2016 Voluntary Sector and Volunteering Research Conference

This is the leading UK-based interdisciplinary research conference for academics, policy makers and practitioners with an interest in voluntary organisations and volunteering. It is an opportunity to share research and network across different contexts, countries and different parts of the UK.

Dates 8-9 September 2016
Location Nottingham Conference Centre, Nottingham

Book your place

The plan for this year

In 2016 NCVO, the Voluntary Sector Studies Network (VSSN) and the Institute for Volunteering Research (IVR) are again working in partnership to organise the event.

We are delighted to welcome Campbell Robb, Chief Executive of Shelter as our keynote speaker.

Over two days, there will be a mix of plenary sessions, parallel paper sessions and panel sessions. Specific sessions for new researchers will run alongside the main conference programme. There will also be the opportunity to socialise informally with other delegates.

At the conference’s closing plenary, a distinguished panel of guests from a range of backgrounds will discuss achievements and future research directions.


The themes for this year’s conference are:

  • civil society and democracy: ongoing challenges and opportunities
  • volunteering and participation: present and future
  • new methods, new data: what are the opportunities and challenges presented in research data and methodology on the sector?
  • grassroots voluntary activity: past perspectives and new forms
  • navigating the funding landscape: funding, fundraising and philanthropy
  • voluntary sector governance and management: new challenges and responses
  • advancing theoretical debates: old ideas, new directions
  • what’s new? Historical perspectives on the voluntary sector and voluntary action
  • the role of the voluntary sector in a new world of public services.


View the full conference programme (PDF, 470KB). Please note this is a draft version and is subject to change.


We are delighted to announce we have frozen delegate prices for the 2016 conference. The full price list is below.

NCVO members and VSSN members

BookingStandard rates
Both days £290
One day only
(8 or 9 September)


BookingStandard rates
Both days £376
One day only
(8 or 9 September)

A formal three course dinner on the first night of the conference (Thursday 8 September) can be booked at an additional cost of £35 per person. To book your place at the dinner, please select this option on your booking form.

Book your place

Present your research

The call for papers is now closed

If you have submitted a proposal, we should have contacted you to inform you of the outcome of your submission. If you have not heard from us, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

If your proposal is accepted you will still need to book and pay for a place at the conference. We will be in touch to arrange your payment.

The Campbell Adamson Memorial Prize

Each year NCVO awards a prize for the best paper submitted to the main conference, in memory of the late president of NCVO’s advisory board.

The prize will go to the paper that best meets the criteria of:

  • research quality
  • relevance to practice or policy
  • accessibility of style and approach.

New researchers

The call for papers for the new researchers session has now closed

A special series of parallel sessions, led by VSSN and IVR, will be run as part of the conference for new researchers. Attendance is subsidised.

This offer is intended for early career researchers in the field, whether postgraduate students or researchers in the voluntary sector. It is a fantastic opportunity to meet, discuss research and share ideas with other new researchers and to present your research in a supportive setting.

This year one of the sessions will involve discussion on disseminating research.

Find out more about the New Researchers session.

Contact us

For more information, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Site by Clickingmad