Make a difference to your University in the time it takes to make a cup of tea.

We have a whole range of microvolunteering opportunities to support Birmingham – all possible in just 15 minutes or less. These bite-sized tasks can have a big impact – from answering questions to support research projects, to sharing your opinion on our alumni communications or celebrating with the University’s newest alumni by sending in your graduation memories.

Check out the list of current opportunities below, each taking between just one to 15 minutes.

Happy microvolunteering!

MICROVOLUNTEERING DAY 15 April 2016 - Microvolunteering is recognised every year on the same day to raise awareness of how individuals and worthy causes can make a positive impact with small actions. Get involved and help stay connected to Birmingham, our students and fellow alumni around the world.

Take an alumni selfie in your current workplace - #wearebrumalum

Stopwatch-1minsTakes: One minute

Impact: Show our current and potential students the range of careers into which Birmingham graduates go 

Task: Snap yourself doing your day job. You might be in court, working on a film set, training at an army barracks, campaigning for a political position or conducting an experiment. Whatever you get up to from 9-5 (or whenever you are at work), we want to see it.

Contact: Send your photo to alumnicommunications@contacts.bham.ac.uk, tweet to @birminghamalum using hashtag #wearebrumalum or post on Facebook to University of Birmingham Alumni. Make sure you tell us your name, degree and current job.

Take a selfie in your home city - #wearebrumalum

Stopwatch-1minsTakes: One minute

Impact: Raise awareness of our alumni community around the world and help inspire prospective international students. Birmingham is a truely global university and we now have over 70,000 international alumni who we would like to remain connected and help show the international diversity of our alumni.

Task: Take a selfie at a place of interest in your home town/country. 

Contact: tweet to @birminghamalum using hashtag #wearebrumalum or post on Facebook to University of Birmingham Alumni. Make sure you tell us your name, degree and where you are in the world.

When was 'Joe'  known at 'Old Joe'?

Stopwatch-1minsTakes: One minute

Task: We need your help! We would like identify what age our Clock Tower  ‘Joe’ was when he became ‘Old Joe’ – let us know by emailing us your name, your year of graduation and what you called our beloved clock tower.

Contact: email alumnicommunications@contacts.bham.ac.uk

Why Birmingham?

Stopwatch-2minsTakes: Two minutes

Impact: Tell potential students why you chose Birmingham

Task: We want to hear what made you say “Yes!” to Birmingham. Was it the redbrick campus, accommodation, facilities, course, student societies, the city, or something else? Please share your favourite thoughts of the University with the next generation of Birmingham students via social media or email.

Contact: Email your “Why Birmingham” to alumni-volunteers@contacts.bham.ac.uk and tell us your full name and degree title and year of graduation or add a comment on Twitter about why you loved Birmingham.

Tell us your superstitions from university life

Stopwatch-2minsTakes: Two minutes

Task: If you believe in superstitions, walking under the Old Joe when the clock is chiming means you will fail your degree. Tell us if you had any other superstitions during your time at University.

Contact: email alumnicommunications@contacts.bham.ac.uk

Promote our MOOCs

Stopwatch-2minsTakes: Two minutes

Impact: Spread the word about free online learning

Task: Share and promote our Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) - free, open, online courses designed to offer a taste of higher education to learners from across the UK and the world. Delivered by world-class academics from the University, the courses enable learners to sample high-quality academic content via an interactive web-based platform, increasing access to higher education for a whole new cohort of learners. The courses have been developed by senior academic staff and their content is quality-assured in line with our other programmes. The courses do not offer credits towards admission to the University.

Current courses include:

Dementia: Understanding and managing challenging behaviour

Metabolomics: Understanding Metabolism in the 21st Century

Liver Disease: Looking after your Liver

Digital Storytelling: Filmmaking for the web

Improving your image: Dental photography in practice

Contact: Use the links above to share specific courses or find out more general information

Spread the word to your old classmates

Stopwatch-2minsTakes: Two minutes

Impact: Help friends to reconnect with Birmingham

Task: We’re in touch with 180,000 alumni around the world, but there are lots of people that we’ve lost touch with over the years – and you may know them! Encourage your old University friends to get back in touch with us and update their details. It will give them access to events, reunions, research and a chance to find out what Birmingham is like now. You can see a list of our lost alumni here.

Contact: Ask your friends to update their details by emailing alumnioffice@contacts.bham.ac.uk or by downloading our UoBsocial app on Facebook or LinkedIn.

Make sure you're up to date on LinkedIn

Stopwatch-2minsTakes: Two minutes

Impact: Help prospective students with their University choice; keep yourself up to date with the latest from Birmingham

Task: Are you on LinkedIn? Update your profile to include ‘University of Birmingham’ in the ‘Education’ section and your current role and company in the ‘Experience’ section. This will help prospective students find the destination of our graduates using LinkedIn’s University pages and also means you get the latest information from the University, build your networks and identify career opportunities.

