Program Assistant, Protection Services

Posted August 6, 2021

Position Title: Research Scientist/Program Assistant, Protection Services (F/T)

Supervisors: Director, Protection Services; Program Officer for Protection

NYU Unit: Provost / Scholars at Risk Network

Scholars at Risk is seeking a highly-motivated, flexible, and team-oriented individual to fill the role of Program Assistant for Protection Services. This position is a natural fit for a self-starter who works well under tight deadlines; handles confidential materials with care; displays compassion in communications with clients; displays accuracy in communications with external partners; has excellent judgment, attention to detail, writing, research and analytic skills; has familiarity with higher education and/or human rights situations around the world; and wants to be an important contributor to a collegial team dedicated to protecting individuals, preventing future violations and promoting human rights generally. The role has a primary responsibility for intake and review of 30-60 new applications per month to SAR by potential scholar-clients. This position reports to SAR’s Director for Protection Services and SAR’s Program Officer for Protection, works closely with all members of the Protection team, and is in regular communication with other SAR staff.


80% – Research, outreach and service provision for protection services

  • Research and demonstrate knowledge of human rights and academic freedom conditions in countries of scholars’ alleged threats and primary patterns of threat faced by scholars around the globe;
  • Research case information of scholar-applicants seeking assistance;
  • Serve as point of contact for 100+ scholar-applicants seeking SAR assistance at any given time, sharing regular and timely updates to scholar-applicants regarding their application to SAR;
  • Conduct initial review of incoming applications from scholar-applicants and make recommendations on whether applicants are candidates for SAR assistance;
  • Research and draft case reports—including case summaries, references, and publications/samples of work—for accepted cases for circulation to SAR members to support placement efforts;
  • Organize and maintain case files on scholar-applicants according to internal systems and procedures;
  • Ensure timely updates to client and application data in online case databases and assist with gathering data for internal and external data requests; and
  • Represent SAR and the protection work externally on calls, events and webinars related to programmatic discussions, partnerships, hosting issues, and awareness-raising of SAR generally.

20% – Communications and administration for protection services

  • Research, prepare and manage all aspects of monthly Academic Opportunities newsletter for scholars, including developing content, researching relevant opportunities, and maintaining subscriber list;
  • Provide support to communication efforts for Protection Services, social media, website content, newsletter content and other areas as identified;
  • Assist in arranging speaking engagements for SAR scholar-clients, including assisting with scholar travel and other needs for scholar speaking events and/or SAR scholar/host training workshops; and
  • Related administrative support (e.g., purchase orders and reimbursements for events and emergency funding requests)

QUALIFICATIONS: The ideal candidate exhibits the characteristics below and demonstrates a desire to be an important contributor to a collegial team that recognizes shared commitments to our scholar-clients, members and partners, funders, the world, each other and ourselves; seeks harmony in meeting these commitments; and sees them as positive opportunities to make a difference.


  • Undergraduate degree or equivalent experience in direct service or related field
  • 1+ year experience in higher education, human rights, relief/refugee work or related fields
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, especially in a multi-cultural setting
  • Excellent attention to detail and flexibility in approach to work
  • Excellent troubleshooting and problem-solving abilities
  • Excellent research and analytical skills
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills, including public presentation skills
  • Solid judgment and ability to handle sensitive information in a discreet, professional manner
  • Ability to manage high workloads and proactively manage own work ahead of deadlines
  • Ability to manage responsibilities and priorities with limited supervision
  • Enthusiasm for and commitment to direct service provision for at-risk individuals
  • Commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion principles


  • Previous experience with relocation initiatives or other direct service work
  • Fluency in or familiarity with languages other than English

HOW TO APPLY: PLEASE APPLY IMMEDIATELY by combining (1) a cover letter outlining how your prior experience has prepared you to fulfill the above responsibilities, (2) a resume, and (3) one unedited writing sample into a single PDF document and sending to the attention of Rose Anderson with the subject line “Program Assistant, Protection Services -[Your last name]”. Apply directly here:

BENEFITS/LOCATION: This is a full-time, at-will position on an open-ended term, subject to program priorities, exemplary performance and availability of funds. The position offers a salary comparable to similar positions at peer organizations in the human rights/NGO field. Scholars at Risk in an independent not-for-profit corporation hosted at New York University (NYU). SAR staff are NYU employees seconded to SAR. As seconded NYU employees, staff are eligible for NYU employee benefits, including generous vacation leave and holidays; medical, dental, vision and life insurance options; and retirement benefits (all subject to terms established by NYU as described at This position is remote to start, and based out of SAR’s office at New York University. Candidates need to be based in New York, New Jersey, or Connecticut (or be willing to relocate) in order to be eligible for this position.  Regrettably, SAR/NYU is not able to sponsor work-eligible visas for these positions.


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NYU is an Equal Opportunity Employer and is committed to a policy of equal treatment and opportunity in every aspect of its recruitment and hiring process without regard to age, alienage, caregiver status, childbirth, citizenship status, color, creed, disability, domestic violence victim status, ethnicity, familial status, gender and/or gender identity or expression, marital status, military status, national origin, parental status, partnership status, predisposing genetic characteristics, pregnancy, race, religion, reproductive health decision making, sex, sexual orientation, unemployment status, veteran status, or any other legally protected basis. Women, racial and ethnic minorities, persons of minority sexual orientation or gender identity, individuals with disabilities, and veterans are encouraged to apply for vacant positions at all levels.

In Categories: Career Opportunities