Chris Damm is a post-graduate student and Research Assistant within the Third Sector Research Centre. Starting as a volunteer in 2011, Chris worked on a project exploring the role of third sector organisations involved in contracted employment services. His main role was to review the policy and academic background in this area and he published the results as a Working Paper in early 2012.
Chris has continued to be involved in the project, developing a database of third sector employment providers and conducting analysis of the initial fieldwork. He will also be involved in writing further publications for the project.
Chris is currently studying for a research methods MA and will begin a doctoral research degree in Social Policy from October 2012. This will focus on the delivery of drug addiction treatment by third sector organisations, and will explore the impact of commissioning policy on these providers.
Hartirath joined TSRC as a Volunteer Researcher in April 2011.
'With a background in research and having worked on evaluation projects across a number of voluntary and community organisations, I felt this was an excellent opportunity to contribute towards to the research aims of TSRC.'
Hartirath is currently supporting Pete Lambert with the development of the Knowledge Portal, researching terms and phrases in order to complete an online thesaurus to be used in conjunction with the portal.
Past volunteers testimonies
"I started at TSRC two days a week in early April 2010, working on the Below the Radar research stream. Initially I worked solely with Mary, a student volunteer, on the Handsworth-Bury community activity survey, helping to develop the contacts database and distribute surveys to potential respondents. I started on the project just after the first wave of surveys had gone out, and on my third day we got our first responses back. It was extremely satisfying (considering I had done none of the legwork!) and so encouraging to see people engaging with the research that, with the support of Angus McCabe and Jenny Phillimore (our project leads), I quickly found my feet.
I was eager to get involved with as many aspects of the workstream as possible, and have recently been given the opportunity to gain some fieldwork experience with Andri Soteri-Proctor on the BTR Micro-Mapping project. With limited practical experience in social research, my first visit was a fantastic introduction as I had the chance to shadow an interview and conduct investigatory work that yielded some really interesting results. With a number of other visits booked, I’m looking forward to more fieldwork over the coming weeks.
As we move on from the data collection stage of the survey and micro-mapping in June/July, I am conducting a literature review of existing methodologies for social network analysis. The aim is to contribute to an innovative approach to analysing BTR networks. In addition, my goal for the summer is to begin my own piece of work, and after a number of discussions with my supervisors, I’m keen to build on some research I conducted for my MA dissertation on new social movements.
I have been overwhelmed by the level of support and encouragement I have received from TSRC staff during my short time here, and I’m looking forward to seeing what other experiences I will be fortunate enough to be part of."
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com
Current Job: Research Coordinator (Moo Moo Youth Marketing)
"My name is Ben Kyneswood and I am a volunteer at TSRC. My background is in community radio. After ten years as a producer and teacher I decided to try to look deeper into volunteer learning in community radio by undertaking a PhD. I spoke to several academics about my ideas which helped me develop a proposal. They also suggested some practical research experience would help any application for a studentship. I applied to TSRC and offered to volunteer.
Dr Soteri-Proctor offered me a volunteering opportunity within a micro-mapping study. It gives me both fieldwork and paperwork experience, as well as situates me within the company of working academics. Being involved in this practice over a period of time has helped me develop my practical understanding of the research process.
I was also lucky to apply for and get funding for my PhD. TSRC were very supportive of me and always willing to give time to answer questions and give advice. Having learned a lot in a short space of time I'm still volunteering and learning; the two really do go hand in hand."