Our students are closely integrated into the cutting-edge research underway at the BIFoR FACE facility. Since we opened up opportunities for students to volunteer with us, they have clocked-up over 3,000 hours of volunteering.   

To sign up now to become part of a our network please complete this short form in signing up you will: 

  • Receive the BIFoR bi-annual newsletter
  • Receive news from our stakeholders about internships available / summer projects available
  • Hear about opportunties to volunteer with BIFoR 
  • Hear from PhD students looking for regular additional support with lab / field work - training provided

We try to keep track of volunteering hours so we can give service awards and write references accordingly. It also helps you identify on your CV to future employers the level of commitment given. 

  • BIFoR Bronze Volunteer – completes 15 hours of volunteering
  • BIFoR Silver Volunteer - completes 30 hours of volunteering
  • BIFoR Gold Volunteer – completes 50 hours of volunteering

    Image right: BIFoR volunteers at an outreach Women in STEM event at the ThinkTank. 
2024 BIFoR Volunteersv4

Volunteering with BIFoR can also count towards your Birmingham Award

What do students say about volunteering with BIFoR?

Mattie Park, a Geography student at University of Birmingham said, "During my time at BIFoR I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know the team, who made me feel like a valuable member, while also taking the opportunity to practice fieldwork skills in a proper outdoor laboratory. The work was interesting, enjoyable and I would thoroughly recommend gaining some work experience at BIFoR to anyone with an interest in that type of science." Read more

Rejwana, who completed a summer voluntary internship with BIFoR through the  Nuffield Summer Research Placement said,  "I have had so much fun on this placement and have learnt so much in a university environment. I would definitely recommend taking up one for BIFoR as bias as it is, I am grateful for this opportunity and all the people who have made this experience worthwhile." Read more 

Ekta, who also completed a summer voluntary internship with BIFoR said, "I wholly enjoyed my experience as it was a real eye opener to exactly what kind of situations or conditions trigger a scientist to do research about a particular topic, or how research requires you to look at the specific details and look to improve the world around us – especially when the world is changing so drastically due to global warming." Read more.

Deemah, who came to us on a Nuffield Summer Research Placement said, " Overall, my experience at BIFoR was extremely entertaining and engaging; I’ve discovered much about trees and their significance to the environment and us, in particular, the different diseases that affect them which puts them at risk. This is something that I would recommend to aspiring scientists or researchers as I’ve been obliged for the opportunity.   Read more.

Elizabeth Ogilivie, a second year Biosciences student at UoB, said “Volunteering with BIFoR has been a wonderful experience, I’ve learnt lots of new data handling skills, and become especially good at sorting the dried leaves collected from the woodland! It feels great knowing that the work I am doing is going to be used for real research that will help us to better understand the effects of climate change.” 

Gold level volunteer Sarah Sheehan, who completed a summer placement said, “Each day was unique and varied, enabling me to gain deep insights into the different components” 

Examples of volunteering activity at the BIFoR FACE facility site

Samples are being collected from the BIFoR FACE Facility. All extra hands are always appreciated. Some examples include:

data-logger-280x210downloading data from sophisticated. 
photographing-canopy-280x210photographing the canopy using a special camera.
fallen-leaves-280x210processing fallen leaves that are collected in leaf litter traps.
data-logger-maintenance-280x210supporting installation of soil moisture probes. 
trap-sample-126x236collecting entomological samples and setting up moth traps. 

You could also help: 
taking images of roots using a minirhizotron camera 

moving our soil respiration kit 

taking measurements of tree growth (dendrometers)

Examples of volunteering activity for BIFoR on campus

We also need people to help analyse samples already taken from the BIFoR FACE Facility. This could include some laboratory based work or field work Some examples of volunteering on campus include helping to: 

  • look through videos from our camera traps  
  • sort through our leaf samples 
  • take the measurements of the area of leaves 
  • support the quarterly soil campaign. Soil samples are separated by horizon, roots picked, sieved and weighed for ongoing analysis. Volunteers also help with calculation of soil moisture and bulk density.

To register your interest in volunteering, please contact bifor@contacts.bham.ac.uk   


Education and outreach volunteering 

We have a growing team of volunteers who help with the increasing amount of education and outreach activity we undertake. For example, training is giving so BIFoR volunteers can support the BIFoR presence at local events and visits from schools. Volunteers also learn how to install tree growth measuring bands (dendrometer bands) with the idea that if a school in their local area would like help to install a dendrometer band on their school grounds they would be able to offer support.