Clinical Psychology Specialist

at Syrian American Medical Society Foundation
Published May 8, 2022
Location Amman, Jordan
Category Health Care  
Job Type Full Time  


  1. Background


Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS) is a nonprofit, non-partisan, non-religious medical relief organization, with a mission to provide lifesaving healthcare services and to revitalize health systems for underprivileged Syrian refugees, internally displaced persons, and vulnerable host community members in zones of conflict and displacement. This is done by implementing an integrated model of essential services that emphasizes priority needs, including the delivery of medical education, training, and financial support to physicians and other healthcare workers in Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, Greece, and Iraq. Along with the provision of healthcare services and medical training, SAMS Foundation also implements mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) programs, as well as protection against gender-based violence (GBV).


With support from a donor, SAMS is exploring opportunities to provide advanced quality learning initiatives for a range of mental health cadres in northern Syria. This project will begin with a large-scale assessment of the MHPSS workforce and education needs across Syria, followed by the delivery of accredited master’s degrees and professional diplomas in fields that are most in need of qualified practitioners. Among other cadres, the project is expected to include programming in Clinical Psychology. The overall goal of this initiative is to provide local, long-term solutions for reducing barriers to MHPSS services while also providing individuals with improved access to professional education, employment and career advancement in a context where these opportunities have been disrupted.


  1. Purpose and specifications:


SAMS is currently looking for a specialist in Clinical Psychology who can provide technical support on this project. While the geographic scope of this project is northern Syria, a solid understanding of the national framework (including the structure of Clinical Psychology programs in Damascus) will be critical. Ideally, the specialist will also have knowledge of Psychosocial Support and is expected to contribute to the initial needs assessment, review the proposed curricula for both fields, and assist in the project’s midline and end-line evaluations.


Needs Assessment: SAMS will first conduct a scoping study in order to gauge the feasibility of implementing the proposed academic programs in northern Syria. Among other things, this study aims to map the existing Clinical Psychology workforce in Syria, inform the development of education programs, address the equivalence of qualifications and portability of skills inside Syria, and identify points of complementarity with other programs as a means of enhancing sustainability and solidifying education partnerships. During this phase, the Clinical Psychology Specialist will (a) Review relevant training programs throughout Syria - both academic and non-academic; (b) Evaluate the curricula that are currently being used; (c) Work with the consulting firm to identify local standards, regulations, and required qualifications in Clinical Psychology and Psychosocial Support; and (d) Produce strategic guidelines documents that outline suggestions and future directions for education and practice. The study questions are as follows:


  1. What is the workforce distribution of Clinical Psychologists in north Syria and where did they receive their training?


  1. What are the salary expectations, training pathways (e.g., bachelor, master, doctorate), and existing specializations for psychologists in Syria?


  1. Is Clinical Psychology included in the Syrian Ministry of Health organigram? How does this cadre fit into the existing structure of psychology training? To what extent are Clinical Psychology skills portable across regions of Syria?


  1. What psychology degrees and training programs already exist in northern Syria? How widely accepted are credentials from these programs? What is the quality of these programs? What foundational elements of Clinical Psychology should be included in a training or education program?


  1. How well do the existing programs meet the needs of the MHPSS sector? What are the training imbalances and barriers to progression in the field? What are the motivators and barriers for individuals entering the MHPSS field? What are the attrition risks in psychology programs?


  1. What are roles and responsibilities of clinical psychologists and psychosocial support workers compared to other cadres? What is the typical workload for clinical psychologists and psychosocial workers? What are the possibilities and challenges of task shifting?


  1. What are the existing regulations and standards guiding these fields, and how are they monitored? What are the best practices from other contexts insofar as promoting psychology leadership, retaining students, and combatting stigma and bias attached to MHPSS services?


Review of Program Curriculum. After the needs assessment, SAMS will partner with regional universities to develop culturally and contextually relevant curricula in both Clinical Psychology and Psychosocial Support that will be delivered in Arabic. During this phase, the Specialist will work with the university coordinators and instructors to review the curricula and suggest adaptations as needed.


Midline/End-line Evaluations: After the academic programs have been launched, the Specialist will also contribute to midline and end-line evaluations in order to determine the quality of instruction and adherence to the curricula. During this phase, the Specialist will meet with students enrolled in the Clinical Psychology program(s) to assess their opinions, experiences, and progress, and will also with program instructors to discuss any challenges with the course material or supervision process. After the midline evaluation, the Specialist will recommend adaptations that could strengthen the quality of the program, as needed.


  1. Suggested Timeframe and Deliverables




Technical review of all pre-existing curricula in Syria, including non-academic training programs in Psychosocial Support, Psychotherapy, and/or Clinical Skills; and academic programs in General Psychology, Counseling Psychology, and/or Clinical Psychology.




Inception report summarizing methods for reviewing sources and collecting data


Estimated # of days


15 days




Update the existing strategic guidelines document on Psychosocial Support in Northwest Syria with a more comprehensive outline of needs and suggestions for Psychosocial Support training and practice across northern Syria




Strategic guidelines for Psychosocial Support, submitted in English.


Estimated # of days


10 days




Write a strategic guidelines document that outlines needs and suggestions for development of Clinical Psychology training and practice in northern Syria.




Strategic guidelines for Clinical Psychology, submitted in English.


Estimated # of days


20 days




Review the curricula developed by partner universities and suggest cultural and contextual adaptations.




Convene meeting with SAMS and university coordinators to discuss adaptations


Estimated # of days


15 days




Work closely with SAMS M&E team to complete a technical evaluation of the academic programs at the project’s midpoint, including meetings with students and instructors to gauge progress and quality of instruction.




Submission of midline evaluation report and recommended adaptations (together with M&E team).


Estimated # of days


20 days




Work closely with SAMS M&E team to complete a technical evaluation of the academic programs at the project’s endpoint, including meetings with students and instructors to gauge progress and quality of instruction.




Submission of endline evaluation report (together with M&E team).


Estimated # of days


20 days


  1. Supervision


​​The specialist is expected to work closely with the lead consultant for the needs assessment, SAMS MHPSS Specialist, and relevant Programs and Operations staff, who will oversee implementation of the evaluation from the beginning through to completion. All deliverables will be submitted to the MHPSS Specialist.


  1. Payment Policy


The payment will be delivered in three phases:


First payment after submission of the Clinical Psychology guidelines (25%)


Second payment after submission of the Psychosocial Support guidelines (25%)


Third payment after midline evaluation (25%)


Final payment after endline evaluation (25%)


  1. Required Qualifications


Knowledge, skills, and experience:


Advanced degree in Clinical Psychology


Advanced knowledge of Psychosocial Support


Extensive knowledge of the MHPSS sector and education system in Syria


Fluent in English and Arabic




Highly organized; able to plan, implement and monitor work with attention to detail


Tolerance for operating in an environment characterized by uncertainty and ambiguity


Ability to take initiative within clearly defined parameters


Excellent written and verbal communication skills


Adherence to agreed-upon deadlines and SAMS protection policies


  1. Application Materials


Interested applicants should submit the following in PDF format:




Writing Sample


Budget, including the applicant’s daily rate


How to apply


Please send resume, writing sample and budget by email.

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