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The application process
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 - the apply button is at the bottom of every role.
Jump to the sections below to read more about the process
- Acceptance onto MSF's register
- Waiting for the right role
- Pre-departure training
- Your first mission
Before you apply please take a good look at the job specification page for the role you would like to apply for and make sure you can commit to working for us for at least nine months (surgeons, anaesthetists, epidemiologists and obstetricians/gynaecologists may do shorter missions, please see the relavant job specification page).
We can only accept applications from UK residents (UK citizens and those eligible to work in the UK).
Within one month, we will give you feedback on your application and may send you a questionnaire. If we think that you have the skills and experience we need, you will be invited to an interview.
Your interview will be in our London office and will last for approximately one hour. If you are unable to get to the office we may interview you over Skype.
You will 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 please)
- 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 are a nurse or midwife)
- GMC registration (if you are a medical doctor)
Applicants for some positions will be required to take a technical test. We will advise you of this in advance.
Following a successful interview you will be accepted onto what we call MSF's register.
MSF's register is a database of professionals around the world who are available for deployment to any MSF project that has a vacancy for their job role.
We securely store any personal data that you have given us, including copies of the identification documents you brought with you to interview, in accordance with our internal retention policy and the Data Protection Act.
We share your contact details with the MSF UK Association and Volunteer Link, our confidential support service. Your CV and contact details may be shared with other MSF offices, both 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. For more details about how we use and keep secure the information you provide us, please see our Privacy Notice.
You will not be paid while you are on the register unless you have been placed in the field.
Once you have been accepted onto the register, you are considered available to work for MSF. It is really important that you take this seriously and are very clear about your availability.
Finding your first role
Finding a role that is suitable for someone going on their first mission with MSF can take anywhere between one to nine months.
We want to make sure that you are matched to a position that is comfortable for you. When considering you for a position, we will take into account your skills, previous experience and language skills (the ability to speak French greatly increases your chances of being matched to a mission quickly).
Going where you are most needed
It is not possible for you to choose a particular location. Placements are determined by the operational needs in the field and we ask you to be as flexible as possible so we can place you where you are needed most.
This is a competitive process as many people apply globally for a limited number of positions.
Once matched to a mission, you will be sent on a one-week preparation course known as the PPD (preparation for primary departure).
You will also have briefings in the UK office and may have some technical training to prepare you for your role.
Your first mission
On arrival in the field you will be given a full briefing by the in-country team, and when you reach the project there will be a handover period with the person you will be replacing.