General call for volunteers

  • During 1st month: Up to 5 hr/wk for training; 1 hr/wk for communication
  • 2nd and 3rd months: Up to 5 hr/wk for direct activities; 1 hr/wk for communication
  • After 3rd month: 2-3 hr/wk for direct activities; 2-1 hr/wk for independent projects; 2 hr/wk for communication and meetings
  • Volunteering remotely / online

At the Freedom of Form Foundation, we believe that everyone should have the right to biologically express their identities, living life in the body that feels most natural to them. Today’s advances in biotechnology and medicine present a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to develop the tools required to allow biological self-determination in the near future. Tails are on the horizon, potentially sooner than you think!

We are always on the lookout for new volunteers who can bring unique skills and insights. In addition to science and engineering, we need help with outreach, community building, donor relations, administration/logistics (including finance, compliance, record-keeping, IT, and procurement), and more. Regardless of your specialty, if you are confident in your ability to plan and act with minimal supervision, have a deep-seated urge to help us overcome one of the biggest and rewarding challenges in the world, and have the energy and motivation to help build our organization in the coming years, let us know.

Would you be helping us run a social media campaign, combined with helping us improve how we run them in the future? Or perhaps helping our researchers in some way (Data sharing? Communication? Something else?), while helping progressively improve our research logistics? Maybe helping keep our community fun and inclusive, while making it even better? Maybe IT or accounting? Or something else entirely? It’s up to you.

The unifying theme to this general call for volunteers is that we are hoping for three things: (1) your help taking charge of a key responsibility in our organization, (2) helping us do it better than we already are, and (3) sticking with us to help us achieve sustainable growth*.

General goals and responsibilities:

  • In your first month, we will focus on getting you up to speed with relevant examples of what you might face. Examples will be a mixture of hypothetical and real situations, though any sensitive information will be removed. If applicable, examples will cover both ‘positive’ and ‘negative’ situations.
    • If moderation/community – examples might include moderation situations, and/or events being planned and hosted.
    • If IT – examples might include resources or services researchers need, or of failure modes.
    • If outreach – examples might include social media campaigns, responses to specific messages, or live interviews with guest speakers.
    • And so on. We’ll make sure you’re up to speed and prepared to act independently!
  • In your second month, if things look good, we’ll put you in the driver’s seat, but we’re happy to check your work, and we’ll be very available to give feedback and pointers.
  • In your third month, you’ll be gaining more comfort with the basics, and will be getting to know many of the other excellent folks in our organization. So, at this point:
    • You will probably be having ideas of how to do things better in our organization. Here, you’ll work with us to outline a 3-month project, ideally one:
      • that incrementally improves or builds off of the activity you are responsible for;
      • that replaces or deprecates an older way of doing things (rather than creating “another competing standard”)
      • that, if maintenance/upkeep is required after project completion, it is simple to perform;
      • that can be understood and further built upon by other people.
    • And, you’ll keep chugging along with the main thing you’re doing. Interacting with people, running events, being present on social media, conversing with guest speakers, or running numbers in accounting. There’s always something new, and as we grow, you’ll get more interesting challenges that push you to think creatively and do things better.
  • Subsequently, after you complete your first project, it’ll be time for another one. It might be an extension on the first project, or something completely different. That’s a decision for later!

Qualifications:

The four most important questions we would ask you are:

  • Does our mission mean something special to you?
  • Do you feel personal accountability for projects and tasks you are involved in?
  • Do you enjoy learning new things, and applying your abilities in new ways?
  • Are you willing to see a project through to the end, within the bounds of your personal health?

Positive answers to those questions are the biggest predictors of success – more important than professional degrees, in our experience. If you can answer yes to all four questions, we strongly encourage you to reach out, even if you don’t feel that the technical qualifications below are a fit. There’s a good chance we can find something that works.

What you can expect:

  • Supportive and genuine environment, and source of new friendships.
  • Access to tools and resources. If you need something for your project or duties, we’ll cover it.
  • Stretching yourself with new challenges in a growing environment, practicing new career skills earlier than your contemporaries.
  • Seeing your work make an impact, and create something you’re proud of.

Questions?

If you have any questions or want to discuss more before applying, please send an email to [email protected]. We won’t bite (too hard)!

In particular, if you are interested in this or other volunteering opportunities, and you’re not sure whether or not it would be a fit, please reach out and we’d be happy to explore possibilities with you.

Sounds good? Please apply!

Please send an email to [email protected] with:

  • Subject line – Make sure to include the position title somewhere in the subject line.
  • Message body – Cover letter. We’re very interested to hear your take on our organization’s mission and if it has personal meaning for you. Please address your message to the hiring manager, Zennith.
  • Attach – Your Resume or CV.

If we feel there may be a match, we’ll reach out to you to follow up.

*Due to the time and effort involved in training by both new volunteers and existing ones for the types of functions mentioned above, it’s a big relationship for both you and us to invest in. Beyond working through examples and case-studies, or getting you up to speed on policies or how we work, it takes time to get to know people candidly and learn to trust each other. Long-term relationships help us grow sustainably – and are some of the best ways to help make sure our overall shared mission of freedom of form succeeds.

This is especially important for the functions above (social media, community, accounting, administration, IT, and so forth) because, unlike standalone research projects with defined start- and end-points, the above are things we are always responsible for.