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Scientific Responsibility, Human Rights and Law Program

On-call Scientists

Information for Volunteers


On-call Scientists seeks candidates from all scientific disciplines with a diversity of professional experiences. Volunteers will come from a range of sectors, including academia, industry, and non-profits, representing a spectrum of career stages, from recent graduates to faculty on sabbatical, to retired scientists and engineers. Regardless of background, career stage or age, to volunteer as part of On-call Scientists, you must meet the following minimum requirements:

  • Hold a graduate-level degree (Masters or above) in any physical, biological, health/medical or social science, any field of engineering, or any relevant interdisciplinary field
  • Have completed at least 2 years of work experience in your field
  • Be a good communicator, both verbally and in writing
  • Have strong endorsement of three references regarding qualifications, experience, integrity, and judgment.

On-call Scientists is intended to be a global network. Citizenship requirements will depend on the location and needs of the host organization. Scientists from all countries and regions of the world are encouraged to register

What else should you know?

  • This is a great opportunity to be a part of efforts to advance human rights at home and around the world.
  • In the process of addressing a science or technology question or need, you also will be helping expand the public’s understanding and appreciation of science and technology in the service of human rights.
  • Volunteering may involve a few hours of your time, or a year-long stay on-site, but every contribution is valuable.
  • You will be providing your time and expertise on a pro bono basis. Responsibility for any expenses associated with your volunteer position (including travel, living expenses, insurance, etc.) is negotiated entirely by you and the host organization.
  • Projects will vary in terms of location, duration, and other specifics, depending on the needs of the host organization.  In your registration form you can specify whether you would like to be considered for projects that involve travel, the time you are available, and the like.  
  • Volunteers will only be working with non-governmental human rights organizations, national human rights institutions, or in support of UN agencies. In some cases volunteers may be invited to help non-governmental organizations that while not human rights organizations are pursuing rights-based approaches in their area of work. No placements with government agencies will be made.
  • You have the option to terminate the relationship with a host organization at any time. In cases of termination, you are asked to take reasonable steps to avoid, or at least minimize, adverse effects to the host’s project.
  • 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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