Our volunteers play a vital role in the Herbarium, helping with expanding and managing the collection. We welcome expressions of interest from new volunteers.

Herbarium volunteer program

Students and other interested people from the wider community are invited to apply to volunteer at the Herbarium, assisting with a range of tasks.

What do volunteers do?

Volunteer tasks are varied and can include:

  • mounting/repackaging specimens
  • specimen data capture
  • specimen imaging
  • checks for current nomenclature on specimens
  • data management and reconciliation
  • incorporating/filing specimens.

All training is provided on the job so all you need is an interest in and desire to learn about plants.

Through this program participants can gain skills in plant science research, herbarium curation, biodiversity bioinformatics, digitisation in natural history collections, and managing a scientific or historical collection.

What time commitment is expected?

Volunteering requires a 3 hour per week commitment for 12 weeks. This occurs during the University of Melbourne long semesters (February to June, July to November).

Each volunteer is allocated a weekly timeslot. Every effort will be made to enable volunteering around your other commitments; however, due to the popularity of the program and supervisor availability your preferred timeslot may not be available.

How to apply

If you're interested in joining the program, please complete the application form (including uploading your CV).

Apply now

The Curator will assess your application, and if you are accepted into the program, we will then discuss available projects and organise a safety induction prior to starting in the Herbarium.

Important dates:

Semester 1 intake – Applications close the second Friday of February
Semester 2 intake –Applications close the second Friday of July.

Museum and Collections Project Program

The Herbarium supervises interns from the University of Melbourne’s Museums and Collections Project Program (MCPP), which offers students, alumni and other interested people from the wider community the chance to work behind the scenes with the University’s cultural collections.

A list of MCPP projects for the year is available from late February each year. Herbarium-based internships typically involve a minimum 48 hour commitment.

To see the project list and expression of interest form, visit the Museum and Collections Projects Program page.

Digitisation Initiatives

We have ongoing projects to capture specimen data and images of our collection objects in our collection management database.

Data entry is currently performed by casual staff funded by small grants, herbarium volunteers and interns, and by citizen scientists involved in virtual exhibitions through the Atlas of Living Australia (ALA) DigiVol volunteer portal.

If you are interested in contributing to our current digitisation initiatives please contact the Curator (biosciences-herbarium@lists.unimelb.edu.au) to volunteer your time.