Applications for the January 2021 intake are now closed.

Application will reopen early 2021 for the September 2021 intake.

What is the OCA vision for LEAP?

OCA intends to develop talented and well-rounded future leaders. When selecting for the LEAP, OCA will consider a person’s capacity for strategic vision, innovation and critical reflection. We ask you to think about how participating in LEAP would contribute to your career aspirations and your own vision on leadership. We look to complement operational humanitarian experience with academic expertise in both medical and non-medical subject areas.

Our intention is to empower our staff to learn, innovate, share and stay curious, as it is crucial to fulfill our mission and to best serve the people and communities we work with. We also seek to ensure that there is equitable, needs-based access to development opportunities for all our staff with leadership and management potential, with a positive focus on those who have benefited least historically.

Who is it for?

LEAP targets current and potential leaders regardless of staff category (both medical and non-medical) – international and national staff in the field, in between missions, and those working at HQ/in partner sections/branch offices. If you do not have an undergraduate degree, but have developed your skills through your professional experience in the humanitarian sector, then you will also be considered. Your application should emphasise different aspects of your professional experience and demonstrate your ability to produce written work.

We particularly encourage applications from those who have, as a minimum, some management experience within their role, and/or those who are technical specialists. This includes - but is not limited to: medical and non-medical coordinators and deputies/ assistants; supervisors; activity managers; doctors, nurses, and paramedical staff.

Candidates will have to prove a minimum level of C1 English. Please read the English language requirements document carefully for further information.

Course delivery and study pathway

LEAP courses are usually delivered through a blended learning programme, which combines face-to-face and online teaching (including intensive courses taught over 1-2 weeks). The course delivery for the next semesters will be revised according to UK travel guidelines. Please visit the LEAP Website for more information on the course content.

OCA applicants are eligible to apply for either the postgraduate certificate or MSc pathway. If you are interested in short standalone modules, please visit the dedicated webpage for further information on how to apply.

NB: Due to the current pandemic situation the delivery format for the semester starting in January 2021 may be exclusively online, with content delivered through an online learning platform. The universities are closely monitoring the pandemic and will make a definitive decision on this in the coming months.

How will we prioritise applicants?

Candidates will be selected based on their potential, motivation and relevant experience, as reflected in their application. Applications will be assessed by a selection committee of MSF representatives. Be aware that there will only be a limited number of places available in September 2020.

For the minimum academic and English language level requirements, please see this document.

English Language Information

It is essential that your English language level is at a C1 minimum to take the LEAP.

You can take an online E F SET test, free-of-charge, to give you an idea of your level.

The results of this test will be required for your application.

For a full guide on the English language test equivalents, please see this document.

How can you apply?

Please note that the application process has changed. Staff can now apply directly via the online LEAP application form you can find here. This means that your application does not need to be sent by your HRCO or Career Manager. Instead, the L&D department will ask for advice and contact the referee once your application has been submitted.

If you wish to apply for the LEAP programme, please provide:

• A short video

• Application form

• CV

• Results of a free English language test

Please do send your CV, results of your English language test and video separately to Amsterdam.DevelopmentOfficer@amsterdam.msf.org. If the video file is too large, please send it to the same email address via WeTransfer.

Please see the first page of the application form attached for more information.

Complete applications should be sent before 31st of August 2020.

Incomplete applications will not be considered.

If you are successfully accepted by MSF, you will then have to apply directly to the University of Manchester, who will make the final decision on your application. Information on how to apply to the University of Manchester will be communicated to successful applicants as soon as they are informed by OCA. You will be informed on the outcome of your application to OCA by mid-October.

For further guidance on how to apply, you can watch a recording of the LEAP application webinar which was hosted by the LEAP team in August 2020.


The process for how OCA LEAP students are funded will change from 2020 onwards. Previously, funding was available for students who applied for a study grant, which covered some of the attendance costs for the programme. From this year onwards, it has been decided that OCA HQ will cover all attendance costs for LEAP students.

*Attendance costs we will cover: flights, per diems, visa fees (if applicable) and English language tests (if applicable). Please note, accommodation for 2020 will be covered by the MSF UK LEAP team.

Contact details

For questions about your application please email the L&D officers Amsterdam.DevelopmentOfficer@amsterdam.msf.org: or the MSF UK LEAP inbox: leap@london.msf.org

For questions about academic content, or your academic eligibility please contact the University of Manchester: leapmsf@manchester.ac.uk.