Remote Research Group pilot project

Our pioneering new Remote Research Group project aims to collaborate with people worldwide to capture and share data on corporate social and environmental responsibility. 

Every second, all around the world, research reports, investigations and news stories about corporate malpractice are published. This new project aims to ensure that this data doesn't go under the radar and can be shared with a wider audience.

Our new global research team

Currently in its pilot phase, we have a team of thirty volunteer Remote Research Group researchers inputting around the world. Researchers add articles and reports that they’ve read online, and send them directly to the Ethical Consumer team here in Manchester. 

Once moderated, the entries are published on Ethical Consumer's Corporate Critic database, and are used in all our research - buyers’ guides, articles and company screenings. The collected Remote Research Group data is fully accessible to all members.

We're currently using the open-source referencing tool Zotero, but hope to develop our own custom tool in time.

Because the entire project is online, researchers can be based anywhere in the world. We are interested in stories about any company on any of the issues covered by our ratings system. Some RRG members add stories which are relevant to their research interests, others track a company or companies, and some regularly scan a specific publication for any relevant stories.

Profiles of Remote Researchers

We're looking for dedicated ethical consumers worldwide, who have an interest in and a good understanding of some of the issues covered by Ethical Consumer’s research. We follow hundreds of ethical issues daily, across four broad criteria; Animals, Environment, People and Politics. Your research focus can be as specific or as broad as you like. Whether your passion is for animal rights or Arctic drilling, we’d love you to be involved!

Here are two people that are currently part of the project:

Kirsten Ogilvie - Edinburgh, Scotland.

She has worked as a Veterinary Nurse, as IT support for Vets and is now Practice Manager of threeVeterinary Practices.

Kirsten enjoys spending time with family and friends, listening to music- especially jazz, photography, gardening, and vintage clothing. She has a special interest in herbal medicine and is passionate about environmental and social justice issues.

What Kirsten says about being part of the Remote Research Group:

“I enjoy researching subjects I’m interested in, so being a Remote Research Member gives me the opportunity to put it to good use and interact with like-minded people who wish to make a difference. I hope by being part of Ethical Consumer we can promote a more environmentally sustainable, socially just society and empower people to make more informed choices regarding what and who they buy from and the effect that has on our society. “

Tamsin Pearson - Kinross-shire, Scotland.

Her apparently eclectic but secretly cunning academic background in Mathematics, Ecology and Cognitive Psychology, and her career history of training in retail, IT and Environmental Science, were eventually revealed as Ecopsychology.  What sort of new fangled nonsense is that?  Well, thank you for asking: it's the study of human psychological dysfunctions arising from our disconnection from nature, and ways to reconnect to achieve sustainable behaviour.  Some of it lines up awfully well with Ethics and Consumption.  Marvellous. 

What Tamsin says about being part of the Remote Research Group:

“I spend about five hours per week browsing news articles, serving the dual purpose of mining entries for the Ethical Consumer database and informing my writing.  I tend to focus on environmental issues and wildlife conservation to avoid People – I take being 'remote' seriously…  Writing entries, submitting them and fiddling with the technology takes another hour per week. 

I’ve learned a lot from this Ethical Consumer business already – from the site, the research and the group: where to sell books, sustainable fishing methods, how to write more clearly.  The Remote Research Group suits me well as I don’t miss the fairground of the conventional bustling office workplace. 

That's all lovely, but why don’t I have a proper job you might ask?  Curses.  Well, health issues unfortunately limit my travels and, frankly, my ability to remain upright, so this role is an ideal combination of tasks I can do, values I care about, flexible working, opportunity to contribute, and professional direction I’d like to take.  Dandy.”

What's in it for you?

  • Be part of a new and exciting project from its very beginnings. Who knows where it may go in future...
  • Be part of the Ethical Consumer team
  • Put your interests and research to good use in challenging corporate power and driving up standards in company behaviour
  • Build your research skills
  • Bolster your CV
  • Join a network of like-minded individuals

Join the team. Requirements and How to apply.

As a member of our Remote Research Group pilot project, you will be helping us develop this platform from its very beginnings.

You’ll be hunting down articles and reports online, entering them into an online referencing platform and then submitting them to the Ethical Consumer team here in Manchester.

Once moderated, your entries will be published on the Ethical Consumer database, and will be used in all our research - product guides, articles and company screenings.  We will also add a selection of the best stories as blogs on our website.

Further down the line, we’ll be opening up the database to the rest of the world to access and add data. But for now, we need a dedicated team of researchers to help us test and develop the platform and data adding methods.

We are looking for dedicated ethical consumers worldwide, who have an interest in and a good understanding of some of the issues covered by Ethical Consumer’s research.

We follow hundreds of ethical issues daily, across five broad criteria: Animals, Environment, People, Politics and Product Sustainability.

Your interest can be as specific or as broad as you like. Whether your passion is for non-animal-tested cosmetics, or for global human rights, we’d love you to be involved!

All you need is 2 - 4 hours per week, good written English, plus access to a computer (on which you have permission to install applications) and the internet. IT literacy is very important, as you’ll need to be comfortable with installing and getting to grips with new software.

Other beneficial traits for Remote Research Group volunteers are a keen eye for detail and fastidiousness. Previous experience of carrying out research, using databases and social media would be a bonus, but are not essential.

Ideally we’d like you to commit to the project for a period of at least three months, but this is open to discussion.

To apply, fill in the application form, along with a covering letter stating why you’re interested in the role. If successful, we’ll invite you to an informal interview (either in person or via phone/Skype) within 2 weeks of your application submission.

Get in touch

If you want to learn more about the RRG project, or are interested in taking part, email RRG co-ordinator Ruth Strange: ruth[at]

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