In order to authentically explore this issue, youth and adults will work in partnership together to undertake this important inquiry. Each team consists of (min. 2) youth from the partner organization, an organizational staff member, and academic researchers (including min. 1 student) working together as co-researchers. Undertaking this research in a participatory way helps to flatten often asymmetrical relationships within research activities.

Teams will build capacity through reciprocal hands-on learning of collective participatory action research in an intergenerational community-university partnership. Together as a larger team, we will use the Knowledge in Action model and Youth participatory action research as frameworks to guide the project (see Tools section).

This project is based upon mutual sharing across all partners (youth, community/organizational partners, students, and academic researchers) of:

  • various types of knowledge (e.g. academic, experiential, organizational, practical, etc.)
  • skills (e.g. community-based research, research and evaluation, partnership)

All team members participate in the development and governance of the project, including developing questions about youth-adult partnerships within their contexts, planning and implementing the research process (e.g. data collection) and analysis, interpretation and knowledge sharing. Team members participate in regular teleconference calls, web-based communications, and a face-to-face meeting to share challenges, learning and results with other teams. In addition, team members bring specific expertise and skills that include the following:

Youth co-researcher roles:

Youth are co-researchers in the inquiry alongside community partners and academics, identifying research questions, co-conducting an inquiry within their context and engaging their peers in the discussion, analysis and interpretation. Together with the students and community partners, they will assist in writing or interpreting the results in other means (video, photo, etc.) for various audiences including feedback to other young people and community organization stakeholders. Youth co-researchers will support and build the capacity of staff/students/academics to engage and partner with youth.

Community organization staff roles:

Organizational partners will work in partnership with youth co-researchers and provide contexts for the team to examine. Organizational partners bring extensive experience in youth-adult partnerships and developing contexts for positive outcomes.

Undergraduate/graduate student roles:

With the support of their academic co-investigators, students will work closely with the organization staff and youth. They will also prepare Ethics Board applications and attend to research processes and maintaining rigor. They will assist the team with research activities and provide training as the project unfolds. Students will work with community partners and youth to assist in writing or interpreting the results in other means (video, photo, etc.) and where appropriate, students will prepare results for academic publication (poster presentations, etc.).

Academic co-investigator roles:

The academic co-investigators support students, youth and community partners throughout the inquiry process (e.g. ethics applications, research questions, methodology and methods, analysis and knowledge sharing). They contribute their research expertise to inform the questions and analysis with the local team and to conduct analysis of data across and amongst the teams.

Check out the full proposal.


The Students Commission