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We currently employ staff on both a full-time and part-time basis, and provide a challenging but supportive working environment.

We offer competitive salaries and a non-contributory pension scheme with 5% employer contribution, which will comply with UK auto-enrolment requirements from February 2017; 25 days’ annual leave for full time staff; and family-friendly policies.

Many of the positions at the international office offer an opportunity for international travel.

Thank you for your interest in working for PEN International.

For all vacancies, please submit a full CV and covering letter explaining why you would like to work for PEN International and how you meet the person specification to recruitment@pen-international.org by the closing date specified for the vacancy.


The following vacancy is currently available.


JOB TITLE:                              Europe Programme Coordinator

SALARY:                                  £ £29, 870- £38,000

DURATION:                              Permanent

DATE AGREED:                        July 2016

Based in London (with travel)



Under the overall supervision of the Director of International Programmes, the primary

role of the Europe Programme Coordinator is to ensure the implementation of PEN’s strategic plan through the development and implementation of PEN’s programmes in Europe.

The Europe Programme Coordinator will be expected to carry out programme development work in the region as whole, develop strategies to combat freedom of expression violations through research, campaigning and advocacy to support writers at risk and strengthen PEN International’s impact and profile in the region.

The job will include supporting advocacy work at the national and regional levels (where appropriate) and developing and maintaining relations with PEN Centres and funders, including preparing narrative reports and ensuring delivery of project outputs.



 Centre and network development and the implementation of current and future projects in Europe by:

  • Providing support to individual European Centres and regional networks as outlined in our Centre Development strategy; including the development of new Centres, project development and implementation, Centre training and capacity-building and literature programming.
  • Maintaining strong relationships with Centres and other stakeholders in or working in and on the region;
  • Supporting the work of Centres and providing feedback to relevant project managers;
  • Promoting the wide dissemination of project outputs and publications;
  • Working with PEN International’s standing Committees on issues relevant to the region, in collaboration with the Centres and Committees Coordinator.


Combating freedom of expression violations in the Europe based on robust research by:

  • Monitoring freedom of expression developments in the region with a view to informing and identifying potential opportunities for advocacy and campaigning by PEN Centres, regional networks, PEN Committees and the elected leadership by coordinating relevant action with the appropriate structures
  • Monitoring and verifying cases of persecuted writers in the region through conducting research, in close collaboration with the Writers at Risk Protection team;
  • Devising and implementing advocacy strategies for individual persecuted writers in the region in close collaboration with the Writers at Risk Protection team;
  • Drafting of campaign actions and other appropriate advocacy material to support individual persecuted writers;
  • Participating in updating the case list of persecuted writers and coordinating its production with other regional programme coordinators;
  • Training, line-managing and reviewing the work of fellows/interns working for the case list


Advocacy and campaigning to strengthen PEN International’s impact and profile in Europe:

  • Developing and implementing advocacy strategies on freedom of expression issues at the national and regional levels, and providing input into the development and implementation of advocacy strategies at the international level;
  • Participation in PEN missions and advocacy-related travel relating to the region
  • Developing briefing materials on the region for the PEN leadership as required.
  • Representing PEN International, to relevant authorities, international organisations, the media and others working on the region as appropriate; and by attending meetings as requested.


Contribute to the effective work of the International and Regional Programme by:

  • Contributing to the timely delivery of programme projects by contributing to work for which PEN International is directly responsible and through monitoring and evaluation;
  • Contributing to identifying funding opportunities and developing project funding proposals (both narrative and financial) to grow PEN International’s work in the region, and ensure that reporting and evaluation requirements are fulfilled in a timely manner.
  • Monitoring all budgetary expenditure of the Regional Programme according to PEN International’s financial procedures
  • Participating actively in the overall development of the International and Regional Programme
  • Providing cover for Programme colleagues as required
  • Contributing to the administration of the International and Regional Programme as required


Contribute to PEN International’s work generally by:

  • Participating in the development and implementation of PEN International campaigns, particularly in relation to issues relating to the region
  • Facilitating cross-learning and collaboration within PEN International’s other regional/thematic teams;
  • Informing and supporting the development of cross-programme project funding proposals;
  • Contributing to appropriate monitoring, documentation and evaluation of projects through quarterly reports ;
  • Contributing to overall PEN International policy and strategies;
  • Writing reports, briefings, action material and other PEN International outputs for all forms of media, for the region covered.
  • Carrying out any necessary administrative tasks in relation to the post;
  • Undertaking any other duties commensurate with the post that may reasonably be required.




