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Call for applications: Research Fellow

Deadline: Friday 30 March 2018
Location: Kampala, Uganda
Duration of contract: 6 months


DefendDefenders is seeking a motivated Research Fellow to work on “Mapping HRDs in exile” under the supervision of the Protection department and the Research department, an initiative that aims to identify the needs and gaps of the situation of HRDs in exile in Rwanda and Uganda.

The fellow will be responsible to conduct research on the situation of HRDs in exile. He will prepare research missions, conduct interviews, collect, compile and analyze data and produce a short report on the subject.

The desired applicant is dynamic, self-starting, detail-oriented, interdisciplinary and well-organized.
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The applicant should have a well-established background in field and desk research with a demonstrable output of written publications. The successful candidate must be self-motivated, and able to work effectively under pressure and be a good team. They should be willing to travel occasionally, as required.

DefendDefenders is the East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project. We seek to strengthen the work of human rights defenders (HRDs) throughout the region by reducing their vulnerability to the risk of persecution and by enhancing their capacity to effectively defend human rights. DefendDefenders works in Burundi, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Somalia (together with Somaliland), South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda.
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Minimum Qualifications

  • A post-graduate Degree (Human Rights, Law, International Relations, Communications/Journalism Studies, or related field);
  • A minimum of two year’s experience working in human rights, ideally working within an NGO, academic institution, civil society organization or other directly relevant institution;

Required skills/experience

Applicants must have the following skills:
• Excellent research skills, including familiarity with human rights research methods and ethics, demonstrated by a body of published research;
• Excellent written and editing skills;
• Analytical skills;
• Highly developed interpersonal skills and ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships in a culturally diverse environment;
• Self-motivation, organization, and the ability to meet deadlines with minimal supervision;
• Willingness to travel;
• Fluency in written and spoken English and French;
The following criteria are not compulsory but highly desirable:
• Familiarity with the human rights situation in the East and Horn of Africa sub-region, including experience working in the region.
• Logistics skills


  • Conduct desk and field research, under the supervision of DefendDefenders, on the situation of HRDs in exile;
  • Demonstrate and uphold the highest ethical standards throughout all stages of research, including data collection, storage, collation, and reporting;
  • Monitor and analyse political and human rights developments in the sub-region, and contribute to the development of advocacy/research materials for external and internal use, such as briefings, annual report entries, public statements, web features, audio visual material and correspondence;
  • Responsible for the production of high quality written report, and potentially press statements and advocacy materials suitable for publication in English and French;
  • Contribute to the promotion and dissemination of research findings through advocacy and public engagement activities;
  • Assist the selected national coalitions with administrative activities, including organizing research logistics.

Working conditions and Term

  • Part-time or full-time position, based on negotiation with the candidate.
  • Contract period is 4 to 6 Months, based on negotiation with the candidate.

Apply Now

Please apply by emailing in a single submission the following documents: a letter of motivation and a C.V. with details of educational background, human rights activities and two references, as well as a writing sample, on the situation of human rights defenders in Burundi, unedited by others of between 1,000 and 1,500 words to [email protected] no later than Friday 30 March 2018.

Please do not attach copies of qualifications at this stage. Only complete applications will be reviewed. It is preferred that all materials be submitted via email. We regret that owing to the volume in applications only shortlisted applicants will be contacted.

Equal employment opportunities and having a diverse staff are fundamental principles at DefendDefenders where employment and promotional opportunities are based upon individual capabilities and qualifications without regard to race, colour, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, disability, or any other protected characteristic as established under international human rights principles.