Policies and General Expectations



On-call Scientists is a network of volunteers who are willing to give of their time and expertise on a pro bono basis. The AAAS Center for Scientific Responsibility and Justice will not provide any funding to either the volunteer or their host organization. All costs associated with the work in question, including any relocation costs, transportation, housing, and medical or travel insurance, must be paid for by the volunteer and/or the host organization.

Use of personal information

The only personal information we request is that which we need to make appropriate matches of volunteers and human rights organizations. This information will be entered by applicants into a database that is not accessible by the public. Information will only be provided to third parties (e.g., committee members, relevant experts) for the purposes of facilitating partnerships and if we are legally required to do so. We will not provide personal information of volunteers to potential host organizations without the prior consent of the volunteer.

Ethics and conflicts of interest

Volunteers should understand that they bear a responsibility to the human rights organization for which they work and the ethics rules guiding that organization. It is important that volunteers adhere to this principle and avoid any conflict of interest or even the appearance of a conflict of interest.

Volunteers who wish to accept speaking engagements or publish materials based on their work as part of On-call Scientists must receive prior permission from their host organization and comply with the non-disclosure, confidentiality, and other policies of that organization, unless otherwise required by the host organization.

General Expectations

Expectations of Volunteers

On-call Scientists provides volunteers with an opportunity to contribute to the realization of human rights through the application of their knowledge and skills. It is also a valuable opportunity for volunteers to make the human rights community more aware of the specific tools, expertise, and other resources that scientists, engineers, and health professionals can bring to human rights work, and to encourage greater collaboration with the human rights community. Toward those ends, volunteers are expected to:

Throughout the project:

During the project:

Following completion of project:

Expectations of Host Organizations

On-call Scientists provides an opportunity for human rights organizations to benefit from the skills and expertise of a scientist, engineer, or health professional. It is also a valuable opportunity to provide to the volunteer a better understanding of the meaning, application, and significance of human rights through access to organization publications, interactions with staff, and attendance at meetings. Towards those ends, host organizations are expected to:

Before the volunteer begins work on the project, provide the volunteer with:

During the project:

For on-site projects, hosts will:

Following the completion of the project:

Expectations of AAAS Center for Scientific Responsibility and Justice Staff

From its inception, the AAAS Center for Scientific Responsibility and Justice (SRJ) has dedicated itself to bringing science and technology to human rights challenges. As such, across its many and varied initiatives, SRJ works to encourage scientists, engineers, and health professionals to apply their tools and technologies to human rights problems and human rights organizations to make use of scientific expertise to enhance their monitoring, reporting, research, documentation, and litigation. SRJ’s role in On-call Scientists is primarily as facilitator, providing the framework and opportunity for volunteers willing to give of their time and expertise to be matched with human rights organizations in need of their skills.

Role of AAAS Center for Scientific Responsibility and Justice Staff: