Recruitment Info Webinars

Ask us anything


Médecins Sans Frontières / Doctors Without Borders (MSF) – Ask us anything!

This is a unique opportunity to ask questions of our experienced MSF fieldworkers. If you have any burning questions about what it is like working on MSF projects, what ‘home life’ look like, if you build a career with MSF, if it is possible to take your partner, …and many more!  If you are genuinely interested in becoming a field worker, we strongly encourage you to watch this webinar prior to applying!

How flexible is the length of an assignment?

Every profile has a criteria with specific minimum time and that is not negotiable. The more flexibility you have the easier it will be to be placed. The reason why is that it can be very unsettling for teams to have managers staying for short periods of time, you can imagine for the locally engaged team how it would be challenging to have constant turn over. It also doesn't give you time to learn the context and to make a contribution. As you become more experienced there can be more flexibility on how long you go for. Short placements are more expensive too and we are accountable for donor funds as well as effectiveness on the ground.

Most roles must make a commitment of nine to twelve months but do refer to the website.

Can I specify where I do / do not want to go?

The choice you've made is to join MSF, not to MSF in a particular context. We don't really know what it's going to be like until we get there so it's better not to have too many expectations. I have one colleague who went to Yemen rather reluctantly and it turned out to be her best project. You might, for example, have language skills, cultural experience, etc. that is suitable for certain countries. This will be taken into consideration when matching you with a position, but generally we place people based on our project needs. Also, there are certain profiles such as emergency doctors, surgeons or anaesthetist where you will need to be willing to work in high security contexts.

Can I send my CV in the meantime as I complete my masters in clinical medicine?

Due to the need to prioritise our current project needs, we are unable to consider applications that do not meet our essential criteria and the specific criteria outlined on our website for each profile that we recruit. We would encourage you to self-assess on this basis, and only submit an application when eligible to do so.

How does MSF ensure the security of staff and their health on a daily basis? and from a pre-departure perspective?

MSF takes security in the field very seriously and expects our project workers to comply with security protocols at all times for their protection, as well as the protection of your colleagues and patients. Médecins Sans Frontières provides extensive risk management procedures and security guidelines for every project. Field workers are briefed on the country security situation before going to the field, and upon arriving at the project site are given specific security briefings and protocols. Adherence to our field guidelines for personal and team conduct and safety is mandatory. MSF security rules are adapted to the requirements of each particular setting where MSF works and are reviewed on a regular basis to accommodate changes in the local context.

Your health is similarly a high priority for MSF however it must be said that MSF works in countries with limited health facilities and in conditions that can increase the risk of health complications. Information on the medical conditions, risks, and requirements in the country that you will be working will be provided at the time of matching. From a pre-departure perspective, as part of the recruitment process you will be asked to do a medical check and we ask all of our project staff to be vaccinated for a standard list of vaccines. There is always a medical doctor responsible for staff health in the country, and we have insurance, including emergency evacuation coverage should the need arise.

Do you have opportunity for experienced HR/Finance people?

Yes, there is currently demand for experienced HR/Finance people. Please see this page for more information -….

What does salary starting from $3,523 per month mean?

Our project staff initially earn a modest monthly salary starting from approximately 3,523 AUD per month. This salary will increase with MSF project experience. Yes, it's very modest but once you are in the project MSF covers nearly all of your needs including: transport (domestic and international), accommodation, insurance, per diem, medical indemnity, etc.

Benefits include:

  • Three days Pre-departure Welcome to MSF days (online training)
  • Reimbursement of required vaccinations
  • Required visas and work permits
  • Monthly salary starting from 3,523 AUD
  • Tax-exempt income for assignments longer than 91 days (for Australian residents only). This income qualifies for tax-exempt income under the ATO Section 23AG – Exempt foreign service income ruling. 
  • Paid vacation (25 days per year)
  • Superannuation contributions for Australian residents. New Zealand residents will receive the equivalent amount as additional salary.
  • Daily per diem in local currency, paid while on assignment
  • Accommodation while on assignment
  • Round-trip transportation to your assignment
  • Medical, disability and life insurance coverage
  • Medical evacuation coverage
  • Medical/professional indemnity (for health profiles)
  • Luggage insurance
  • Psychosocial support
  • Access to an Employee Assistance Program

Find more information at

Do you have any opportunities for nurses?

