Junior Research Scientist/Program Assistant, Membership & University Relations

Posted August 15, 2022

Position: Junior Research Scientist/Program Assistant, Membership & University Relations
Title of Supervisors: Director, Membership & University Relations
Senior Program Officer, Membership & University Relations
NYU Unit: Provost / Scholars at Risk Network

ABOUT THE ORGANIZATION: Scholars at Risk (SAR) is an international network of over 600 higher education institutions and associations dedicated to protecting scholars and promoting higher education values worldwide. By arranging temporary academic positions at member universities, SAR offers safety to scholars facing grave threats, enabling them to continue their important work. SAR also provides advisory services for scholars and hosts, campaigns for scholars who are imprisoned or silenced in their home countries, monitoring of attacks on higher education communities worldwide, and leadership in deploying new tools and strategies for promoting academic freedom and improving respect for university values everywhere. Information at www.scholarsatrisk.org

JOB DESCRIPTION: Scholars at Risk is seeking a highly-organized, proactive and detail- oriented individual to join the SAR team as a Junior Research Scientist/Program Assistant for Membership. The Program Assistant plays a key role within the SAR membership team, which works to develop university engagement in all areas of SAR programming, including protection of threatened scholars and related country conditions research; advocacy for threatened scholars; and research, trainings, and publications on academic freedom and related higher education values. The Program Assistant should develop fluency in all of these areas of SAR’s work in order to develop and lead strategies for identifying, recruiting, and engaging universities, faculty, and students. The position requires strong research and writing skills, timely and professional communication, including with members, partners, clients, SAR and NYU staff, and the public. The Program Assistant will be encouraged to handle increasing responsibility for these and other activities as appropriate. The position reports primarily to SAR’s Director of Membership and University Relations and secondarily to SAR’s Senior Program Officer, North America.


Prospective member outreach and member engagement (70%)

  • Develop fluency, under the guidance of supervisors, in responding to queries from prospective, new, and current members and partners regarding programming and engagement opportunities.
  • Promote engagement of universities, colleges, academic associations and societies, faculty and students, including engagement in activities beyond hosting scholars such as seminars, clinics, workshops, research projects, and publications.
  • Under guidance of supervisors, research, design, and implement membership outreach campaigns, including researching possibilities for new national SAR sections (e.g., SAR Canada) and new partner networks with academic associations and societies in the US (e.g., AAAS) and abroad (e.g., EUA).
  • Connect with prospective members in a variety of regions and manage relationships from introductions through the onboarding process.
  • Represent SAR accurately and professionally in a variety of contexts, including presenting at conferences as well as meetings with university administrators and faculty.
  • Manage, with support from team members, membership social media including creating posts highlighting member events and programming, as well as identifying and recruiting appropriate membership audience.

Engagement-related administration and operations (30%)

  • Develop independent responsibility for onboarding members across the network.
  • Research and prepare program content for events and meetings that advance engagement and SAR’s mission across all three substantive areas of SAR’s work.
  • Research and draft membership/engagement-related reports, statistics, and numbers, as needed.
  • Implement membership invoicing operations, under the guidance of supervisors, including soliciting and tracking payments, updating contacts and member data, and streamlining annual invoicing processes.
  • Research appropriate operations standards and system updates to maximize efficiency.



  • Undergraduate degree.
  • Exceptional research, writing and editorial skills.
  • 1-2 years of related work experience in a non-profit/similar mission setting
  • Strong attention to detail and strong organizational and multi-tasking abilities.
  • Demonstrated commitment to human rights and/or international education.
  • Previous membership/communications experience desirable.
  • Fluency in additional languages a plus, Spanish and/or French preferred.


COMPENSATION AND BENEFITS: 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 and 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 “https://www.nyu.edu/employees/benefit/full-time/professional-research-staff.html“)

HOW TO APPLY: PLEASE APPLY IMMEDIATELY (no phone calls or email inquiries, please) by emailing in a single document: (1) a letter of interest, (2) resume, (3) list of references or letters of reference, and (4) a brief, unedited writing sample. Please use “Program Assistant, [Your last name]” as the subject of your email.  Applications accepted on a rolling basis until the position is filled. Submit to joyce.pisarello@nyu.edu. SAR is an equal opportunity employer. SAR does not discriminate due to race, color, creed, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender and/or gender identity or expression, marital or parental status, national origin, ethnicity, citizenship status, veteran or military status, age, disability, unemployment status or any other legally protected basis, and to the extent permitted by law. Qualified candidates of diverse ethnic and racial backgrounds are encouraged to apply. (Regrettably, SAR is not able to sponsor work-eligible visas for these positions.)

In Categories: Career Opportunities