Invitation to Participate: Survey on Stress, Burnout, Trauma and Resilience in Human Rights Workers
October 3, 2012

Dear Colleagues,

We invite you to participate in a short online survey about the mental health impacts of human rights work that was jointly created by human rights and psychology experts at the NYU Schools of Law and Medicine. We expect these results to help us better understand the mental health impacts of human rights work, and to design resources for human rights workers that promote sustainable work practices. These resources will be shared widely.

The study asks questions about the experience of working in the human rights field, is entirely confidential, and takes about 30 minutes. We are interested in finding out about the wide range of reactions to human rights work. This survey is intended for anyone who has done human rights work, regardless of past experiences with stress, burnout, trauma, or resilience, and regardless of how long you have been in the field.

The study is available at:  More information about the study is available below.

We would be grateful if you would forward this announcement to others who may be interested.

Thank you in advance for your time.


Margaret L. Satterthwaite

Professor of Clinical Law, Global Justice Clinic

Faculty Director, Center for Human Rights & Global Justice

New York University School of Law

245 Sullivan Street

New York NY 10012 USA

Tel: +1-212-998-6657

Fax: +1-212-995-4031


CHRGJ website:

SSRN Author page:


Stress, Burnout, Trauma, and Resilience Study: Further Information

Who is conducting the study: This survey is being conducted by Margaret Satterthwaite (NYU School of Law), Sarah Knuckey (NYU School of Law), Adam Brown (NYU School of Medicine), and Amy Joscelyne (NYU School of Medicine).  Margaret Satterthwaite and Sarah Knuckey are professors at New York University School of Law and are human rights practitioners.  Adam Brown is a professor and Amy Joscelyne is a research psychologist at New York University School of Medicine and conduct research on issues of trauma and resilience. We are working together on this project because we are committed to providing resources to the human rights community.

About the survey: The survey will take about 30 minutes to fill out. Participants will be asked questions about their experience working in the human rights field, and their responses and reactions to that work. Although it is possible that some of the questions may be upsetting, there are no known risks associated with this survey beyond those of daily life.  Participants will receive no direct benefits, but they will help us better understand trauma and resilience in human rights and humanitarian work, which will in turn inform our efforts to design new resources.

Participation in this online survey is voluntary. The responses of those who choose to fill out this survey will be entirely anonymous.  There is no way for us to know who filled out a survey, and the program we use does not record IP addresses or any other identifying data.   Participants can skip any questions that they do not want to answer.

Questions and concerns: If you or your colleagues have questions or concerns about the survey or if anything is unclear, you can contact the research team at

For questions about the rights of research participants, please contact the University Committee on Activities Involving Human Subjects, New York University, 665 Broadway, Suite 804, New York, NY 10012 USA, or at +1-212-998-4808 or

You can access the survey at:

You can learn more about the research team at the links below:

Adam Brown:

Amy Joscelyne:

Sarah Knuckey :

Margaret Satterthwaite:



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