Southwark, London

Travel Expenses and lunch allowance provided


Syria Programme Intern

Job Description

Syria Programme (SP) Internship (10Jan2017)

Terms of Reference

1. Introduction  Cara (Council for At-Risk Academics) was established in 1933 to assist persecuted academics forced to flee their home country or unable to continue their work due to political, religious, racial, ethnic or other discrimination. Over the past 80 years, Cara has assisted over 9,000 academics through its various programmes, helping academics to rebuild their lives and continue their work in safety. Eighteen of Cara’s early beneficiaries (1930s-40s) went on to become Nobel Prize winners and over 100 were elected as Fellows of The Royal Society and The British Academy.

Since the start of the Syrian crisis in 2011, higher education (HE) has been subject to sustained attack seeking to destroy the capacity of communities and cultures to maintain their existence or imagine and shape their own destiny. Whilst there is a growing awareness amongst international respondents to the crisis of the importance of supporting HE, it is almost entirely from the perspective of delivery to Syrian students in exile, driven largely by security concerns. There is little or no focus on support for Syria’s academics, despite their being a major part of Syria’s intellectual capital, and a group that is critical to its future. The SP aims to rectify this failure by supporting Syrian academics in exile in the main receiving countries in the region, eg. Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon, and where possible still in Syria, drawing and building on the experience and lessons of the Cara Iraq Programme (2006-12).

Aim of the SP is to connect and strengthen Syria’s academics during this period of uncertainty, by facilitating continued academic engagement, development and contribution whilst in exile, through research collaboration with colleagues from the wider regional and international academic/scientific communities, to ensure that they can play their vital role when security allows.

Resources The 115 UK universities that make up the Cara Scholars at Risk UK Universities Network  provide Cara with an extraordinary resource on which to draw in support of its work at both the institutional and individual level.

SP Initiatives Capacity-building and connection lie at the heart of a number of complementary SP initiatives currently being developed for delivery in the main receiving countries within the MENA region, following piloting in Turkey. Each of these capacity-building initiatives, including a blended learning English for Academic Purposes programme and an Academic Skills Development Workshop Series, sit within a wider research framework that will support research incubation, development and implementation. 

2. Responsibilities 

In addition to supporting the SP Lead and working closely with other SP team members to ensure the smooth and effective running of the Programme, a key responsibility of this internship will be to support communication with Arabic speaking beneficiaries and partners with limited English language skills. Cara is currently working with two groups of Syrian academics in exile in Turkey (over 50) and in Jordan (over 25).

The tasks involved in this internship will include contribution to research; translation; communication (in Arabic in particular); identification of and approaches to potential host institutions to develop placement and research opportunities within UK or other national universities of international repute including host country universities; and related administrative tasks.

3. Intern Profile

i. Essential

  • Fluent English and Arabic (spoken and written).
  • Confident, sensitive communication skills.
  • Excellent/proven writing skills.
  • Excellent organisational skills.
  • Confident use of Microsoft Word and Excel.
  • Excellent attention to detail.
  • Good team players.
  • Ability to work independently to deadlines.
  • Understanding of issues of confidentiality.

ii. Desirable

  • Masters degree or currently studying for a Masters.
  • Knowledge of the Middle East and Syria in particular.
  • Experience of working in the NGO/education sector.

4. Undertakings

The intern will be provided with an internship ‘contract’, appropriate support and supervision, reimbursement of work-related travel expenses and a daily lunch allowance of £5.

The intern will be professional in their approach to work and time keeping, they will raise issues of concern as these arise, gain agreement for pending absences with at least 7 days notice and notify the ‘office’ of absence due to illness or other unforeseen circumstances in a timely manner. Further, they will adhere to Cara’s policies and practices relating to confidentiality, equal opportunities, health and safety and wear appropriate smart casual dress. They will also be expected to respect and comply with the working hours of 9am to 5pm.

5. Time Commitment

The internship will be for a minimum period of 3 months, 5 days a week, unless agreed otherwise, to commence as soon as possible, as agreed.

6. Application

Please send your CV and a cover letter outlining your suitability, for and interest in, the post to with “SP Intern” in the subject line. Please include references. These will only be used with your permission and once you have been informed. 

7. Deadline

20th of January 2017.

Job title / Keyword