People & Planet is recruiting volunteers to assist with compiling the 2022/23 People & Planet University League.

Sustainability Research Volunteer

People & Planet is looking for volunteers to assist with compiling its 2022/23 People & Planet University League; a higher education ranking that classifies based on ethics and climate justice criteria. Universities impart skills and knowledge, form life-long beliefs and behaviours, act as centres of
communities, employ, house and feed large numbers of people and promote the creation and sharing of
knowledge. We believe this makes them uniquely placed to lead on environmental and ethical issues. For
this reason the People & Planet University League has been running since 2007 and has been published by
high-profile media partners such as The Guardian in December 2021.

Volunteers will research publicly available university documents and assess universities against our marking
criteria, which cover a wide range of climate and social justice issues including decarbonisation, fossil fuel
divestment, ethical banking, workers’ rights and estates management among others. This work will help to
push the university sector towards taking immediate and appropriate action on the climate crisis and
upholding the rights and wellbeing of all people internationally.

The role will develop and improve the following areas:

  •  Qualitative and quantitative research skills
  •   Attention to detail
  •   Use of data collection software
  •   Time management and keeping to deadlines
  •   Working independently and remotely
  •   Communication skills
  •   Knowledge of estates management and corporate sustainability

Training is provided for the role. We believe the skills and experience gained will be valuable for a number
of career paths, including working in NGOs, corporate sustainability, estates management, higher education
policymaking, research and campaigning among many others.

People & Planet would like to support volunteers in their future careers, so will give all volunteers an official
reference letter on successful completion of their placement and will act as a referee for future positions for
which you may apply. From last year’s cohort, 96% of volunteers said they increased their knowledge of
sustainability in higher education and we’re pleased to say that 100% said it was valuable experience to add
to their C.V!

Person Specification -the following are essential:

  •  Access to a computer or laptop and a Google Account.
  •  Familiarity with desk-based research.
  •  Ability to work accurately and efficiently to agreed standards.
  •  Reliability and commitment to completing work to deadlines.
  •  Able to communicate needs with staff at People & Planet and if needed, ask for appropriate support
  •  Ability to search policy documents for key details in English.
  •  Ability to assess information against standardised frameworks.
  •  Ability to work remotely and independently

The following are desirable:

  • Awareness of current issues in sustainability and ethics.
  • Experience of research and data collection.
  •  An interest in higher education policy.

You will need to commit to

  • Three weeks of remote work in July and August, exact dates to be confirmed in April. Volunteers can manage their own time flexibly and will receive support from People & Planet, but must meet task deadlines on a weekly basis and attend two meetings per week in a mid morning time slot.
  • One day of remote training the week prior to your 3 week engagement.


How to Apply

1. Please email your CV and a cover letter, which can just be an email. Your covering letter should be
no longer than 300 words and include:
-why you would be suitable for the role?
-which of the People & Planet University League sections 1-10 most interests you and why?
-where did you hear about the Sustainability Researcher Position?

2. Confirm which weeks you will be available throughout July and August and whether you could work
full or part-time. e.g available w/c 4/7, 11/7, 18/7 etc. If you would like to volunteer for more than 3
weeks please indicate this.

3. Please write "Volunteer 2022/23" in the subject line of your email.
Applications will be processed on a rolling basis until positions are filled, so please apply early to avoid
disappointment. The deadline for applications is June the 15th.
Send everything by email to Jack on the email address below:

Please let us know if you have specific access needs and what we can do to make the training and volunteer
opportunity more accessible to you. We welcome people with hearing loss, deaf and or disabled people to
apply for this volunteer opportunity -unfortunately we don't use BSL so would need to make alternative
support provisions for the training, unless a BSL interpreter can join you. If you have specific needs where
we might support you by making this volunteering opportunity more accessible, please contact us by

Once you've applied we will send you an equal opportunities form, which you'll complete anonymously.
This will help us to review our aim to make volunteering more accessible inclusive for everyone. People &
Planet welcome applications from BAME folks and people of colour, from disabled people, from
LGBTQI*people, from people who speak English as a second language, from people who identify as non-binary gender, from women, from people of different ages, from people with caring responsibilities and from people with irregular migration status, people seeking asylum in the UK or with a migrant background, folks with a working class background, and everyone else.