Welcome

to the British Science Association

We are a registered charity that exists to advance the public understanding, accessibility and accountability of the sciences and engineering in the UK.

22/07/2014

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Volunteer with your local Branch

Dating in the dark, science busking on high streets and at festivals, film screenings, nature street parties, lectures and more are all possible with British Science Association branches. At the British Science Association we are committed to supporting our network of 32 volunteer-led branches across the UK. We are proud of the fact that through all our programmes we bring scientists and engineers into direct face-to-face contact with more people than any other organisation in the UK.

The British Science Association branches are invaluable in spreading our message across the regions and directly into communities through partnerships with local, regional and national organisations. The resulting programme is an eclectic mix aimed at a wide range of audiences utilising both traditional and innovative forms of public engagement.

Supported by: The regional team

Aim of the branches:

Branch committees are groups of volunteers from all sectors who organise and run a wide variety of science-related events to engage and inspire local public audiences. The Branch network is crucial in extending the reach of the British Science Association. There are currently 32 active branches across the UK.

What branches have to offer volunteers:

  • A framework in which to be creative
  • Practical experience in science communication
  • Development of transferable skills such as budgeting, time management, marketing, and team working

Where are they based?

To find out about your local branch, please see the Local branches section of our website.

What if there is no Branch nearby?

Where the level of local interest is sufficient, it is possible for new branches to form. This normally requires a minimum of three committed volunteers in the first instance. Contact your regional officer to discuss branch start-up further.

Level of Commitment:

This varies greatly and is dependant on the activities of the Branch, and the role you have within that Branch. Branches are flexible and aim to offer roles suitable for anyone with time or expertise to give.

Recruitment process:

  • Specific opportunities are advertised on the British Science Association recruitment website
  • We always welcome expressions of interest directly to the Branch, your Regional Officer or by emailing the Regional Programmes Assistant

Main tasks/responsibilities:

The Branch committees work as a team to deliver their local programmes and projects. Individuals will take on specific tasks and responsibilities based on the skills and areas of interest that they bring to the group - for example marketing, administration, press, event planning etc. Everyone has the right to propose and develop creative event ideas. There are however, some more defined roles that are common to all branches but which can be flexible to fit with the individuals volunteering.

Branch Chair: Provides overall leadership, coordination and drive for the Branch.

  • Attends and chairs all Branch meetings
  • Presents a report at the Branch AGM
  • Represents the branch within the British Science Association and externally
  • Works to involve new people in Branch activities
  • Supports the committee in event planning and delivery

Branch Secretary: Coordinates Branch (internal) communications and meetings.

  • Acts as the primary point of contact within the British Science Association and externally
  • Attends and provides minutes for Branch meetings and the AGM
  • Presents a report at the Branch AGM
  • Supports the committee in event planning and delivery

Branch treasurer: Coordinates the Branch finances.

  • Maintains records of the Branch accounts
  • Attends and provides financial reports for Branch meetings and the AGM
  • Prepares Branch funding applications on behalf of the Committee
  • Authorises Branch expenditure on behalf of the Committee
  • Supports the committee in event planning and delivery

Branch Committee member: Supports the Branch in event planning and delivery.

  • Attends Branch meetings and the AGM to contribute input
  • Supports the committee in event planning and delivery by undertaking specific tasks according to skills and interest, which may include: advertising and publicity; sourcing speakers and venues; fundraising and sponsorship; web development; coordinating a specific event within the Branch programme

Branches also create specific roles such as Press & Publicity, University liaison etc, depending on need.

Desired skills:

Interest and enthusiasm in engaging public audiences. Knowledge of and/or experience in Science Communication and event management is helpful, but not essential.

Contact the Manager of Regional Programmes for more information about branches.