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PdOC Volunteering Guide

Volunteering — Get Involved!


Why volunteer?

Volunteering can help students and staff gain a whole range of skills such as teamwork, management, communication, business skills and many more. For some, it also provides a welcome relief from the day-to-day academic work. Volunteering enables you to make a real difference in the community and opportunities are hugely diverse, including, for example, writing a business plan for a social enterprise, clearing scrubland for a conservation charity, teaching in a Kenyan school, or being a trustee for a homeless charity.

Many postdocs are currently involved with volunteering at the University. You can choose how much time to give - even as little as an hour a week can be really beneficial to a community organisation.

What opportunities are available?

A good overview of the available opportunities is provided by the Office of External Affairs and Communications. Information, training and opportunities, specifally for Cambridge staff and students, can be found here. Individual projects are listed on the Cambridge Community Directory. You can search this directory here. Details of some selected possibilities are given below.

Cambridge Science Festival

The Cambridge Science Festival is the largest free science festival in the UK attracting over 25,000 visitors each year during National Science Week. The Festival aims to encourage young people's interest in science and technology and to study these subjects at school and university and open up the research taking place at the university and engage the public through debates, talks and activities. During the Festival, over 1,000 students and staff volunteer to encourage visitors to learn more about science. If you would like to get involved with the Cambridge Science Festival please contact csf AT

Festival of Ideas

The Festival of Ideas consists of a series of events that explore all aspects of the arts, humanities and social sciences through performances, film screenings, hands on activities, talks and workshops. The 2013 festival will run from 23 October - 3 November. To get involved with the festival contact the cfi team.

Public Engagement

The office of external affairs and communications provide support for all aspects of public engagement. Details on this support can be found here. They also run the rising stars program to develop skills in researchers to allow them to engage with all audiences about their research discipline.