We currently only have opportunities for general nurses who are either bilingual French/English or Spanish/English, and who are available for a minimum of 9 months. However, we have opportunities (without needing to be bilingual) for nurses with specialisations including:

  • Operating Theatre Nurses
  • Nurses with significant experience in ER/ICU
  • Nurses with significant Infection Prevention Control experience
  • Neonate/Paediatric nurses.
Does MSF employ emergency nurses or public health nurses as a speciality?

While we don't use the term ‘public health nurses’ in MSF, we are currently looking for nurses with experience in low income/developing countries and remote/ rural areas. We are looking for nurses with a demonstrated capacity for team management/ supervision and training.

Do you need nurses with these skills; growth and developmental certification, immunisation and midwifery?

Yes we do but bilingual applicants will have more opportunity for placement.

How do I join the pool team?

A fantastic step is joining this webinar! We have many other webinars on our website that you can watch in your own time, on specific profiles and on general topics such as Life in the Field - 

The next step will be to find a profile that matches your profession and make sure you have the essential criteria required. If you do, then please apply online.

Would general x-ray skills be helpful or would I need Sonography skills too?

We are looking for X-ray technicians/radiographers and radiologists. We are looking for candidates from both these profiles to go out on short assignments (usually for 6 weeks) to install X-ray equipment and give the staff in the projects the required training to use it, or to give a refresher training later on. Sometimes we combine more trainings in one project or country and so could have a contract for up to 3 months or so.

Because the assignments tend to be short we are looking for people who have a job in their home country but are able to regularly take time off to be available for placements with us. Please send your CV to the pool of other specialists -

What are the requirements for assigning first mission and how are profiles matched?

First assignments are quite difficult to achieve. It depends on your profile and if it is currently needed in our overseas projects. Certainly having a second language such as French will make it a great deal easier to match you.

Once you are part of the field worker pool you will be assigned a Career Manager who will work closely with you during your MSF career. Their initial priority will be finding you opportunities in our overseas projects and to follow up with you on your career path with MSF. The Career Manager will be doing a lot of work behind the scenes and it is key to keep them up to date with any CV updates or changes in availability.

It is important to note that successful entry into the MSF fieldworker pool does not guarantee an assignment or contract of employment. If your career manager sees an opportunity on the vacancy list that suits your skills, experience and availability they will send your profile, including updated CV and skills checklists, to one of the Operational Centre pool managers.

What is a major requirement for a candidate to join your pool?

We expect all candidates to meet both the selection criteria for their position and the general selection criteria for all fieldworkers. Specifically we look for evidence of management experience as all roles have managerial responsibilities, experience in low resource settings (and this can include rural and remote Australia, as well as the global south/north), and a good understanding of MSF and it's role within the humanitarian sphere. We are looking at your motivation for wanting to work for MSF within this space.

Does experience on programs such as the Australian Volunteers Program reduce the Indemnity period? Can you help me understand why not? I was under the impression that indemnity related to the Spirit of Volunteering.

Volunteer opportunities are not accepted towards work experience as it is hard to assess the quality of the individual contribution and specific program relevant to humanitarian aid work consistently across the globe. This is a rule for the organisation as a whole and not isolated to the Australian Section. This is not to say these volunteer experiences are not important, valuable or educational.

When assessing past experience with relation to pay and conditions, we aim to compare a person’s various work experiences to MSF jobs and assess what would be considered as being in the same position. We are looking for evidence of both professionalism, commitment, and accepted positions of accountability by the candidate, and this also excludes short engagements, internships, summer jobs, etc.

From these experiences, both the type of work and type of organisation are considered. The Candidate must have been working and living in largely unfamiliar contexts, in the location where the work was conducted. We are also looking at how long the person was stationed in the location in question, whether for the full duration or only part of the experience.

For the purposes of indemnity scaling, MSF only considers experience with those organisations filling all the following criteria:

• Not-for-profit organizations, institutes or associations

• Working at a local, national, regional or international level; and

• Operational in humanitarian, relief, aid or development programs.

We do acknowledge each case is different and are happy to discuss further.

