Wessex Archaeology invites applications for the following post:

Volunteer Research Officer

Based in Salisbury

REF: SALCE2.05.22

(Project Officer) £27,698 to £32,131

Salary commensurate with skills and experience


Wessex Archaeology is a leading archaeology and heritage organisation, and an educational charity. We work in partnership with clients internationally across a variety of sectors to deliver practical, sustainable solutions to managing the historic environment. As an educational charity, community engagement is at the heart of what we do. We work to create a positive legacy of social cohesion and wellbeing within local communities and make heritage accessible.

Pre-covid, Wessex had a strong history of offering public volunteer opportunities to participate in archaeology on non-commercial projects. This has included supporting schools and community engagement, post-excavation, environmental research, archive research and field work. 


The position 

This is a 6-month full time contract to conduct a feasibility study to identify if volunteering is an opportunity that Wessex can and should be continuing to offer to the public and on what scale. The opportunity will also require you to have a sensitive approach to the research, being mindful of our charitable aims. 



Main Areas of responsibility 

Researching and understanding our pre-Covid offer. Researching and understanding the motivations for and personal gains to be had by volunteering Researching future possibilities including hybrid ways of volunteering, digital opportunities, and micro volunteering. Investigating best practice in the volunteering and heritage sectors regarding volunteer roles which reach and engage with new and diverse audiences.  Researching routes to embed diversity and inclusion to better reflect the communities we serve Ensuring that any proposal works within the professional standards as set out by the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists.  Through liaison and detailed discussions across the Wessex team, report on what activities volunteers could participate in.  Working with Wessex staff across our regional offices to understand logistics and practicalities of volunteers participating in archaeology and well-being centred projects in both the charitable and commercial sectors.



  • A report on our next steps: Is a volunteer programme a viable product for Wessex Archaeology, on what scale and what does that programme look like?
  • A toolkit for good practice in volunteer recruitment, coordination, training, motivation, health and safety, safeguarding, data collection and retention that can be used as a resource by Wessex and its clients who wish to engage volunteers with archaeology.
  • An ethics matrix outlining where volunteers sit within relevant UK legislation, company policy and the professional standards as set out by CIfA.
  • Essential skills
  • Excellent communication skills: ability to communicate in a clear, concise way; being empathic and listening to the questions and concerns of others
  • Proven experience of working with volunteers and delivering and implementing volunteer programmes and of evaluating volunteer programmes 
  • Travel will be required, a full clean driving licence is desirable  
  • Strong interpersonal skills
  • Good organisational and administrative skills 



  • Knowledge of current trends, resources and information related to volunteer management
  • Experience of implementing volunteer programmes within a commercial environment  
  • Capacity to inspire, influence and motivate others


 The behavioural attributes that we expect from you are: 

  • Be open to learning and receiving direction;
  • Be approachable in providing support, guidance and advice; 
  • Communicate appropriately and respectfully; 
  • Be confident, innovative and show good judgement in problem solving and decision making; 
  • Be responsible and accountable for your work, actions and decisions;
  • Be confident, innovative and show good judgement in problem solving and decision making; 
  • To work collegiately across all departments and regional offices


Employee Benefits include:    

  • Training and development opportunities 
  • 22 days of annual leave per year (plus bank holidays), rising to 27 after five years  
  • Flexible and hybrid working arrangements are encouraged  
  • Laptop and equipment provided 
  • A generous 5% employer pension contribution to a salary sacrifice scheme
  • Life assurance scheme (3x basic salary)  
  • Generous maternity and paternity options  
  • Bike2Work scheme  
  • 100% of professional membership costs reimbursed  
  • Company Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) offering a free and confidential service 24/7, 365 days per year to the employee and immediate family, in the form of counsel and assistance for personal problems such as work-life balance, legal and health concerns and child and elder care support.   



Applicants are invited to submit a completed application form (available from the Vacancies page on our website http://www.wessexarch.co.uk/vacancies)  along with a CV and covering letter. Applications to be emailed to wa.applications@wessexarch.co.uk Applications must be received by close of business on Friday 27th May 2022. Receipt of all applications will be acknowledged.

Potential applicants are welcome to contact Sara Willis (Grants and Development Specialist) with any queries (s.willis@wessexarch.co.uk)

Whilst Wessex Archaeology welcomes applications from all sections of the community and is committed to promoting equality of opportunity, it is essential that the successful candidate must by the start of their employment have permission to work in the UK. Proof of identity and eligibility to work in the UK will be required prior to commencement of employment.