  • Minimum of three years’ experience in a related area of work, such as human rights or development, including project development/management experience;
  • Experience of working with, or advocating before European institutions, such as the European Commission, the European Parliament, the European Court of Human Rights, the Council of Europe and OSCE.
  • Ability to develop, plan and conduct research, by gathering and verifying information from a wide variety of sources
  • Ability to devise advocacy strategies based on research conducted
  • Proven experience in programme/project design, planning and delivery including monitoring impact and accurate monitoring of budgets;
  • Experience of working with local partners in the region including at a distance
  • Ability to work well independently as well as part of a team and to work in a flexible way
  • Good organizational, time management, and problem-solving skills
  • Ability to work accurately under pressure, prioritise and adapt to meet deadlines and the needs of the team, and Secretariat;
  • Proven ability to write clearly and persuasively, based on thorough research and analysis, in a range of formats and for different audiences
  • Fluency in both spoken and written English.



  • Awareness of the needs and challenges of a volunteer membership in a membership organisation
  • Experience in developing fundraising project proposals.
  • Fluency in Russian and/or Turkish is highly desirable.
  • A working knowledge of French and/or Spanish (PEN’s other official languages) would also be useful.



  • Interest in literature and writing.
  • Willingness to uphold the values of the Charter of PEN International.
  • Commitment to accountability, transparency and fairness.
  • Sensitivity to the particular challenges faced by those discriminated against on grounds of identity, including gender and social and economic deprivation.
  • Commitment to equal opportunities and cultural diversity and a willingness to apply this at work.


The post requires several weeks of travel each year.

Terms of Employment

  1. Salary


£ £29, 870– £38,000 gross salary per annum, we would normally expect the successful candidate to start at the bottom of the salary scale. However PEN International may be willing to offer a salary above the starting salary, depending on skills and experience.
  1. Position

Permanent contract based in London. The position may be renewed subject to funding being secured.

  1. Hours

35 hours per week, normally worked Monday to Friday; flexible working hours will be considered in line with organisational policies.

  1. Benefits and holidays

 Benefits 25 days holiday per annum, plus statutory holidays.

The successful candidate will join the PEN International pension scheme in February 2017, in compliance with Auto-enrolment legislation.

  1. Notice

One month during probationary period and three months thereafter

  1. Probationary Period

Six months, subject to written confirmation

  1. Contract of Employment

The successful candidate must be eligible to work in the UK.

Nothing in the above constitutes an offer of employment or forms any part of any contract of employment.

Recruitment process

  • Candidates should submit their CV and covering letter which addresses all aspects of the Job Description and Person Specification, to Recruitment@pen-international.org or by post to PEN International Koops Mill, 162-164 Abbey Street, London, SE1 2AN, UK. Kindly quote reference number EPC-2/PI/2016
  • Applications must be submitted by 09:00 hours GMT on Wednesday 10 August 2016.
  • Shortlisted candidates will be informed of the interview process including interview dates and times as soon as possible thereafter. Interviews are likely to take place before the end of August.
  • Due to our limited resources we are only able to inform shortlisted candidates

PEN International is an equal opportunities employer


Volunteer with us

Africa Intern

PEN International is seeking an Africa intern to join the International Programmes Team for 2-3 days a week until October 2016.

