Sustainability Research Volunteers

Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC)


Volunteer • Part Time

Sectors: sustainability, carbon, climate & energy, conservation & wildlife

Closing date: Not specified, apply soon!

We are looking for Sustainability Research Volunteers! This is a great opportunity to gain experience in undertaking research within the field of environmental sustainability for an organisation that will value your contribution.

CWGC is a Royal Charter (non-profit) organisation which commemorates, in perpetuity, Commonwealth service personnel who fell in the First and Second World Wars. As part of this commemoration, we care for cemeteries, memorials and graves at 23,000 locations all over the world, situated in more than 150 countries.

Maintaining cemeteries all over the world presents a myriad of challenges and opportunities as we transition to more sustainable ways of working. As part of enabling this transition, we have identified subject areas where we need to know more, in order to better inform decision-making and optimise progress. As a first step to generating the information we are seeking, we have derived a list of potential research projects, focused on specific areas of interest. We are now looking for Sustainability Research Volunteers to help undertake some of these research projects.

Sustainability research projects available

Depending on your experience and area of interest, we have a range of research projects available for you to participate in, including the following:

  • Development of a carbon footprint tool (or selection of the most appropriate existing carbon footprint tool) for typical CWGC projects.
  • Review of predicted impacts of climate change at CWGC sites around the world (potentially focusing on specific regions).
  • Review of flood risk maps to identify CWGC sites at most risk of flooding in specific countries.
  • Development of the concept of biodiversity net gain for projects, whereby additional biodiversity elements are introduced on to a CWGC site as part of any project design (with biodiversity elements being tailored to different geographical regions).
  • Assessment of biodiversity levels at selected CWGC sites to help inform how best to promote and protect biodiversity.
  • Establish (via a literature review) the most appropriate greenhouse gas emission factors to use for a range of composting approaches for green waste.

Further information on the above and other available research projects will be made available once we have received your application.

Your commitment

  • You may spend as much time on your selected research project as you wish, but we would look for a commitment of 20 hours as a minimum (spread over a monthly period).
  • The starting date for your selected research project can be flexible to suit your availability. Ideally though, research projects would commence between now and August.
  • Once started, the provisional objective is that projects be completed within 3 months. There may, of course, be follow-on stages to the research projects beyond this point.

Your skills and experience

  • You will have a keen interest in environmental sustainability and will have (or be studying for) a degree in a relevant subject.
  • You must be IT literate, including the ability to search for information. Ideally, you will have access to academic research databases for some projects (though this is not essential).
  • You must be able to present information concisely and accurately.
  • You should be able to verify and cite sources of information.

What you will get

  • Experience in undertaking research within the field of environmental sustainability for an organisation that will value your contribution.
  • The opportunity of generating knowledge and collating information that will support the decisions made as the Commission transitions to more sustainable working practices.

The Sustainability Research Volunteer roles will be supported directly by the Head of Environmental Sustainability.

Find out more & apply