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MSF Research and Communications Intern (Based in London)

Job Title: MSF Research and Communications Intern  

Department: Manson Unit

Hours: 24 hours per week [0.6 FTE], with increased working hours during the build up to the event

Reports to: Research Officer

Location: London

Duration: 6 months fixed term contract

Salary: London Living Wage - £10.55 per hour



Please apply on our website by submitting a copy of your CV together with a detailed letter of motivation including your suitability for this particular role (please upload as one document) by the closing date.



Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) provides life-saving emergency relief and longer-term medical care to some of the most vulnerable and excluded communities around the world. As an international medical humanitarian organisation, we deliver care based only on need, regardless of ethnic origin, gender, religion or political affiliation.

MSF has around 40,000 local and international staff working in over 70 countries, in some of the most challenging places in the world. Our medical humanitarian projects are supported by teams in 32 countries, including the UK, spread across Europe, North and South America, Asia, Africa and Australasia.

At MSF UK, we support MSF's operations by building relationships with our supporters, increasing awareness of our work, raising funds, providing specialist medical expertise, catalysing change on medical humanitarian issues and recruiting field staff. MSF UK personnel are dynamic, hard-working, enthusiastic and committed to MSF's values and aims. 



The Manson Unit is a multi-disciplinary medical team within MSF UK and is part of MSF OCA’s Public Health Department (PHD). We aim to improve the quality of MSF’s medical programmes worldwide, so the best possible care is delivered to our patients. The Unit focusses on complex medical issues, using health intelligence, research and medical innovation. Our goal is to catalyse change through demonstrating effective new approaches and models of care and linking in with international advocacy and global health actors.

The Manson Unit is a team of 30 comprised of medical doctors and specialists in infectious diseases, non-communicable diseases, health information systems, epidemiology, geographical information systems, medical editing and research communication. We also have a clinical trial team working towards improved treatments for patients with drug-resistant tuberculosis. We provide direct support to our field programmes through specialist advice on medical issues, implementing new ways of working, supporting research studies and outbreak response.



Each year MSF UK’s Manson Unit organises a conference to present research from our field programmes. The aims of the MSF Scientific Days are to:

·         scrutinise our work

·         reflect on our research and innovation

·         review the effectiveness of our activities

·         improve our medical programming

The 2019 MSF Scientific Days will be on 9 and 10 May in London. One day will focus on medical research, and one day will be dedicated to showcasing innovative solutions to field problems. Everything will be streamed online – last year over 10,000 people from 102 countries participated. There will also be linked events in New Delhi and Southern Africa, and material will be selected via a centralised editorial process. Our audience consists of MSF researchers and staff, academia, journal editors, NGOs, and people based in the countries where we work.



The role involves providing general support to the Manson Unit, with an emphasis on the MSF Scientific Days, organising committee in administrative and communications activities.



Communications: ​ ​​

  • Maintain the departmental Twitter account @MSFSci

  • Work with MSF UK Communications Team to ensure comms and social media content is prepared including engaging social media posts using images/infographics where appropriate

  • Research relevant online outlets and contacts/institutions to engage with for MSF Scientific Days

  • Translate scientific abstracts into material suitable for lay audiences

  • Live-tweet at the MSF Scientific Days

Event administration:

Provide support for the event, including:

  • Database management

  • Presenter and volunteer coordination

  • Conference registration

  • Arranging travel and accommodation

  • Supporting visa applications

  • Arranging printed materials/packaging


  • Work with the MSF Digital Team and our venue to ensure the technological and livestreaming requirements of the MSF Scientific Days are met.


  • Support the creation of innovative communications strategies that carefully consider those in the countries where MSF works.

  • Reach out to MSF field teams and colleagues to engage them in the MSF Scientific Days.

  • Promote the MSF Scientific Days to relevant international institutions and encouraging group viewings of the online stream.


What you will learn ​

This role is an opportunity:

  • To explore the day to day operations of an NGO

  • Learn MSF’s approach to field research and innovation

  • Gain insight into MSF and current topics in the health and humanitarian world.


Role specification:

  • Good understanding of global health and biomedical research and innovation

  • A genuine interest in, and commitment to, the humanitarian principles of MSF

  • Previous experience using social media (Twitter in particular)

  • Demonstrable organisational skills

  • Excellent attention to detail

  • Ability to work effectively in a team environment

  • Ability to work independently and to interpret briefs and instructions

  • Good oral and written communication skills

  • Fluency in written and spoken English (other languages are an advantage)

  • Some experience of organising events (desirable)

  • Flexible attitude

  • Commitment to MSF values


Candidates must hold an appropriate passport or permit to work in the UK.



Please apply on our website by submitting a copy of your CV together with a detailed letter of motivation including your suitability for this particular role (please upload as one document) by the closing date.


Application checklist

Please check that you have included the following in your application:

  • An up-to-date CV

  • Letter of Motivation, which is a supporting statement demonstrating how you meet the key requirements of the role


Recruitment timetable:

  • Closing date for applications: 20 January 2019, 11.59pm.

  • Interviews: soon after the closing date.

  • Potential start date: ASAP