Beyond the Classroom Research Volunteer Opportunity

Posted on 9 April 2019


Our Beyond the Classroom project is seeking volunteers that are interested in developing academic level research skills by supporting a social research project. 

This opportunity is an ongoing commitment of a flexible nature. 

Please see the role description below for more details or email Project Officer Jackie Wragg for more info: jackie.wragg@peakdistrict.gov.uk

Volunteer Role Title

Research Support Volunteer

Purpose of your role

To support research undertaken by the Peak District National Park Authority with the aims of deepening understanding of important elements such as visitor use of the National Park; impacts of engagement measures for visitors and people’s perceptions about a range of issues. This role would suit an individual within an academic setting seeking experience in the field of research.

Note: As individual research projects arise you will be notified and can opt in to support that project as a research volunteer.

Location of position

It is likely that much of the responsibilities for this role could be undertaken remotely without the need for travel to different locations. It might be necessary to meet with project leaders on occasion at a pre-arranged location convenient to the volunteer.

Responsible to

Specific project lead would be identified for each research activity.

Volunteer responsibilities & activities

Responsibilities include:

  • Contributing to the research supporting survey development
  • Supporting the project leader in data analysis
  • Presenting data in a usable format using   reports in spreadsheets and writing short summaries
  • Meeting with the project officer or communicating via phone or email regarding the development of the research

Essential skills you would need for the role:

  • Computer literate particularly with use of Microsoft Excel and Word
  • An understanding of principles of scientific research
  • Experience of using scientific research in all stages of the process
  • Appropriate training as defined by the role
  • Knowledge of data protection legislation

Desirable skills that will assist you in the role:

  • A keen interest in the research field including reading articles in research journals
  • Ability to use statistical analysis software e.g. SPSS
  • Awareness of different statistical techniques and their suitability to different data sets

Times/days we would like you to be able to help us:

This is very flexible due to the nature of the role and would be specified in the activity description for the individual research project. Volunteers would ideally be able to commit to a long-standing involvement in the project (1+ years).

Start date

Start date will depend on individual research activities – assigned mentor will inform volunteers of this

End date

Ongoing

Minimum age:

18+

Training and support

  • You will have undertaken the training appropriate to the role.
  • You will receive continuous training, including relevant health and safety training.
  • Induction and support from the relevant supervisor.
  • Regular information and briefings where appropriate.
  • A yearly informal review with the relevant supervisor.
  • You will have access to online training modules designed to support professionals working for South West Peak Landscape Partnership and the Peak District National Park Authority.

Reimbursement of expenses

Out of pocket travel expenses will be reimbursed for travel to and from your place of volunteering (this only applies when you are required to meet with the leader of the project/visit a site – most work will be undertaken at home/in a convenient location to you);

  • Mileage costs @ 45p per mile cars (24p/mile motorbikes, 20p/mile pedal cycles) up to a maximum of £15 per journey.
  • Bus and train tickets up to a maximum of £15 will be reimbursed only upon receipt of ticket/proof of purchase.

Please note that if you use your own vehicle whilst driving on the Authorities behalf, you will need to have business insurance and MOT evidence.     

Benefits to volunteer

  • Ongoing training and support from professionals working on research
  • Fantastic development opportunity in academic research skills to support success in future research roles/projects
  • Gain knowledge of the National Park and network with people working in the field
  • Access to a wider range of volunteering opportunities within the National Park Authority.
Beyond the Classroom