The Intern will work under the close supervision of the Africa Regional Coordinator and report to them directly. The focus of the work will be on supporting the Africa Programme Coordinator in their work and specifically assisting with work related to criminal defamation in Africa. However, on occasion the Intern may be asked to carry out other tasks or assist other teams within PEN International.

PEN is the world’s leading association of writers, working to promote literature and defend freedom of expression around the world. It is governed by the PEN Charter and the principles it embodies: unhampered transmission of thought within each nation and between all nations. PEN International connects an international community of writers from its Secretariat in London, spanning over 100 countries, with 150 PEN Centres worldwide.

Tasks will include:

  • Desk research on criminal defamation and other freedom of expression issues in Africa
  • Assisting in the logistical arrangements for delegates and invited guests to participate in a meeting in Uganda in September 2016
  • Researching cases to be included in the PEN case list
  • Assisting with the drafting of the case list
  • Providing administrative support to the Regional Coordinator and other staff as requested
  • Monitoring news on free expression issues in Africa
  • Helping to draft alerts, correspondence and other actions as required


  • Demonstrable experience and interest in undertaking research
  • Strong research and writing skills and analytical ability with excellent communication skills
  • Willingness to work on own initiative as well as in a team: ability to plan, organise and prioritise own work independently or in consultation with others
  • Proven interest and knowledge of human rights, human rights mechanisms and bodies, such as the United Nations Human Rights Council
  • An interest in freedom of expression and knowledge of international politics
  • Fluent written and spoken English as well as French.
  • All volunteers must have the right to work in the UK.


  • Foreign language skills in addition to French (especially Arabic, Portuguese)
  • Experience of office/clerical work

Volunteers are selected after a brief interview and test. A trial period of one month will be required after which either side can reconsider the decision to continue.

This is an unpaid internship. PEN will cover travel costs within London travel zones 1-6, as well as contribute to lunches.

The volunteer will work at the PEN International headquarters, based in Bermondsey, London. Office hours are 10am-6pm.

To apply email your CV and a brief letter (maximum 1 page) by 28 June 2016, outlining your reasons for applying and skills you can bring to the position to recruitment@pen-international.org stating which position you are applying for in the subject line.

Successful PEN interns have gained:

  • Experience in working for a small human rights membership organisation
  • Improved administrative and office skills
  • An ability to understand the complex issues inherent in human rights work alongside the importance of impartiality, confidentiality and sensitivity when working in all aspects of this field
  • Experience of human rights research methodology
  • Experience of writing alerts and other material to tight deadlines and aimed at specific audiences

* * *

PEN International offers a year-round volunteer scheme across all areas of our work, providing interesting and exciting placements to those looking for a career in an NGO, charity, human rights or arts organisation.

Volunteers have helped ensure the success of such projects as the Writers in Prison Committee’s 50th anniversary celebrations in 2010; the coordination and promotion of the Free the Word! event series since 2008; administrative support for our international Congresses and for regional programmes; coordination of worldwide meetings with writers from Centres; and much more.

A placement with us can benefit a volunteer in a number of ways, helping her or him to acquire: experience working for a leading international human rights NGO; research and campaigning skills in the area of freedom of expression; experience of project and event management; development of written, editorial and proofreading skills; development of skills in the field of communications, including event marketing and PR and web content management.

Travel expenses and a daily allowance will be provided.

Volunteer opportunities are announced alongside our paid positions on this page, although we welcome expressions of interest in volunteering at any time. We ask for volunteers to commit to a minimum of three months for at least two days a week. (Some placements have extended to six months and beyond.)

Volunteer Translators

With a global membership speaking over 40 languages we have a regular demand for translators. We work in English, French and Spanish, but also often require translation into and from other languages. At the moment we are particularly looking for people who can translate English to FrenchArabic, Spanish and Russian.

If you are interested in supporting PEN International as a volunteer translator and gaining valuable experience of translating for a range of media for a global NGO, please get in touch. Items for translation include news articles for the web; communiqués for the membership; campaigns reports; project evaluation documents.