Applying to work with MSF overseas

Thank you for thinking about working overseas for MSF UK.

Below you will find a general guide to the application process for all overseas roles we recruit for in the UK. 

Every role has a detailed page explaining exactly what skills, qualifications and experience we are looking for.

Before you apply take a good look at the job specification page for the role you would like to apply for.

Make sure you can commit to working for us for at least nine months.

Some roles may do shorter assignments. See the relevant job specification page:

  • anaesthetists
  • epidemiologists
  • obstetricians/gynaecologists
  • surgeons

We can only accept applications from UK residents (UK citizens and those eligible to work in the UK).

Within one month, we'll give you feedback on your application.

You may be sent a questionnaire.

You'll be invited to an interview if we think that you have the skills and experience we need.

Your interview will be in our London office and will last for approximately one hour.

If you're unable to get to the office we may interview you over Skype.

You'll need to bring the following documents: 

  • Four passport photos (standard passport photos with a white background, suitable for passports and visas)
  • Valid passport 
  • Current proof of address (utility bill/bank statement from the last three months) 
  • Any relevant certificates and diplomas (originals only)
  • UK driving licence (if you have one) 
  • List of the addresses you have lived at for the past five years, and dates you lived there
  • NMC PIN number (if you're a nurse or midwife)
  • GMC registration (if you're a medical doctor)

If you apply for some positions you'll be required to take a technical test. We'll advise you of this in advance.

After a successful interview you're accepted onto the MSF register.

Our register is:

  • a database of professionals
  • who are available to work in any MSF project
  • that has a vacancy for their job role.

You're not paid while you are on the register unless you're placed in the field. 

Your personal data

We securely store your personal data in accordance with our internal retention policy and the Data Protection Act.

This includes copies of the identification documents you brought with you to interview.

We share your contact details with the MSF UK Association and Volunteer Link, our confidential support service.

We may share your CV and contact details with other MSF offices, inside and outside of the EU. None of your personal data is shared with any third party.

You can request access to that data or ask us not to share internally if you wish. See our Privacy Notice for more details about how we use and keep secure your information.

Once you're accepted onto the register, you're considered available to work for MSF.

It's important that you take this seriously. You must be clear about your availability.

Finding your first role

Finding a role suitable for your first assignment can take anywhere between one to nine months.

We want to make sure that you're matched to a position that is comfortable for you. 

When considering you for a position, we'll take into account:

  • your skills
  • previous experience
  • language skills (especially French and Arabic)

Going where you are most needed 

It is not possible for you to choose a particular location.

We determine placements by the operational needs.

We'll need you to be as flexible as possible so we can place you where you're most needed.

This is a competitive process. People apply globally for a limited number of positions.

Once matched to a project, you're sent on a one-week preparation course. This is the PPD - Preparation for Primary Departure. 

You'll also have briefings in the UK office as well as technical training to prepare you for your role.

We'll arrange your flights to and from the project in which you will be working.

On arrival in the field you're given a full briefing by the in-country team.

When you reach your project there will be a handover period with the person you'll be replacing.