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Museums and collections


Become an Audience Research Volunteer with the University of Cambridge Museums
5-25 February 2018


Why the University of Cambridge Museums (UCM) needs this role

Understanding who visits the museums and Botanic Garden is integral to enhancing access to the University museums and collections, enabling wider and more diverse audiences to engage with our collections and the research that lies behind them.

This audience research allows us to get to know who our visitors are, where they come from, and what their motivations for visiting are.

From 5-25 February 2018 the UCM, under the guidance of The Audience Agency, wishes to conduct exit interviews with museum visitors. There will be morning and afternoon shifts available, on weekdays and weekends. We are looking for volunteers to deliver the interviews in an engaging, positive and meaningful way.

Volunteer tasks

  • Following appropriate training, volunteers will be expected to conduct exit interviews with members of the public. This will include engaging and proactively approaching visitors
  • Information and feedback from visitors will be recorded by the volunteer on paper or a tablet computer, following a consistent and structured method.
  • Volunteers to remain professional and positive in their approach to the market research activity and understand that they may be seen by the public as representing the museums
  • Volunteers will be welcomed into the museums and will be expected to conduct the market research activity alongside the Front-of-House team.
  • There may be additional desk-based opportunities within this role to enter paper-based data into an online survey
  • The Audience Research Volunteer Coordinator will make visits to all museums throughout the project and will be available for support and troubleshooting
  • On a day-to-day basis, volunteers to report to designated Front-of-house staff on arrival and departure, where they will collect and deposit the tablet computer and other tools

What you will gain from this role

  • Training will be provided by Sue Burgess (Audience Research Volunteer Coordinator) and Richard White (UCM Marketing & Communications Coordinator)
  • Practical experience working across several museums
  • Develop your skills and experience within a University museum setting
  • Join a motivated, fun and enthusiastic team
  • Gain valuable experience that will enhance your CV and set you apart in the job market
  • Meet new people within your local community
  • Satisfaction of giving back
  • Gain cultural sector contacts within a supportive environment

Skills required

Volunteers from all backgrounds and experience are welcome, especially those who have an interest in working in the Museum and Heritage Sector or market research. We are looking for confident, reliable, punctual and self-motivated people who are able to put visitors at their ease.

Volunteers must be approachable, able to communicate with a variety of audiences and a good listener. Much of the time you will be working unsupervised, while also representing the museum to members of the public. This role requires volunteers to be on their feet in the museums for much of the time.

Potential time involvement: 

Training session on Monday 5 February, 10:30am - 12:30pm at the Whipple Museum of the History of Science. If you have attended this training previously, we ask that you attend the latter part of this session only.

Morning shifts and afternoon shifts are available, with each shift ranging from 2 to 3.5 hours. Times vary from museum to museum. Morning sessions fit within 10.15am to 1.45pm and afternoon sessions from 2 to 5.15pm. Back to back shifts are available, if desired. Breaks will be factored into timetabling.

Location: Various University of Cambridge Museums, all within a short walk of the town centre

Responsible to: The UCM Marketing and Communications Coordinator. Direct work with the Audience Research Volunteer Coordinator and museum Front-of-house staff.

Training and Support
We will provide you with training in the particular museum evaluation techniques used by the project.

Health and safety responsibilities
You will be responsible for your own health and safety and that of others with whom you volunteer, by reporting all potential and actual health and safety matters including accidents using the correct procedures.

To Apply
Please return a completed Expression of Interest form to: or Opening Doors Project Coordinator, University of Cambridge Museums, c/o The Fitzwilliam Museum, Trumpington Street, Cambridge CB2 1RB.   

Closing Date: 5pm, Wednesday 31 January 2018

About the University of Cambridge Museums
University of Cambridge Museums is a consortium of the eight University Museums, which works in partnership with the Cambridge University Botanic Garden and other Cambridge University collections.  They include: Fitzwilliam Museum, Kettle's Yard, Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, Museum of Zoology, Museum of Classical Archaeology, Whipple Museum of the History of Science, The Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences and The Polar Museum.

The University's collections are a world-class resource for researchers, students and members of the public representing the country’s highest concentration of internationally important collections, all within walking distance of the City Centre.