Volunteer Proofreader Initiative

Assist in the academic advancement and trajectory of SAR scholars.

Scholars at Risk (SAR) protects scholars facing immediate and severe threats to their lives and assists them in continuing their critical academic work by arranging temporary teaching and research positions at SAR member institutions around the world. To further assist displaced scholars embarking on job searches in new academic environments, SAR offers advisory and referral services, including the review of academic materials, mock interviews, and referral letters.

As the SAR Network continues to expand and grow, SAR continually strives to enhance its support for scholars as they (re)establish their academic careers in exile. In response to requests from scholars seeking advisory services, SAR launched the Volunteer Proofreader Initiative in 2020, a proofreading program committed to advancing the academic job search capacity and trajectory of SAR scholars. Since then, this initiative has grown exponentially due to the remarkable response and dedication of volunteers, whose efforts have significantly benefited numerous scholars.

“My proofreader provided me with timely and very useful feedback. In their report, they pointed out the most critical issues that I could address to improve my application materials. After reading it, I felt like I was on the right track and with some revisions I could submit a better application. Especially, knowing that someone who serves in search committees took a look at and touched on those materials made me feel more confident” SAR Scholar, 2024.

Become a Volunteer Proofreader

SAR invites interested individuals to participate in the Volunteer Proofreader Initiative by offering professional, individualized edits and suggestions to CVs, cover letters, teaching statements, and other documents relevant to the academic job search. By providing professional edits and recommendations, you will help not only in addressing a scholar’s immediate proofreading needs but also in supporting a scholar’s understanding of the fundamental aspects of the job application process.

Volunteer Qualifications and Expectations:

We welcome all expressions of interest and are particularly eager to work with volunteers who have experience in academia and/or on academic hiring committees. Depending on one’s professional or academic background, a volunteer may be asked to provide discipline-based edits and other academically relevant suggestions to scholars. A volunteer may be a member or affiliate of the SAR network, an alumni scholar, or someone new to SAR.

What Volunteering Looks Like
Volunteers will assist in the further development of our material review services, which primarily include CV and cover letter reviews but may also include the review of research/teaching statements and research proposals. Volunteers can expect two requests per semester (a one- to two-hour commitment, with a two-week turnaround for requests), which can be adjusted depending on availability. The program will be coordinated by a SAR staff member who will serve as a liaison between the proofreader and scholar, available to address questions and concerns.

Privacy & Confidentiality
Given the sensitive nature of SAR’s protection work, all volunteers will be expected to adhere to SAR’s Privacy Policy and to sign a confidentiality agreement.

How to Join

If you are interested in joining as a volunteer, please write: sar-volunteerproofreader@nyu.edu. In your email, please include the following:

  • Name and title
  • SAR affiliation (if applicable)
  • Academic expertise
  • Availability (requests per month)
  • Languages of working proficiency (kindly indicate whether you would be open to proofreading materials in these languages)
  • A copy of your CV
  • A statement of willingness to sign a confidentiality agreement