2020 Volunteer Botanical Training Program

Centre for Australian National Biodiversity Research (CANBR)

Provide valuable assistance to the Centre for Australian National Biodiversity Research! A 7 week, full-time, volunteer placement in the Centre for Australian National Biodiversity Research (CANBR) in Canberra available during January and February each year. Provide valuable assistance to the Centre while gaining practical training and work experience in a scientific institution. This opportunity suits students enrolled in ENV00244

Working on this project you will make a difference in Key Impact Area: Environment; & Sustainable Development Goal: Quality Education (SDG 4).


Availability: Approved

Time required: 35 hours per week

Duration: 6 weeks

Australian National Herbarium

Requires face to face contact: Yes



The Volunteer Botanical Training Program is designed to allow students of botany, environmental science and related subjects the opportunity for substantive scientific work experience in the Australian National Herbarium and Centre for Australian National Biodiversity Research (CANBR) in Canberra, Australia.


For students:
• Seven weeks intensive experience in a mainstream scientific institution.
• Specialised training that will assist students in further studies and applying for jobs.
• Assistance in completing basic curatorial tasks in the Australian National Herbarium.

Needs to be addressed

Advanced training and experience in botanical and related fields plus experience in a scientific institution for students in return for assistance with curation tasks in the Australian National Herbarium.

Skills required of project members

The Program is aimed at students who have just completed their second or third year of study (preferably in botany, environmental science or related subjects), but we will consider applications from students at other levels and recent graduates. The Program is designed for those intending to undertake a technical or professional career in botany or a closely related discipline (including ecology, resource management and botanical horticulture).

Benefits to students

In return for contributing work on a number of herbarium, research and extension projects, participants will receive specific intensive training in field, herbarium and laboratory botanical techniques. About 40% of time will be spent in formal training sessions; the balance will be spent, using some of the skills taught, working under staff supervision on specimen preparation, plant identification and some research assistance. Some field work will be included in the Program and theoretical issues will be addressed in practical sessions and seminars.

Detailed statements of accomplishment will be given at the end of the Program and work references will be available for the future. Students may be able to receive course credits with their institution.


Southern Cross University

Promotion to appropriate students.


Training in the roles of herbaria and botanic gardens, field techniques, biological databases, taxonomic techniques and sources of botanical information, plant conservation and plant identification. Training also provided on how to find a job in science - preparing a CV; preparing a job application; interviews; sources of jobs, funding, and places of employment.