People & Planet is looking for volunteers to assist with compiling its 2021 People & Planet University League; the only higher education ranking that classifies based on social 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 and The Times Higher Education.

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 ethical supply chains 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, 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.

Person Specification -the following are essential:

  • Access to a computer or laptop and a Google Account.

  • Familiarity with internet 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 to complete tasks in time.

  • Ability to work remotely and independently

The following are desirable:

  • Awareness of key environmental management issues.

  • Experience of research and data collection.

  • An interest in sustainability, climate and social justice.

You will need to commit to

  • Three weeks of remote full-time work starting the week commencing 5th July 2021, 19th July 2021 or 2nd August 2021. Volunteers can manage their own time flexibly and will receive support from People & Planet, but must meet task deadlines on a weekly basis.

  • 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:

  2. why you would be suitable for the role

  3. which of the People & Planet University League sections most interests you.

  4. where you heard about the Sustainability Researcher Position

  5. Confirm you can work for the entire three week period beginning either the 5th July, 19th July or 2nd August. If you would like to volunteer for more than 3 weeks please indicate this.

  6. Please write "Volunteer 2021" in the subject line of your email.

Applications will be processed on a rolling basis with interviews throughout June. The deadline for applications is June the 20th.

Send everything by email to Jack on the email address below:

Please do 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 emailing

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.