Bellingcat is Hiring: US-Based Open Source Investigator and Trainer

May 11, 2023

We are looking for a United States-based open source investigator and trainer to join our team. You will conduct open source investigations on a variety of topics for publication on our website and in collaboration with external partners. You will also work as a trainer to teach digital investigative techniques to journalists, academics, human rights researchers and other participants in our workshops. 

Applicants must live in the United States. The position is fully remote, with occasional travel within the United States/Canada and to Europe.

Who We Are

Bellingcat is an independent collective of international researchers, investigators and citizen journalists using open source and social media investigations to probe conflict, corruption, crimes, misinformation, disinformation, extremist groups and much, much more. We have received multiple awards for our research and publications that shine a light on wrongdoing. Our community (which includes staff, contributors and volunteers around the world) works in a unique field where technology, forensic research, journalism and the advancement of justice and accountability come together.

Who You Are

The ideal candidate should have experience planning and conducting open source investigations both as an individual and as part of a team. You must have excellent skills in discovering, verifying and presenting open source information in a clear and precise manner. You must also have an interest in teaching these investigative methods to others in both an in-person and webinar format through our training workshops.

You are enthusiastic about working for an international nonprofit organization that uses publicly available data and open source analysis to investigate a variety of topics that are in the public interest and which advance transparency and accountability.


  • Conduct rigorous, accurate and ethical open source investigations, both independently and as part of a wider team
  • Contribute to research planning and identification of innovations which increase the effectiveness of investigations
  • Present factual findings to external partners in a clear and methodological manner
  • Train a wide spectrum of participants on investigative techniques and methodologies in both an online (webinar) and in-person format
  • Collaborate with colleagues who conduct investigations with techniques such as remote sensing and data analysis
  • Maintain a high level of operational and personal security, including an understanding of cyber-hygiene and potential threat actors
  • Occasional travel in the United States and Canada (4-8 trips per year) for training workshops, presentations and conferences
  • Be prepared to travel to Europe for occasional (1-2 trips per year) staff retreats and training sessions, as we are based in the Netherlands. Travel may also include trips to other parts of the world, depending on your linguistic experience and regional interest
  • Perform other responsibilities as required

Skills and Experience

Education: The candidate must have a level of education which allows for clear communication, assessment and organization of information. Academic degrees are not required, but any formal education in fields that accentuate your research interests (such as in area studies, journalism, data analysis, etc.) are a plus.

Experience: The candidate must have a record of conducting and presenting effective, rigorous, innovative and ethical open source research. Any pedagogical experience is a plus, but not required.

Related Knowledge and Skills:

  • Experience planning and conducting online open source investigations is required
  • Initiative in finding and developing research leads is required
  • Fluency in English is required
  • In-depth understanding of major social media platforms is required
  • In-depth understanding of visual verification techniques is required
  • The ability to clearly communicate methods and conclusions orally, in writing and in graphic formats is required
  • The ability to work collaboratively and respectfully in a multicultural team with people from diverse backgrounds in different time zones is required

Additional Desired Knowledge, Experience and Skills:

  • Experience in teaching or training, whether it be for digital investigative techniques or other topics
  • Foreign language and regional expertise for a region underrepresented in Bellingcat’s publications, such as Palestine, India, China, southeastern Asia, Brazil etc.
  • Track record of open source investigation publications in an work environment with editorial oversight
  • Experience in public presentations in a conference setting

What We Offer

Bellingcat is a young, innovative and diverse international team with a flat organizational structure and a lot of flexibility. We look at results, not office hours. Our distributed model of work encourages initiative, a high degree of responsibility and ownership of both your successes and challenges. We value and reward the drive for excellence and don’t put up with the bare minimum.

The position is based on full-time (40 hours per week) employment with an initial one-year contract (three months probation period, with possibility for extension or permanent contract subject to performance).

The salary range is within the framework of the non-profit sector and is between $55,000 and $65,000 annually depending on experience and track record. A 10% health insurance subsidy is also included in addition to salary (for example, $6,000 would be added annually to a $60,000 base salary, for $66,000 total annual compensation).

Additional benefits include 25 days of paid vacation days per year, along with standard U.S. holidays. We take issues of overwork and burnout seriously, and include extra paid holiday days in cases of extended workloads.

How To Apply

Bellingcat is committed to a diverse working environment. Our team is international, from a wide range of backgrounds and we always welcome and appreciate new perspectives and life experiences. All qualified candidates will receive consideration without regard to race, color, origin, religion, age, gender or sexual orientation. Your formal education is less important to us than your previous experience in the field.

Please apply by sending a CV, a cover letter explaining your suitability for this role and examples of your work to Please also note the job you are applying for in the subject line of your email. The deadline to apply for this role is June 15, 2023. Given we expect to receive a high number of applications, it will not be possible to respond to all applicants.