Why should I volunteer?
Joining UKSEDS is the best way to get involved in the space sector as a student. You’ll gain all sorts of skills and experience, and have the chance to work with lots of space organisations and members of the community.
As a volunteer you’re on the inside, so you’ll be the first to hear about new opportunities, and the first in line when we’re arranging events with astronauts and other space celebrities.
Most importantly, you’ll get to work with other like-minded students to achieve something incredible.
What’s it like?
We’re a team of nice friendly people who want to contribute something to the space community and have some fun along the way.The best way to get a feel for who we are how our team works is to read our Handbook. If you want to chat with us before you apply, drop us an email at [email protected]
Do I get paid?
Sadly, no. All roles are unpaid volunteer positions. We’re not paid either, and all we can offer you is the chance to gain experience and make valuable contacts.
You will be reimbursed for most expenses such as travel and purchases on behalf of UKSEDS, subject to our expenses policy.
Do I need to be elected?
Only members of the Executive Committee are elected. All other volunteers just need to sign up. See form below.
Are there any restrictions?
You must be a member of UKSEDS and at least 18 years old. Applications for Chair are restricted to those already part of our volunteering team, though this rule can be suspended by a vote of the Membership at the same time as the election.
How do I apply?
Responsibility within UKSEDS is divided between the Executive Committee who lead the organisation, and the Staff who turn the strategy into reality.
The staff are the backbone of UKSEDS. They organise events, create new resources, work with other members of the space community, and make the vision of UKSEDS a reality.
As a member of staff you’ll have a specific responsibility and regular tasks requiring a time commitment of a few hours a week. You’ll report to the Executive Committee and to other volunteers.
You’ll be expected to:
- Take responsibility for your part of the organisation
- Be proactive and hardworking
- Generally be a nice person
If you want to get involved in more than one team, then we’d be happy to have you in both, but remember we’ll need twice as much of your time.
If at any point, for any reason, you can’t do those things, that’s fine. We are students too, and we appreciate that exams, deadlines, and life often get in the way of volunteer roles like these. We will work with you to deal with these issues.
We’re divided into teams of about five, each focusing on a different area. The structure of each team is flexible and there will be plenty of opportunities to take ownership of projects.
SpaceCareers.uk is our new careers website. We want it to become the number one destination for students looking to enter the space sector, and we need people to:
- Write articles about jobs, career paths, courses etc.
- Interview people currently working in the sector
- Put together email newsletters about new jobs and articles
- Work with recruiters to get jobs on to the site
We want to make the space sector as diverse and inclusive as possible. We do this by hosting events with the aim of increasing awareness of diversity and inclusion and supporting our members to do the same. We need people to:
- Organise Diversity in Space Careers (DISC) events around the UK
- Help us be as inclusive as possible in our activities and the way we work
- Share knowledge and enthusiasm to make the space sector a better place for everyone
Supported by generous funding from the UK Space Agency we attend schools, science fairs, air shows, and museums doing outreach to inspire and educate kids and the public about space. We want to do more, so we need people to:
- Go to events to staff stalls, run activities, and give talks
- Design activities and resources for fun, cost-effective outreach
- Work with external event organisers to arrange our stands and talks
Emails and social media posts are our main way of staying in touch with our members and letting people know what we do. We need people to:
- Write Tweets, Facebook statuses, and web posts
- Make pretty logos and tell people off for using the wrong font on things
- Put together email newsletters about exciting space news and events
- Remain calm when having Twitter conversations with space celebrities
Events and Competitions Team
We run an ever increasing number of events and competitions every year, and we need people to:
- Run and improve our National Rocketry Championships
- Organise and develop our Olympus Rover Trials
- Liaise with speakers, sponsors, and venues to organise events like our National Student Space Conference
- Organise trips to cool space locations
We would be nothing without our members. Societies at dozens of universities across the country are affiliated with us, and we do our best to provide them with money, resources, and events. We need people to:
- Work with our university branches to support their projects and events, and make them even more awesome
- Tell new students all about who we are and what we do
- Track down our alumni working in the space sector
- Create content for our Wiki to provide guidance and ideas for projects
Systems Administration Team
We have a number of different websites, both public and internal, and use various systems that sometimes don’t play nicely with each other. We need people to:
- Develop our internal systems and rewrite awful code
- Play with Slack’s API
- Provide technical support to other teams
The Executive Committee
The Executive Committee leads UKSEDS, creating and implementing our strategy and activities. They manage the staff, control the budget, and are legally responsible for the good-running of the charity as its charitable trustees. The Executive Committee are accountable to the other Trustees and to the Membership.
Executive roles require a significant time commitment and should not be taken on lightly, but offer the opportunity to gain valuable management, communication, and teamwork skills. Experience of similar roles in university societies is recommended but not required provided applicants are enthusiastic and willing to learn.
In representing the organisation, they are in contact with space organisations both in the UK and throughout the world, and will have the chance to make many useful contacts, and become well known in the space community.
Former members of the Committee have senior roles in national space agencies, space companies, and leading universities.
There are six members of the Executive Committee, four of whom have special roles detailed below. The other two are ‘at-large’ and have no special duties. All members are responsible for the running of UKSEDS and should bring their own drive and vision to the Committee. Responsibility for different areas of UKSEDS is decided within the Executive Committee, and will include managing one or more staff teams.
The Executive Committee are elected by the membership at our Annual General Meeting at our National Student Space Conference.
The Chair is responsible for running UKSEDS and managing the Executive Committee and Staff. This includes chairing meetings, delegating tasks, and handling any emergency situations. The Chair is also the primary representative of the organisation, and needs to utilise a wide range of skills to organise and direct volunteers whilst ensuring they work and communicate effectively as a team. They should have a vision for the future of the organisation, and be able to turn that vision into a coherent strategy.
The role of the Vice Chair is to support and deputise for the Chair wherever necessary. They should be flexible enough to do any job when required, providing the Chair with a second opinion on important decisions, and represent them when they are unavailable.
The main role of the Secretary is to prepare the agenda for meetings and to subsequently write up and distribute the minutes. Other roles include coordinating mailing lists, handling filing and archiving (though Google Drive), and ensuring that schedules are kept to and that correct protocols are followed.
The role of the Treasurer is to manage UKSEDS’ accounting records. This includes being responsible for issuing, and paying invoices, and regularly reporting to the Executive Committee and the Trustees on the state of the finances. The Treasurer is also one of the signatories on the bank account. It is highly recommended that applicants have some financial experience, and be fluent in the use of software such as Microsoft Excel.