Internship – MSF Health Programming Researcher

Internship – MSF Health Programming Researcher

La date limite pour postuler est passée.


Médecins sans Frontières Suisse


This internship is part of an academic training program, a professional training program or a socio-professional integration program, and must meet the conditions set by the Conseil de surveillance du marché de l'emploi (CSME).

Context & Mission

Médecins Sans Frontières is an independent, international medical and humanitarian organization that provides care to people in need, people affected by natural or man-made disasters, and victims of armed conflict, without discrimination and without regard to race, religion, creed or political affiliation (MSF Charter).

The UREPH (Research Unit on Humanitarian Stakes and Practices) of Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) Switzerland was created in 2006 and aims to improve the way MSF projects are implemented in the field and to participate in critical thinking on humanitarian and medical action. The UREPH conducts research with the objective of improving the understanding of operational issues, along with contributing to analytical and reflective positioning on humanitarian stakes and practices.

As an independently financed organisation, MSF has the privilege of choice in how we optimally respond to humanitarian health needs, guided by humanitarian principles and organisational strategic choices. MSF is able to deliver an extensive range of health services, far beyond the lifesaving care we are known to prioritise and yet, limits do exist. Deciding which health service to provide, at which level of the health continuum (primary, secondary, and tertiary), and to what extent (limits of care per condition) raises questions of how we can optimally support person-centred care across acute and chronic care. The questions touch on important concepts such as comprehensive care, the continuation of care, and optimal integration within an existing health continuum (local system), often under-resourced.  Normatively, the relevant best practice guidance is framed under health system governance and targeted at local health authorities whose considerations and ethical obligations may differ when compared to an independent humanitarian provider like MSF.

In this project, MSF is seeking a literature review of current guidance to inform an MSF-orientated framing that aims to help field teams think through MSF programming choices and the difficult ethical dimensions confronted when working in humanitarian contexts. A literature review of current practice and normative guidance and then analysis of how this can guide MSF decision making is required. The work is expected to answer: i) what are considered essential health services, ii) what different limits exist for those ‘essential’ services, and iii) what are the key considerations at an individual and population level (health impact, scale, quality of life, immediate, etc.) when selecting to intervene at different levels of the health continuum (primary, secondary, and tertiary).

MSF is looking for a motivated health student to help reflect on these complex health continuum concepts and contribute to producing pragmatic guidance for MSF field teams, based on scientific evidence and recognised best practice. The UREPH intern will work under the supervision of a medical researcher and in close collaboration with the medical direction and department.

Tasks and responsibilities

  • Help to perform a literature review to define best practice of existing essential services, noting the intended audience, the service impact and co-dependencies per level of care, drawing from peer-reviewed articles and grey literature technical documentation.
  • From the review support an analysis of how the literature can support MSF decision making
  • Unpacking the pros and cons of selecting different types and levels of services from various angles, such as providing optimal care, organisational priorities, and ethical dimensions (weighing medical, public health and humanitarian principles, etc).
  • Highlighting different approaches for different MSF operating models: a stand-alone entity, in a partnership, or another model.

Your profile

  • Have a tripartite internship agreement
  • A health-related degree level (medicine, nursing or paramedical), training in public health, especially health systems is an asset.
  • Keen interest in humanitarian action, able to demonstrate flexibility in thinking and action, and work in a collaborative manner with team members.
  • Research and writing skills, with an ability to summarise and break-down complexities to be understood across culturally diverse teams.
  • Experience providing clinical care will aid understanding of the core ethical dilemmas an advantage
  • Fluent in both English and French (Spanish or Arabic a plus).
  • Command of usual computer tools (MS Office 365).
  • Proactivity, autonomy, initiative, rigour, and organisational skills.
  • Ability to work in a multidisciplinary and multicultural environment.

Terms of employment

  • A tripartite internship agreement is mandatory
  • 6 months, according to internship agreement
  • Full time (40h/week) (part-time negotiable for candidates with other commitments)
  • Based in Geneva
  • Ideal start date : 15th of April 2024
  • Gross monthly remuneration for a 100% : CHF 2'000.-

To apply

Please send a CV (2 pages maximum) and a cover letter (1 page maximum).

Closing date for applications March 24th, 2024.

We reserve the right to close the position early if we consider the number and quality of applications received to be sufficient.


The applications will be treated confidentially.

Only short-listed candidates will be contacted.

Only applications submitted on our recruitment platforms will be considered.

Please note that we do not wish to use the services of recruitment or placement agencies.

At MSF, we are committed to an inclusive culture that encourages and supports the diverse voices of our staff members. We strive to create workplaces where teams of people with diverse backgrounds, characteristics, perspectives, ideas and experiences work together for the social mission of MSF to create better outcomes for our patients and the communities we work with.

We welcome applications from individuals of all genders, ages, sexual orientations, ethnicities, background, religions, beliefs, ability status, and all other diversity characteristics.

MSF does not tolerate sexual exploitation and abuse, any kind of discrimination or harassment, including sexual harassment. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo reference checks.