UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSEES)


Become a Volunteer Researcher at SSEES

Working as a research volunteer is a great way for students and recent graduates to gain work experience in an academic environment. Research volunteers work with a research active member of staff at UCL SSEES, whom they assist on single project throughout their period of activity. This gives volunteers the opportunity to understand the process of academic research, and develop their skills in an area of their interest, with real responsibility and independence.

The work assigned to each volunteer will reflect the specifics of each project and the volunteers’ skills and interests, and can include for example literature reviews, data collection, drafting material for publication and organising public events or academic seminars. In return, volunteers benefit from research skills and careers advice, and a reference at the completion of their volunteering period.


Applicants will have completed, or be near to completing a degree or equivalent in a subject related to the project they are applying to volunteer for. Research opportunities are available for UCL students only. The candidates should be highly motivated, have excellent interpersonal skills, be able to work independently and have good analytical and writing skills. Undergraduate Full-time students can only apply for periods of volunteering during their summer break. Part-time Masters students are welcome, unfortunately we cannot consider Full-time postgraduate students.

Areas of Research

Research volunteer positions are currently available in the following areas:

1)Soviet cultural diplomacy in the Third World, 1955-1985

Dr Kristin Roth-Ey​​​​

Volunteers will conduct research on the topic of Soviet cultural diplomacy in the Third World, 1955-1985, under the supervision of Dr Roth-Ey, in a variety of source bases:  mass media (online and in the British Library); The National Archives in Kew; the Imperial War Museum collections.  In practice, the work will be narrowed down to target key events (e.g. tours of the Bolshoi ballet, the launch of a new radio station, film festivals etc.), historical actors, and policy initiatives, as discussed with Dr. Roth-Ey.  An ability to read in foreign languages (especially Arabic and Hindi) would be a huge plus, but isn’t required.  Volunteers will work closely with Dr. Roth-Ey to further their research techniques and hone their analytical skills.

For all enquiries and applications, please contact Dr Roth-Ey: k.roth-ey@ucl.ac.uk 

2) Listening Communities and Rock Music in the USSR  

Dr Kristin Roth-Ey​​​

Volunteers will work on transcription, translation, and analysis of historical fan mail (letters from the former USSR to the BBC Russian Service) and broadcasts (available online). Excellent Russian-language skills essential.

For all enquiries and applications, please contact Dr Roth-Ey: k.roth-ey@ucl.ac.uk 

Duration & Expenses

Positions last for 3 months, and can be renewed (subject to eligibility). Working hours are flexible, to be determined in consultation with the project supervisor. We hope volunteers can work for a minimum of 3 days per week. The positions are voluntary, with no entitlement to a financial reward or benefit in kind.

Application Procedure

To make an application please email the member of staff whose research project you wish to volunteer for with the following documents:

  • CV
  • A covering letter stating why you are a suitable candidate; the period (dates) of availability; number of days /week available; computer & language skills
  • Where required, a piece of work, for example a recent essay.

If a deadline is applicable, applicants will normally hear within three weeks whether they have been selected, or invited for an interview.

UCL's Volunteer Policy


  • will have an arrangement with UCL which does not entitle them to a financial reward or benefit in kind for work they perform under the arrangement
  • do not have to turn up for work if they don't want to (even if you or their colleagues expect them to or they generally work to a regular pattern)
  • cannot be dismissed, sued for breach of contract or have payment or reward withheld if they fail to do the work or perform the services they were providing.


The supervisor is responsible for providing an induction, including relevant information about the department, an explanation of the project/tasks and timescales for completion. Inductions will also need to address practical issues including; health and safety, confidentiality, access to IS systems and working with children (where the intern/volunteer has access to children).

Both supervisor and volunteer must sign the UCL HR form (Word Doc)