Organization: Human Rights Watch
Closing date: 23 Mar 2022

Research Assistant, Open Source Research
Digital Investigations Lab
Multiple Locations Considered
Application Deadline: March 23, 2022

The Digital Investigations Lab of Human Rights Watch (HRW) is seeking a Research Assistant to provide support for its open source investigations. HRW’s Digital Investigations Lab deploys non-qualitative research methodologies, such as data analysis, remote sensing, and open source techniques to our human rights investigations. The Research Assistant will make key contributions to this research by collaborating with colleagues to conduct open source investigations, presenting the findings of these investigations in clear and compelling ways, and providing trainings on open source methodology to build internal capacity.

This is a one-year fixed term position with the possibility of extension dependent upon available funding. This position reports to the Head of Open Source Research, based in Berlin, and will preferably be based in any major HRW office.

Due to Covid-19, many of our global offices are currently closed or operating in reduced capacities. The successful candidate may be required to work remotely until offices fully re- open. We recognize that this moment, during the pandemic, is a uniquely difficult time for most people, particularly those with caregiving responsibilities, and we aim to be as flexible and supportive as possible in both the recruitment for and onboarding of this position.


Conduct rigorous, secure, ethical and led open source human rights investigations, in collaboration with HRW research teams while maintaining a focus on well-being;
Conduct both reactive open source investigations as well as longer term research projects in collaboration with a wide team across Human Rights Watch;
Collaborate with colleagues who conduct investigations with non-traditional human rights techniques, such as remote sensing;
Liaise effectively with HRW staff located in multiple locations throughout the world to ensure effective coordination and delivery of activities;
Deliver outputs in a timely manner and maintaining consistency with the agreed strategy and priorities of the division;
Write up findings and analysis in a concise and accurate manner, in accordance with guidance provided by Human Rights Watch;
Work alongside the Head of Open Source Research and the Digital Investigations Lab with the Communications Division to present the findings of open source investigation findings in clear and compelling ways;
Produce tutorials and guides in collaboration with the Head of Open Source Research for internal use on open source techniques and methods;
Provide trainings on open source methodology to small groups of staff to build internal capacity within Human Rights Watch; and
Perform other tasks, as may be required.


Education: A bachelor’s degree or equivalent working experience in a relevant field is preferred.

Experience: A minimum of one (1) year of experience working in a similar role is required.

Related Skills and Knowledge

Demonstrable experience in and knowledge of the methodologies of conducting rigorous, safe, ethical, and trauma-informed open source human rights investigations.
Experience working with preservation tools and tools essential for geolocation and audiovisual analysis is required. Interest, curiosity and passion to learn new tools and techniques is required.
Experience designing and incorporating open source research methodologies into traditional research projects is desirable.
Experience working collaboratively with researchers working on geospatial and data analysis is desirable.
Demonstrable experience of working with people from many diverse backgrounds who speak a variety of languages as their first language and are based across multiple timezones.
Previous experience working with distressing visual, audio and written content and deploying strategies, both at an individual and organisational level, to reduce the negative impact is required.
Strong interpersonal skills in order to work collaboratively within HRW as well as with external partners are required.
Ability to multi-task effectively, including having good planning and organizing skills and ability to work under pressure are required.
Excellent oral and written communication skills in English are required. Visual communication and design skills are highly desirable.
Ability to clearly communicate research methodologies and findings is required.
Strong initiative and follow-through, the capacity to think creatively and strategically, excellent writing and editing skills, are required.
Ability to make sound decisions consistent with functions is required.
Experience working for an international human rights organization is highly desirable.

Other: Candidates must possess valid work authorization for the location in which they will be based; we are unable to provide work visa sponsorship for this role.

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

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:

How to Apply: Please apply immediately or by March 23, 2022, by visiting our online job portal at and attach 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.

If you have difficulty completing your application submission, or if you require a disability-related accommodation to submit your application, please reach out to

Categories: NGO Jobs