Volunteering at TSRC

There are currently no vacancies for additional volunteers at the Centre.

When volunteering opportunities arise, they are usually in one of the following roles:

Research volunteers

Working alongside our core teams to develop research and gather data, opportunities for temporary and part-time voluntary work are based at the University of Birmingham. To be eligible, volunteers' experience and research interests should coincide with the Centre's ongoing research activities. Volunteers also need some expertise in appropriate research methods. Volunteers could include:

  • undergraduate social science students wanting to gain some basic research experience
  • graduates or post-graduates looking for temporary and part-time placements
  • post-doctoral students or more experienced researchers looking to contribute to our ongoing research development

Knowledge Portal volunteers

A team of four volunteers each contribute one day a week to working on the catalogue of the Third Sector Knowledge Portal, TSRC's online library of research on the third sector, selected from a wide range of quality-approved sources.

Portal volunteers work closely with existing TSRC staff to help identify, preserve, and promote key online publications from the sector, the government, and academia.

Tasks include: creating library database records for new publications; tracking down further online information; and categorising publications using our thesaurus of keywords.


Please note that TSRC is not able to offer funded post-doctoral placements, but would be happy to support applications for funded post-doctoral awards by appropriately qualified candidates working in cognate fields.


For more information on volunteering at TSRC

Contact: info@tsrc.ac.uk



Volunteer testimonies

Chris Damm is a doctoral student and research assistant within the Third Sector Research Centre.

Starting as a volunteer in 2011, Chris worked on a project exploring the role of third sector organisations involved in contracted employment services. His main role was to review the policy and academic background in this area and TSRC published his results as a Working Paper in early 2012.

Chris has continued to be involved in the project, developing a database of third sector employment providers, conducting analysis of the initial fieldwork, and co-writing further publications for the project.

Chris’ initial involvement has led to a wide range of further opportunities. He began his studies for a doctoral research degree in Social Policy in October 2012. This quantitative research project focuses on the effects of increased state income on charities, and their voluntary sector characteristics in particular.





Hartirath Gill joined TSRC as a Knowledge Portal Volunteer in April 2011. "With a background in research and having worked on evaluation projects across a number of voluntary and community organisations, I felt this was an excellent opportunity to contribute towards to the research aims of TSRC." Hartirath supported Pete Lambert with the early development of the Knowledge Portal for six months, researching terms and phrases in order to complete an online thesaurus to be used in conjunction with the portal.


Amy Burnage: "I started at TSRC two days a week in early April 2010, working on the Below the Radar research stream. Initially I worked on the Handsworth-Bury community activity survey, helping to develop the contacts database and distribute surveys to potential respondents. I started on the project just after the first wave of surveys had gone out, and on my third day we got our first responses back. It was extremely satisfying and so encouraging to see people engaging with the research.


Ben Kyneswood: "My background is in community radio. After ten years as a producer and teacher I decided to try to look deeper into volunteer learning in community radio by undertaking a PhD. I spoke to several academics about my ideas which helped me develop a proposal. They also suggested some practical research experience would help any application for a studentship. I applied to TSRC and offered to volunteer."

"I was also lucky to apply for and get funding for my PhD. TSRC were very supportive of me and always willing to give time to answer questions and give advice. Having learned a lot in a short space of time I'm still volunteering and learning; the two really do go hand in hand."