Working abroad with MSF

No.  There are no limitations of citizenships regarding your application with MSF! Your citizenship only becomes relevant at a later stage when we need to get entry visas for the mission countries.

No. The recruiting team of MSF Austria is in charge of all applications coming from applicants with residency in the following countries: Austria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Kosovo, Republic of Moldova, Montenegro, Romania, Slovakia or Slovenia. 

All persons with a residency in one of the abovementioned countries can apply with MSF Austria. Persons with a residency in a different country than the ones mentioned can find out here where they can apply:

Please note: The Assessment Centre takes place at the MSF Austria offices in Vienna. The assessment center may take up to two days and we cannot cover any expenses related to this trip.

Should this question apply to you, we like to discuss this on an individual basis. It is highly important to avoid any conflicts of interest and to make sure that the requirements for working with us are met. 

Should this question apply to you, we like to discuss this on an individual basis. The standards in terms of living conditions and medical care in the countries we work in can hardly be compared to the ones most applicants are used to. Related consequences (e.g. lack of accessibility) are difficult to manage in a number of projects. Sending people on field missions with special needs may therefore be difficult or impossible (lack of mobility may pose a safety risk).  

A chronic illness is generally not an argument against an assignment abroad. However, please keep in mind that, for example, the procurement of special medicines or the storage of medicines could be difficult depending on the project. Regular check-ups with specialists may also be difficult or even impossible to organize on site, depending on the illness. Should this question apply to you, we like to discuss this on an individual basis.

Yes, vacancies keep coming up which we advertise here.

No. There is neither a minimum nor a maximum age limit to be able to leave on missions. It is important that you meet the requirements and feel fit enough to work in the field. Please consider both climate and living conditions. The only restriction is the age limit for work permits that a few countries have issued.

Prerequisites for applying at MSF & going on mission

Professional experience that is relevant for applying at MSF should have been gained and practiced no longer than two years ago.

No. It is not possible to apply for a specific country or a specific project. After a successfully completed application process, you will be included in the "pool" of employees (e.g. pool of surgeons or pool of logisticians). Criteria for the "matching" - i.e. the selection of a suitable project - are not only your professional qualifications but also your language skills and your time availability. In humanitarian aid, assignments are primarily determined by the needs of the projects. In this phase, there may be longer waiting times. Great flexibility is required here.

In general, it is not possible to be accompanied by your partner and children if you are leaving on mission for the first time. However, if you are looking for a longer-term career with MSF, there are a few positions for coordinators that allow for longer-term planning with partners and children.

Although we acknowledge that risks cannot be ruled out completely, we do whatever we can to manage and minimize possible hazards by applying strict safety protocols. Safety of MSF staff is of utmost importance.

Basic knowledge in tropical medicine, infectiology (especially HIV and tuberculosis), public health and epidemiology is required in some projects for the following professional groups: General Practitioners, Pediatricians, Nurses and Midwives. Therefore, we recommend the completion of a tropical course before the first assignment. However, MSF does not cover the cost of the course, so participation is not mandatory. Without a tropical course, depending on other previous experience, there may be a longer waiting period for a first assignment. Relevant work experience in Africa, Asia or Latin America can replace the course.

Salary and insurance

Yes. You are entitled to take leave in accordance with legal requirements. Many projects have regulations for holiday periods in terms of time and duration. During a nine-month mission, for example, a one-week holiday ought to be taken every three months. Here, too, great flexibility is required, however, as it is not always possible to plan the long-term absence of individual employees from projects. Details should be arranged with superiors directly in the field.

If you are a legal resident in Austria, you will receive a work contract in compliance with Austrian legal regulations which also includes social security coverage (Austrian Health Insurance Scheme - ÖGK). In addition (and this also includes everyone who does not have a residence in Austria), MSF will arrange for you to be covered by an international health insurance scheme, which will bear any costs that are not covered by the Austrian Health Insurance. Insurance coverage remains valid until three months after you have completed your MSF mission.

Medical care will be provided directly in the field or in the nearest hospital (selected for mission staff). Any treatment costs will be borne by the health insurance. If necessary for medical reasons, you will be repatriated to a European hospital or your place of residence. Again, such measure is also covered by the insurance.