06 Sep 17 08 Jan 20

Terms of employment

Length of Mission

A typical MSF mission lasts six to 12 months, though a mission may be of shorter duration for emergencies or for needs driven by particular circumstances. MSF field workers need time to become acclimated to the work and the environment in order to assume a significant level of responsibility within the project, as well as to provide continuity for the benefit of both our national staff and patients. Surgeons, obstetricians-gynecologists and anesthesiologists can be exempt from this requirement. Some MSF projects are launched in response to sudden crises, whether natural or otherwise, requiring the participation of field workers who are available on short notice and for shorter duration.

Types of Commitment

Some field workers commit to MSF for a single mission only, but many enjoy the flexibility of being able to undertake missions during different periods in their careers as personal circumstances permit. Others may determine that working with MSF is a way of life suited to their values and career aspirations over the long term. In this latter case, positions within each of the two job streams (medical and support professionals) lend themselves to increasing responsibility, scope and complexity over time and the opportunity to have an impact on the strategic direction of the organization at the management level.

Learning and Development 

MSF is committed to the ongoing professional development of its field workers. It provides them with access to various types of training that build the skills and knowledge required to fulfill its mandate. This ensures that MSF as an organization can respond to the most urgent and critical needs of the people it helps around the globe, people who often require scarce and highly specialized types of expertise from medical and support professionals. This commitment to learning and development also reinforces MSF’s reputation as a learning organization committed to high standards of professionalism and relevant best practices.To this end, through discussion with their Human Resources Officer, fieldworkers may apply for sponsorship to participate in training programs that align both with their own development needs and career aspirations as well as with the strategic needs of the organization at a given point in time.Training programs can range from language training, to sophisticated medical treatments and protocols, to management and leadership best practices, and a host of other possibilities relevant to the medical and professional support streams.

Salary and Benefits

MSF salaries are set so as to reflect the humanitarian spirit of volunteerism while recognizing the high level of professional expertise provided by field staff. Monthly gross salary is approximately €1045, with subsequent increases based on expertise and experience.

Benefits include:

  • Pre-departure training through a combination of readings, e-learning and face-to-face meetings and workshops
  • Reimbursement of required vaccinations and related medical fees 
  • Required visas and work permits
  • Paid vacation (25 days per year)
  • Accommodation and transportation for briefings and debriefings
  • Daily per diem in local currency paid while in the field
  • Accommodation in the field
  • Round-trip transportation to the field
  • Medical, disability and life insurance coverage (including dental and vision)
  • Medical evacuation coverage
  • Medical/professional indemnity (health workers)
  • Luggage insurance
  • Psychological support after returning from mission
  • Confidential peer support network that contacts you before departure, and after returning back to ensure a smooth re-entry