Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Communications Assistant (voluntary position)


The Marine Biological Association is a Learned Society that conducts world-class research at its iconic research laboratory on Plymouth Hoe. The MBA has hosted numerous world-renowned researchers including seven Nobel laureates.

We are seeking a volunteer to help out in the MBA’s friendly Communications team, whilst learning about science communication, and making connections in a world-class research environment in the process. We see this as an excellent opportunity for someone who wants to gain skills and experience towards a career in science communication.


The purpose of the role is to help raise the profile of the MBA by supporting the MBA Communications Coordinator, especially handling day-to-day tasks.


Communications activities include liaising with researchers to generate press releases and news stories, dealing with enquiries, promoting MBA products and services and publicizing events. Routine activities include day-to-day website and social media updates, recording and analyzing our communications activities and monitoring our media profile.

Volunteers work with the Communications Coordinator (CC) who manages many aspects of external communications including dealing with the media, generating content for the website, managing the MBA’s social media presence and dealing with enquiries from stakeholders. The CC is also the editor of the Association’s popular science magazine, The Marine Biologist.

For volunteers with aptitude there are opportunities to assist on the MBA’s flagship publication, The Marine Biologist magazine.

The volunteer can also help out in other MBA departments, e.g. Membership and Education. During the summer (June-October) the volunteer can take part in the MBA’s outreach events. From time to time there are opportunities to help out on the MBA’s research vessel Sepia.


We are looking for aptitude and potential, and full training will be provided. Communications placements work best when volunteers have:

  • Enthusiasm for science communication and for interpreting the marine environment
  • Good organisational skills
  • The ability to learn quickly and use initiative.


Volunteers can develop the following skills and qualities:

  • science communication knowledge and skills
  • an eye for detail and accuracy
  • good written and spoken communication skills
  • experience of social media
  • experience of design and publishing software

Other benefits include

  • Opportunities to make connections and build professional networks
  • Training in necessary tools and software
  • Regular two-way feedback on progress
  • Access to the National Marine Biological Library
  • Access to talks and seminars
  • Opportunities to participate in MBA social events


We would hope that volunteers stay in the role for at least three months so that both they and the organisation can get the most out of the experience.

The placement will be based at the Marine Biological Association’s Citadel Hill laboratory,
Plymouth, PL1 2PB.


Please contact Guy Baker: