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Scientific Responsibility, Human Rights and Law Program

On-call Scientists

Information for Hosts


Requests for hosting a volunteer scientist will be accepted from human rights organizations only. For the purposes of On-call Scientists, “human rights organizations” are considered to be those organizations explicitly committed to and engaged in activities aimed at the realization of international human rights, including civil and political, as well as economic, social and cultural rights, as laid out in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and/or related international, regional, and national human rights instruments. Such organizations will include non-governmental human rights organizations and national human rights institutions (that meet the Paris Principles). Non-governmental organizations pursuing a project that applies a human rights-based approach are also eligible.

favelasThe activities of these organizations may take many forms, including monitoring, reporting, advocating, educating, training, and advising. The focus of their work may be international, regional, national, or local, and may address specific rights, the rights of specific groups, or be centered around one activity, for example, litigation or research. And their human rights work can be devoted to protecting and advancing human rights anywhere in the world, including in the United States.

What else should you know?

  • To host a volunteer, your organization must be a non-governmental human rights organization or national human rights institution engaged in human rights, or a non-governmental organization using a rights-based approach in its work.  
  • This is an extraordinary opportunity to obtain assistance with questions, problems, or initiatives that require scientific input or expertise.
  • If your organization needs the help of a scientist, we will do our best to find one for you. If you have wanted to introduce scientific data, methods, tools, or techniques to your human rights documenting and reporting, litigation, training, or other work, but have been unable to do so because of cost, lack of time to research precise needs, or not knowing where to begin, On-call Scientists can help. 
  • No project is too small, but some projects may be too big. We will do our best to find the scientific expertise you need.
  • Volunteers provide their time and expertise on a pro bono basis. Responsibility for any expenses associated with the volunteer’s position (including travel, living expenses, insurance, etc.) is negotiated entirely by the volunteer and your organization.
  • Once we have partnered your organization with a scientist, our work is done on that particular project request. As the host organization, you will be responsible for all aspects of the volunteer’s contribution to your project, through completion.
  • As a host organization, you have the option to terminate the relationship with a volunteer scientist at any time. However, you are responsible for ensuring that any travel and related expenses agreed to with the volunteer are paid in full.
  • In order to encourage fruitful collaboration, all parties (AAAS Scientific Responsibility, Human Rights and Law Program, volunteer, and host organization) will comply with general expectations.
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