FAQ

Recruitment

  • Is there an upper age limit for field workers?Open

    No. However, field workers do need to have the physical and mental fitness to cope with the demanding conditions that may be encountered on a field assignment.

  • Can I still apply if I have not worked in my profession for several years?Open

    For medical profiles, applications with more than a two years gap in clinical experience may not be accepted as they will be expected to be competent to immediately use their skills in challenging environments. This is not the same for applicants with non-medical profiles, who can apply even if there are career/work gaps and will be evaluated on a case by case basis.

  • Does it improve an applicant's chances if they have worked in a limited-resource setting or remote area?Open

    Yes. This experience may be similar to the one you will find working in the field with MSF. You need to be independent, confident in your skills and be able to make your own decisions without much close support, supervision or a hospital system backing you up on site.

  • Do you have any requirements for the proficiency of English or French? Open

    We do not require proof of language proficiency through language test scores, but you should be at a level that allows you to communicate within a multinational team in English or French without difficulty. You also need the ability to express your own ideas positively within a team.

  • I am not Japanese. Am I eligible to apply to MSF-Japan?Open

    It depends on your residency status. Please contact us via recruit@tokyo.msf.org

  • How does the interview screening work? Open

    A recruiter and sometimes a specific profile specialist will attend the Interview to understand your availability, motivation, personality and knowledge of MSF. It's a good occasion for MSF and candidates to have common understanding about filed work, the culture of MSF, the process of placement and so on. We conduct an interview English or French.

  • I have applied to join MSF before but was not accepted. Can I apply again? What chance do I have to be accepted?Open

    The recruitment team will give you feedback upon unsuccessful screening. If you have gained more experience or skills since your last application, it will be worth applying again. There are cases where changes in field needs have led us to recruit people with different profiles. Some candidates have had several interviews over a number of years before they have been accepted. If you are considering applying after a previous rejection, please contact the recruitment team and discuss your situation.

  • I have a chronic illness/diseases. Can I participate in the field work?Open

    We request all the field workers to get a medical check-up with your doctor before you leave. This check-up is essential if you taking specific medications, which not only require a medical examination before your mission but also on-going follow-up to be organized whilst you are in the field. The medical coordinator (responsible for the health of field teams) and the doctor following team health in your field project can help you with your medical requirements, so we recommend you inform them when you arrive. Please provide information about any current and ongoing illness and your doctor's comment, if possible, in the application form.

  • Does MSF recruit lab technicians, dentists, otorhinolaryngologists, ophthalmologists, neurosurgeons? Open

    No. Please see our website that features the positions we are currently recruiting.

  • Does MSF recruit paramedics?Open

    Please note that MSF does not currently recruit paramedics. We do not require staff with this profile because we do not generally run ambulance services in our projects in the field. When patient transfers take place, these are often done in MSF vehicles, and patients are accompanied by MSF nurses and/or medical doctors. In the few locations where we do run ambulance services, paramedics are recruited locally.

  • Placement

  • How long does the recruitment and matching process take?Open

    It may take about one month from application to validation/registration. After validation/registration, we start matching the person to the position. This could take weeks or months depending on various factors, including your availability and vacant field positions. Therefore, your registration does not mean you will be able to go on a mission immediately. For the recruitment process, refer to the "How to apply" page.

In the Field

  • Can I have access to Internet, e-mail, and telephone in the field? Can I receive personal letters or parcels in the field?Open

    Available communications varies by country or area: for example, internet access is mostly available in cities, but it is not guaranteed in remote areas. Furthermore, MSF prioritizes communication for the provision of assistance to people in need. Regarding letters and parcels, we can request other MSF expatriates to carry them with their own luggage.

  • Do I get a job hand-over when I arrive?Open

    Médecins Sans Frontières' objective is to give you a hand-over in the field. However it may not always be possible depending on the position, project context and OC administrative procedures.

  • How does Médecins Sans Frontières manage safety and security in the field?Open

    MSF provides extensive risk management procedures and security guidelines for every project. You can learn our procedures from this video. Field workers are briefed on the country's security situation before going to the field, and upon arriving at the project site are given specific security briefings and protocols. Adherence to our field guidelines for personal and team conduct and safety is mandatory.

  • Do I get any type of holiday during the course of an assignment?Open

    Generally every 3 months of work you will enjoy one week of holidays. You have the right to the pro rata equivalent of 25 days annual leave, calculated according to the duration of your contract. In addition to annual leave, you may benefit from local in-country public holidays, or additional leave as R&R according to the specific circumstances of your project.

  • What support is available in the field?Open

    In the capital of the country where you will be working there is a team of experienced field workers, the Country Management Team, who will provide you with support throughout your assignment. You will have access to a technical referent of your specific profession who will be able to give you technical support during your assignment. At HQ level there is a team which also provides support to the field teams. MSF has extensive protocols, guidelines and reference material available for you. You can take psychological and social support in the field as well as after the mission. Also MSF offers different kinds of training to develop your skills.

Career Opportunities

  • Do you run any training courses that those considering applying to go on field projects can take before applying? Open

    MSF runs a pre-departure introduction course for candidates with a successful interview, with the potential to depart to the field soon. Successful completion of this training is required before field placement. For those recruited in the capacity of a logistician or administrator, there may also be training of a more technical nature prior to their first field placement. Course lists are generally finalized 4-6 weeks in advance of the course dates. Médecins Sans Frontières does not itself run any training courses that can be taken by intending applicants.

  • Do you recommend any courses that intending applicants can take to improve the likelihood of being selected?Open

    No.

  • What are the career opportunities for Médecins Sans Frontières fieldworkers?Open

    MSF has numerous options for fieldworkers to build a career within the organization. There are many Field and Capital Coordination and Headquarter positions that require field experience. Training courses are available to support these transitions.

    There are many career paths open to our fieldworkers. For example, a medical doctor may do several field placements gaining experience in varying contexts. They may then be offered opportunities to advance their career within the organization by becoming a Medical Team Leader - responsible for medical leadership at the project level, and then Medical Coordinator - responsible for medical leadership at the country level. Non-medical staff may advance their career by becoming a finance, HR or logistic coordinator - responsible for operational leadership at the country level. There are also opportunities to become a Project Coordinator, Technical Referent, or any one of numerous other roles at HQ level. Some people have been working with MSF for over 25 years! It is important to discuss this with your project coordinator or head of mission in the field and with the team at headquarters. You may also discuss it with the Pool Manager of your home section once you've returned from the field. And some people decide after their missions to work for other NGOs, JICA, ICRC, WHO, UN organizations, government agency etc.

Other