flexible to accommodate different types of schedules.
  • The internship requires at least a 12-week commitment.
  • This is an unpaid position. Students may be able to arrange academic credit, and should check with their individual academic institutions for requirements.

How to Apply

Please send a cover letter and resume to resumes@phrusa.org. Include “Special Events Intern, Spring 2017” in the subject line. Applications must be received no later than Friday, February 3, 2017.


Boston

Program on Sexual Violence in Conflict Zones Intern, Spring 2017

Internship Description

The Program on Sexual Violence in Conflict Zones (SVCZ) is offering a three-month internship commencing in January 2017. This internship is ideal for anyone looking for a career in international affairs or public health.

The intern will be mentored by the program assistant, and will be given exposure to new and forthcoming program activities, as well as existing projects. Projects and tasks the intern may work on include:

  • Researching and analyzing relevant legal, medical, public health, and human rights materials on sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, and elsewhere
  • Conducting background research on key areas of interest to the Program on SVCZ, such as effectiveness of standard practices for care and documentation, use of technology in human rights documentation, and strategic impact litigation
  • Assisting with coding of monitoring and evaluation (M&E) data
  • Assisting with logistics and preparation for trainings, conferences, and other program events
  • Assisting with maintenance of several program databases, including of training participants, contacts, photographs, media coverage, and relevant literature
  • Editorial tasks such as proofreading and footnotes for program publications
  • Keeping up-to-date on current news and hot topics relating to sexual violence and create weekly news digest for PHR staff and consultants
  • Drafting blog posts for the PHR website

The intern will also have the opportunity to attend regular learning and social events with other interns and staff from PHR to round out the learning experience and complement career mentoring provided by the program assistant.

PHR internships are unpaid. Students may be able to arrange academic credit, and should check with their individual academic institutions for requirements.

Qualifications and Experience

  • Current enrollment or recent graduate in an undergraduate or graduate program of study specializing in international development/relations, public policy, law, human rights, or related field preferred, but not required
  • Written and/or oral proficiency in French and/or Spanish is an asset
  • Strong interest in and commitment to human rights
  • Strong communication and writing skills
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, and PowerPoint)
  • Ability to maintain confidentiality while working with sensitive human rights data is a must
  • Excellent interpersonal, verbal and written communications skills and high emotional intelligence
  • Resourceful in performing research on the internet and through other channels
  • Well organized, detailed oriented, and able to maintain confidentiality and exercise discretion

Location and Hours

  • The intern will be based in PHR’s Boston office.
  • This unpaid internship may be either full-time or part-time.
  • The internship will commence at the start of January with at least a 12-week commitment

How to Apply

Please apply immediately by sending a cover letter, resume and writing sample to resumes@phrusa.org. Include “SVCZ Intern Spring 2017” in the subject line.