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Application Process

Thank you for your interest in working with Médecins Sans Frontières.
Please ensure that you have read all the other pages in the Work Overseas section before proceeding with your application.
We only accept applications from Australian and New Zealand residents (Aust/NZ citizens and those eligible to work in Australia/New Zealand). If you do not live in Australia or New Zealand, please refer to other countries' national Médecins Sans Frontières web sites to locate the nearest office to which you can apply.
Jump to the sections below to read more about the application process:

Selection of individuals for the Médecins Sans Frontières fieldworker pool involves the following process:

Step 1: Information Gathering

Find out more about our organisation and about your particular fieldworker profile.

Read all sections of the Work Overseas section of the website. In addition to the resources found on this website, Recruitment Events are held regularly throughout the year. If you are genuinely interested in becoming a field worker we strongly encourage you to participate in one of these events prior to submitting an application. 

Step 2: Applying

If you feel that you meet our specific requirements please apply by completing the online application.  You will need to submit the following documents: your application form, CV (maximum 5 pages), letter of motivation (maximum 1 page).  
All 3 documents are mandatory. Incomplete applications will not be considered. Please note: some profiles must also submit a Skills Assessment Form, see details of your profession page for more information.
Your application will be screened by a Human Resources Officer and technical validation of your CV may be required for certain profiles. You will receive a response within one month of your application being received. 
Due to the unpredictable nature of humanitarian work and the changing demands for human resources in the field, please consider that even though you may meet the requirements for the role you are applying for, your application may be rejected if we are currently experiencing a low demand for this particular profession. We encourage you to re-apply in the future. 

Step 3: Interview

Candidates whose qualifications best meet the organisation's needs are invited to an in-person interview to determine their suitability. In-person interviews are held by appointment in our Sydney office throughout the year. Alternatively, members of our Field HR team regularly visit various cities in Australia and New Zealand for recruitment events, interviews may be scheduled in these cities during these visits. (Please see our Recruitment Events calendar).
All interviews are conducted face to face, we do not conduct interviews by phone or by Skype.
Médecins Sans Frontières uses a competency-based interview approach, facilitating recruitment consistency across our offices worldwide. Interview candidates will be asked to provide specific examples of situations they have been involved in which demonstrate the knowledge, skills, experience and/or behavioural characteristics we seek.  The interview process typically takes 2 hours.
Following a successful interview you will be asked to provide two satisfactory references, one of which will need to be from your current/most recent employer.

Step 4: Welcome Days

Following a successful interview, you will undertake a pre-departure training course known as 'Welcome Days'. The course is a non-technical group training for both medical and non-medical fieldworkers. It aims to provide new field workers with:
  • an understanding of the values, philosophy, policies and activities of Médecins Sans Frontières
  • an introduction to the tools and resources available to you in the field
  • an understanding of the placement and departure process, and
  • an introduction to life in the field.
Welcome Days is a three-day residential course run in Sydney. Sydney-based participants are also required to stay onsite. We cover travel, accommodation and meal expenses. Welcome Days are conducted four times per year. Successful completion of this training course is mandatory for all fieldworkers prior to departure to the field.
Please be aware that the places on our pre-departure courses are limited. Participants are prioritised for courses based primarily on our predicted needs in the field in the coming months, as well as their date of availability for fieldwork. Participant lists are generally finalised 4-6 weeks in advance of the course dates.

Step 5: Field Placement

Upon successful completion of the Welcome Days training, candidates are registered into the pool of  available fieldworkers. Once you have been invited into the fieldworker pool, you are considered available for work in the field. It is therefore very important that you take this seriously and are VERY clear about your availability.
To prevent delays in the process of matching you to a field position, you must inform us of any changes in your availability.
Your Human Resources Officer (HRO) will match you to a position in the field. They will contact you once a vacancy which matches your skills, experience and nominated availability date arises. 
It is not possible for field staff to choose a particular location to be matched to. Placements are determined by the operational needs in the field and field staff are asked to be as flexible as possible to be placed where they are most needed.This is a competitive process as each position is matched with the best candidates available globally. This process can happen quite quickly or take several months. 
Your HRO will send you the job description and information about the country and project.  If you accept the role, your HRO will confirm the offer. As a guide, once a position is confirmed you should not expect more than three-four weeks’ notice for departure. If you require only 1-2 weeks notice for departure, there may be more field opportunities available.

Step 6: Departure

Once you have been matched, the Field HR team in Sydney will assist you through the various pre-departure procedures, including the booking of flights and assistance with obtaining visas. 
You will also have briefings in the Sydney office and, if appropriate, in the operational section prior to your departure to the field, followed by a full briefing on arrival in the field.
All Australian and New Zealand field workers are employed by Médecins Sans Frontières Australia on a fixed-term contract for the duration of their placement.
You then leave for your first field mission!!