If we have experience in an area like HR, but would like to end up in different area e.g. Health Promotion, is it worth applying for roles?

As a short answer - yes. Once you have experience in the field with MSF, it is generally easier to be placed within the organization, and there can be the possibility of moving into different areas depending on your skills, experience and training. It is also worth noting that once you are in the field you may find that the roles you are interested in change. 

If I'm a New Zealand Resident (but not a citizen), would I have to apply for an Australian work visa, to be employed by MSF Australia?

Residents or citizens of NZ with unrestricted work rights in NZ do not need to apply for an Australian work visa to be able to work for MSF Australia. We can answer questions relating to specific visa categories on an individual basis.

Therefore, if you do not have the legal right to work in Australia or New Zealand and you want to work with MSF as a member of its international staff, you will need to apply to one of the five MSF Operational Centre offices, as they can recruit and employ from any part of the world. The five offices are in Belgium, France, Holland, Spain and Switzerland. The contact details are available on the MSF International Web site:

What is the estimated turn around time from application to deployment with MSF?

It depends. Once you have been recruited you will be placed in a pool of fieldworkers waiting for assignment. You will be allocated a career manager who will look for roles that match your profile and put you forward for consideration. There may be multiple applicants for these roles and the field will choose the most suitable candidate.

Ultimately it comes down to your skill set matching a need in the field and it can be as quick as a couple of weeks, or as long as many months.

How do you navigate being away in the field and then returning back into everyday life. For example, if am away for nine months, when I return am I employed by MSF until I deploy again? Or do I hang up my cape until I am called up again? 

It depends what your profile is. Usually MSF is not able to do this however once you are quite experienced, there can be longer-term contracts that include between assignment down time. It's important to take some time out when you return from a project before working again. Getting back into everyday life isn't easy, and everyone manages it differently. For some it will mean having a break before going on assignment again, but for others it will be to go back to local work at home. 

MSF is keen for you to build a career with us, so we aim to help you find work opportunities in the future and to put you on another assignment when you're ready.

Do you have opportunities for short term volunteering?

We are currently only able to place doctors who are bilingual in French/English or Spanish/English and who are available to work overseas for a minimum of 9 months. Every profile has a minimum requirement and if you cannot commit to that we are unable to recruit you.

I’m PGY4 rural GP starting PGY5 next year. Am I too junior to join next year?

We would be interested in hearing from you if you are bilingual in French/English or Spanish English. Please visit this page to find out more -….

I'm a medical laboratory technician. Is it worth learning French or is English okay to get by in the field?

There are very few positions for medical lab techs (even with French), however microbiology experience is highly sought after.

How can I help my public health students prepare for working in international health, in organisations such MSF?

Prepare students to work in resource-poor settings. Integrate case studies of Humanitarian Aid and Disaster Relief efforts into your curriculum.

Why is it difficult for MSF locally-hired staff to become an international staff when he/she is in the system already? Why does it take so long when we apply for the international pool?

MSF Australia is not involved in the process of moving locally engaged staff to internationally mobile staff - this is done through the project you are working in. Do talk to your human resources manager.

What other opportunities or roles are there for Health Promotion Supervisors?

It is possible to build a career as a health promoter, particularly with further study working towards an epidemiology role.

How can you work as a IMS/IS?

MSF Australia will very rarely recruit a Humanitarian Affairs staff person. In such a case, they are experienced project staff with either legal or project coordination experience who then move to a HAO role.

I'm a fundraising assistant. What experience or skills should a non-medical first departure have to increase their chances of being hired by MSF?

We do need finance and human resource professionals, especially those with management and training experience. This position could be suitable to you -….

I'm a pharmacist, how do MSF recruit international staff?

We are interested in recruiting pharmacists, please visit this page to find out more -….

As a biomedical engineer, in what fields would I be helpful for you? What can I further learn to work with you?

There are log roles which require biomedical engineering - have a look at the website and if you still have questions get back to us.

I'm a digital and social media lecturer, what range of non-medical skills and degree of experience you require?

Unfortunately, we rarely have positions in our overseas projects for digital and social media professionals.

Do you have any IPC jobs?

Infection Prevention Controls roles are needed. Please visit this page on our website to find out more -