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Application call for EPHA-OSF Roma Health Fellows

With the support of the Public Health Program of the Open Society Foundations, EPHA (the European Public Health Alliance) – Europe’s leading NGO advocating for better health – launches a one-year fellowship programme (2018 – 2019) to train and mentor Roma health EU advocates.

Please note, this position is voluntary and does not offer financial remuneration (apart from coverage of necessary costs).

The Fellowship aims to empower young Roma Health Advocates working on Roma issues to develop the necessary tools to engage with European policy makers and to increase the capacity of Roma communities for leadership on Roma health at EU level. Ideally, the Fellows would be seconded from a civil society organisation based in Central or Eastern Europe. The Fellows (and their sending organisations) will have the opportunity to develop their professional skills with a practical and European orientation, and develop contacts and cooperation with key EU-level actors (e.g. European Commission, Members of the European Parliament and European networks of NGOs inter-alia).

The Fellowship programme

The Fellowship programme provides financial support for travel, accommodation, and per-diem related costs within the programme’s term. The concept of the Fellowship is that it is complementary to the ongoing employment/studies of the Fellows.

The programme provides tailored technical assistance for two Roma health advocates on EU Health Advocacy. The tailored assistance will include mentoring and training component on the key EU health processes. It will also facilitate establishing partnerships and potential collaborations with relevant EU actors.

Fellowship action will add to EPHA’s engagement with the European Framework of the National Roma Integration Strategies (NRIS) and Fellows are expected to work on the national strategy of their home country, by making analyses and contributing shadow reporting activities.

We strongly encourage applications from persons of Roma origin, as the Roma Health Fellowship is aligned with the EPHA-OSF Early Childhood Development Fellowship programme and EPHA’s work on Roma health. Experience of living or working in Roma communities would be an advantage.

The Fellowship will be mainly via electronic communication between the fellow and EPHA staff. The programme requires approximately two days’ engagement per month and 5 visits to Brussels: three days per visit, including coverage of travel and accommodation costs and a per diem to cover necessary costs for the visit. The aim is to develop the following skills and knowledge:

  • An understanding of the EU decision making and consultation processes with a focus on health actors within the EU institutions;
  • Improved policy analysis and policy drafting skills, including policy recommendations for decision makers;
  • Building alliances with various organisations operating in social and health sectors;
  • Improved presentation and public speaking skills via face-to-face meetings with EU decision makers.

The Roma Health Fellows will be coordinated by the EPHA Roma Health and ECD project manager and will have a senior EPHA staff member as their personal mentor for their professional development.

Objectives and expected outcomes of the Fellowship

The overarching goal of the Fellowship is to empower Roma Health Advocates to develop the necessary tools to engage in advocacy on Roma health with the European policy makers. Upon finishing the Fellowship, the Roma health EU advocates will be able to navigate EU decision-making processes, interact and advocate for advancing Roma health in relevant EU policies and programmes.

The expected outcomes of the fellowship are to train Roma Health Advocates to be able to develop and implement an individually tailored EU Roma health advocacy plan within the time frame of the Fellowship as well as to develop and implement one-year program facilitated by the mentors, to improve their public speaking skills, to deepen their knowledge about the EU advocacy techniques as well as to strengthen their networks by meeting EU actors and MEPs. Fellows are also expected to have a better understanding and advocacy related experience concerning the NRIS as well as the European Semester, as policy processes relevant for Roma Health. The successful Fellows will be added to the EU Roma health and ECD alumni network and they may potentially be engaged in further EU Roma health advocacy initiatives coordinated by EPHA.

Qualifications and requirements for Fellows:

  • Fluency in English, written and spoken;
  • Active in civil society sector on Roma health, health-related rights or social issues for a minimum of two years professional or voluntary experience;
  • University degree or equivalent experience;
  • Excellent written and oral communication and strong analytical skills;
  • Ability to work independently and at distance;
  • Creative mindset, strong motivation and initiative.


  • Experience of living and/or working in a Roma community;
  • Seconded from a civil society organization based in central or eastern Europe;
  • Previous experience in advocacy (influencing decision making at local, regional, national or European level);
  • Masters level qualification in health or social sciences;
  • Experience in a Roma community leadership role.

We encourage applications from countries with large Roma communities (e.g. Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Serbia, Kosovo, Albania, Montenegro, BiH, FYRO Macedonia, Turkey.)

(Please note, former EPHA-OSF Roma Health Fellows or ECD Fellows cannot benefit from this programme again.)

Duration of the Fellowship activities of the project

May 2018 – May 2019

Deadline to apply

Wednesday 28th February, 17:00 CET

How to apply

  • Please send your CV (maximum 2 pages, without any photo), your personal motivation letter (maximum 1 page) explaining your interest and a cover letter (written by the organisation where you are currently working elaborating on how your organization could benefit from this experience).
  • If not currently employed please provide a reference letter from your past employer or from a university professor. It is of particular interest for us to see how you are already committed to work on Roma health issues and how this Fellowship could further your experience.
  • Send your application to with “Roma Health Fellowship Program- application” in the subject line

Incomplete or late applications and/or applications not respecting the above criteria will not be evaluated.

Selection procedure

EPHA and the OSF Public Health Program will do a pre-selection of candidates based on the applications received. Shortlisted candidates will be invited to a telephone/Skype interview.

The selection will be made without regard to race, religion, color, age, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, or disability.

“As a result of the program, I feel that I understand better processes on developing European Parliament reports in particular I also understand better the main roles and the functions of the European Parliament, European Commission and the Council of Ministers.”
Maja Saitovic – Jovanovic

Former EPHA-OSF Roma Fellow, 1st Roma Health Fellowship Programme (2012-2014)

“I am much more involved in promoting access to health services at local level,  I understand the role of NGOs and which steps need to be followed in advocating policies at both national and EU level.”

Florin Nasture

Former EPHA-OSF Roma Fellow, 2nd Roma Health Fellowship Programme (2015-2016)

“The programme enhanced my knowledge on the role of EU institutions and non-for-profit organizations based in Brussels and I gained a broader perspective on some of the initiatives taken at EU level relevant for Roma integration.”

Diana Pirjol

Former EPHA-OSF Roma Fellow, 2nd Roma Health Fellowship Programme (2015-2016)

“Now, I understand more broadly, how to elaborate and implement an advocacy strategy on Roma Health in Romania. I also feel more confident when I have an advocacy meeting and the discussion is in English.

Marius Radulescu

Former EPHA-OSF Roma Fellow, 1st Roma Health Fellowship Programme (2012-2014)

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