Contact: Visit https://www.linkedin.com/edu/ to update your University details.

Also, stay connected by joining our 'University of Birmingham Alumni and Friends' LinkedIn group at: www.linkedin.com/groups/118866/profile

Advice from abroad

Stopwatch-5minsTakes: Five minutes

Impact: Help Birmingham students and graduates who want to work internationally.

Task: What’s the formal way to greet someone in China? Is it suitable to barter in Singapore, and how much should you tip in a Brazilian restaurant? We’re working on a series of International Careers Guides to give practical advice to current students and alumni who want to work in other countries. If you’re living and working outside of the UK, we would love to hear your tips on work practices, culture and etiquette.

Please share your tips with us for living and working in Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, China, India, Brazil, and the USA.

Contact: Email your tip and ideally a photo of yourself to alumni-volunteers@contacts.bham.ac.uk

Describe Birmingham in three sentences

Web-stop-watch-10minsTakes: Ten minutes

Impact: Help prospective students with their university choice

Task: Cappex is an international website that helps US-based students choose the University that’s right for them. It gives an overview of each University based on areas including academic life, social life, campus and – really importantly – reviews from current and past students. Please share your thoughts and experiences to show a new generation of prospective students what Birmingham meant to you.

Contact: Visit https://www.cappex.com/colleges/UOB, sign up to Cappex (create an account or login via Facebook) and then post your review as ‘A past student here’.

Feature in University recruitment materials

Web-stop-watch-10minsTakes: Up to ten minutes

Impact: Help prospective students with their University choice

Task: We are always looking for quotes from alumni to include in our prospectuses, website and recruitment materials. Can you answer one or more of the following questions?

What did you enjoy most about your course?

How did your studies prepare you for your future career?

What was your favourite thing about the University?

Contact: Send your responses and ideally a picture of yourself to alumnioffice@contacts.bham.ac.uk

Read all about it!

Web-stop-watch-10minsTakes: Ten minutes

Impact: Help us improve our communications with alumni

Task: Our Old Joe alumni magazine goes out to alumni twice a year. Take a look at the latest issue and tell us what you liked, what you didn’t and what one thing or person you’d like to see in the next issue.

Contact: Email your thoughts to alumnicommunications@contacts.bham.ac.uk

Download our new Research App and take part in the 'Online Wisdom Lab'


Takes: Ten minutes

Impact: Help researchers to understand learn about changes in thinking skills, decision making and health behaviour during adulthood

Task: The Online Wisdom Lab (OWL) is a new suite of apps that will help our researchers to learn about changes in thinking skills, decision making and health behaviour during adulthood. By completing surveys and games within the app during your own time, members of the public will be able to learn more about their own thinking and behaviour, and help researchers to understand how these skills change throughout the lifespan. Download the app today and get started, or visit owlbirmingham.co.uk 

Contact: visit owlbirmingham.co.uk for further information and contacts

BBS Business Ethics Survey

Takes: 15 minutes

Impact: Help future teachers learn more about a career in teaching

Task: The University is currently conducting the largest Business Ethics survey of its kind ever carried out in the UK, in which the role of character, virtues and values in business and finance will be explored. We will be surveying first year students, graduating students and alumni from business schools across the country, and are interested in comparing responses across the three stages and in exploring how participants’ views might change as their training progresses and as they gain practical experience in business and finance. You can complete the survey here.

Contact: Researchers from the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues (www.jubileecentre.ac.uk), based in the School of Education at the University of Birmingham and are happy to talk to you more about the project or answer your questions. You can contact us by telephone or via email:

Professor Kristján Kristjánsson, Principal Investigator, k.kristjansson@bham.ac.uk, 0121-4144877

Dr Matthew Sinnicks, Research Fellow, m.sinnicks@bham.ac.uk, 0121 414 7631

Tell us about your career since graduation

Takes: 15 minutes

Impact: Inspires students and fellow alumni to hear about the achievements of our alumni

Task: Our college of Engineering and Physical Sciences are currently seeking new career profiles from our EPS alumni to share online for both current and prospective students and also young alumni. If you would like to let our alumni and student community know what you are up to now, or have a short story to tell. If you you would like to complete a profile please complete our online form , you can also read other alumni profiles here. 

Contact: email alumnioffice@contacts.bham.ac.uk with any queries, or if you graduated from a different college but would still like to send in a profile please get in touch.

Feature in the 'Get into Teaching Campaign'

Takes: 20 minutes

Impact: Help future teachers learn more about the career.

Task: The University is working with the National College of Teaching and Leadership (a division of the Department of Education) on the Get into Teaching Campaign. We want to know about your experiences of teacher training and your typical day as a teacher, and your responses will feature in both the University's and the Get into Teaching Campaign's marketing material.

Contact: For more information please email socscialumni@contacts.bham.ac.uk