Volunteering with the Ri

Join our community by volunteering with the Ri

  • Join our enthusiastic team of volunteers and help bring science to life.

    Credit: Katherine Leedale
  • Volunteering with the Ri is an opportunity to develop science communication skills in a fun and collaborative environment.

    Credit: Katherine Leedale

About

The Royal Institution (Ri) is at the forefront of public engagement with science. Our charitable purpose has always been to encourage people to think more deeply about the wonders and applications of science. We are looking for volunteers to help us deliver high-quality programming and maintain our world-class collection.

If you share our vision, consider volunteering with our programmes or collections teams. 

Volunteering with the Ri is a great way to meet interesting people, explore your passion for science and contribute to an amazing community. But don’t take our word for it, read this blog to hear straight from the volunteers. 

Programmes

We hold a number of family events throughout the year, and go to conferences and school events around the country, such as The Big Bang Fair and Cheltenham Science Festival. As a programmes volunteer, your role would be to run activities and demonstrate experiments to young people and their families. This could be anything from extracting DNA from strawberries to making indoor rockets.

These events also offer volunteers a brilliant opportunity to get experience in science communication, presenting, explaining and demonstrating science in an informal educational setting. If you have a good level of scientific knowledge and a great deal of enthusiasm, like the idea of communicating science to the public, and want to know more, get in touch by filling out the expression of interest form and sending it to ri@ri.ac.uk.

Please note that most of the volunteering opportunities are based in London and you must be over 18 to participate. Since all training is provided before each event, no formal science or teaching qualifications are required.

Collections and Heritage

Volunteers in the Collections and Heritage team have the opportunity to gain and develop essential experience in practical library, archives and museum activities, and an insight into how a heritage department is involved in major projects at a world-renowned institution.

From individual research projects to artefact cleaning and care tasks, volunteering with Collections and Heritage will be an unforgettable experience at the heart of the Royal Institution.

Perfect for those with interests in the history of science, museums and conservation, volunteering roles with the Collections and Heritage team are regular, part-time and medium-term. For example, a typical volunteer schedule might be one day a week for six months.

If you are interested in applying, please fill out the expression of interest form and return it to ri@ri.ac.uk

Masterclasses

Ri Masterclasses are series of workshops which are led by experts from industry, academia and education. They offer students in-depth investigations of topics in mathematics, engineering or computer science, by combining theory with interactive exploration.

Each Masterclass is led by a speaker, overseen by a supervisor and supported by helpers. If you are enthusiastic about STEM enrichment and inspiring students to achieve their potential, volunteering at the Masterclasses is an excellent opportunity to further your skills whilst sharing your passion for STEM.

Time commitments vary with Masterclasses volunteers, from helpers and speakers coming in on occasional Saturdays to supervisors attending a whole series.

If you’re interested in finding out more, get in touch by filling out the expression of interest form and sending it to ri@ri.ac.uk.

Volunteering with the Ri

Volunteers are an integral part of the Ri community and without them we would be less effective in accomplishing our aims. We want volunteering to be an enjoyable activity meeting both your needs and ours, which is why we commit to making volunteer roles meaningful and invest in volunteer development and support. We are also often able to reimburse reasonable travel expenses with prior arrangement.

We see volunteers as complementing rather than replacing staff and treat all volunteers equally irrespective of ethnicity, age, gender, sexual orientation, disability, marital status, religion, community background or political beliefs.