Research Assistant, Syria and Jordan

Middle East and North Africa Division
Amman Office
Application Deadline: 11 June 2023

The Middle East and Northern Africa (MENA) Division of Human Rights Watch (HRW) is seeking a Research Assistant to support in the monitoring and reporting on human rights violations in Syria and Jordan. The successful candidate will be based in Amman and will report to the Syria and Jordan Senior Researcher.

The successful candidate will be expected to work in the office. We aim to be as flexible and supportive as possible in both the recruitment and onboarding of this position.


1. Provide research, advocacy, and administrative assistance to the Syria and Jordan Senior Researcher;

2. Develop and maintain contacts with local actors and activists, including using pre-existing networks among local rights activists and organizations to expand HRW’s monitoring capabilities and access to information; facilitate meetings with NGOs, government officials, and individuals able to provide information regarding human rights abuses;

3. Assist the Syria and Jordan Senior Researcher in monitoring human rights conditions and documenting abuses by collecting and analyzing information from a wide variety of sources including governments, local media, NGOs, victims, witnesses, and journalists;

4. Assist the Syria and Jordan Senior Researcher in identifying local advocacy opportunities;

5. Assist the Syria and Jordan Senior Researcher in following up on specific cases of human rights violations;

6. Under the guidance of the Syria and Jordan Senior Researcher, provide written analyses and write-ups of interviews, and, when appropriate, first drafts of briefing papers, letters, news releases, submissions to international bodies, etc.;

7. Assist the Syria and Jordan Senior Researcher in preparing reports for discussion with governmental officials, NGO, IGO and other external partners;

8. Be a full partner with the Syria and Jordan Senior Researcher in managing local logistical issues, such as finding drivers, fixers, translators;

9. Advise the Syria and Jordan Senior Researcher on security issues, particularly in regard to field missions;

10. As appropriate, translate short documents from English to Arabic and from Arabic to English;

11. Proofread translations of documents by other translators, for ensuring that all HRW documents in Arabic are polished, accurate, and up to HRW standards;

12. Provide administrative support on research work such as scheduling meetings, making travel arrangements, taking minutes, processing expenses, creating agendas, preparing background materials, conducting follow-up to meetings, and providing written updates;

13. Security permitting, travel with researchers and independently to the field to conduct research;

14. Travel internationally as appropriate to attend trainings or planning sessions;

15. Operate in compliance with organizational regulations and rules, including the policies of applicable employee agreements; and

16. Perform other tasks, as may be required.


Education: A bachelor’s degree, or equivalent working experience, in international relations, law, journalism, social sciences or studies relating to the country relevant to the function is required.

Experience: A minimum of one year of experience working in an office environment or assisting in field research is required. A background in human rights, law, political science, development, or journalism is strongly preferred.

Related Skills and Knowledge:

1. Ability to multi-task effectively, including having good planning and organizing skills and ability to work under pressure are required.

2. Strong interpersonal skills in order to work collaboratively within HRW as well as with external partners are required.

3. Knowledge of the broader political and socioeconomic situation in Syria and/or Jordan is highly desirable.

4. Demonstrated knowledge of and commitment to human rights issues are required.

5. Excellent oral and written communication skills in Arabic and English are required.

6. Strong initiative and follow-through, the capacity to think creatively and strategically, and excellent writing and editing skills are required.

7. Ability to make sound decisions consistent with functions is required.

8. Experience working for an international human rights organization in a support function is highly desirable.

9. A considerable network of contacts (lawyers, activists, journalists) in Syria and/or Jordan is desirable.

Other: Applicants must possess valid work authorization in Jordan. Human Rights Watch is not able to sponsor work authorization for this role.

Salary and Benefits: HRW seeks exceptional applicants and offers competitive compensation and employer-paid benefits.

If you are experiencing technical difficulties with your application submission, or if you require a disability-related accommodation, please email Due to the large response, application submissions via email will not be accepted and inquiries regarding the status of applications will go unanswered.

Human Rights Watch is strong because it is diverse. We actively seek a diverse applicant pool and encourage candidates of all backgrounds to apply. Human Rights Watch does not discriminate on the basis of disability, age, gender identity and expression, national origin, race and ethnicity, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, or criminal record. We welcome all kinds of diversity. Our employees include people who are parents and nonparents, the self-taught and university educated, and from a wide span of socio-economic backgrounds and perspectives on the world. Human Rights Watch is an equal opportunity employer.

Human Rights Watch is an international human rights monitoring and advocacy organization known for its in-depth investigations, its incisive and timely reporting, its innovative and high-profile advocacy campaigns, and its success in changing the human rights-related policies and practices of influential governments and international institutions.

How to apply

Please apply immediately but no later than 11 June 2023, by visiting our online job portal at and attaching a cover letter and resume/CV. No calls or email inquiries, please. Only complete applications will be reviewed, and only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

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