Young People 13-28

Supporting young people and early career researchers to co-produce research together

Young people

Are you a young person aged 18 – 30 with experience of being a co-researcher on a research project?

Help us support young people and early careers researchers to develop their knowledge and skills around participatory research!

What’s the project?

EXCITE (Empowering eXpert Community-led research by Training Early career researchers) is a new training scheme that will be delivered to young people and early career researchers that are associated with the Institute for Mental Health (IMH), University of Birmingham. The project is being co-delivered in partnership with McPin Foundation and the Young Foundation.

A key focus for the IMH is the meaningful involvement of young experts by experience in the design and delivery of youth mental health research.

The IMH has extensive experience of this, having worked with their Youth Advisory Group for 5 years but are keen to evolve their practice so that involvement of young experts by experience as co-researchers becomes more common practice.

Over the next 9 months, the EXCITE project aims to address this need. Young people taking part in this training scheme will be recruited from the IMH’s Youth Advisory Group (YAG) as well as through other local networks (to involve those that are yet to be involved in research).

A strength of this training scheme is its collaborative approach. The Young Foundation have existing, well-established training resources that will be adapted for delivery.

The McPin Foundation adds value through our extensive experience in including people with lived experience of the topics being researched in the research itself, with particular focus on mental health. By ‘lived experience’ we mean having experience of a mental health issue having lived through it.

Find out more

McPin’s role in the delivery of EXCITE is to provide the support, knowledge and insight of young people who have experience of being a co-researcher within a mental health research project (Youth Co-Researchers).

We are looking for three young people, aged 18 – 30, with this experience to undertake this role.

Your role will be to support the Young Foundation to train new young person researchers and early career researchers.

Central to this role will be supporting those taking part in the training to learn about how lived experience can be incorporated into research and how it can be best implemented when young people take up co-researcher roles.

To help you to undertake this role, you will have a named contact at McPin to address any queries and provide support.

There are 3 main groups in this programme:

  • Young people who are joining, or are already part of the IMH Youth Advisory Group (YAG)
  • Early Career Researchers (ECRs) who are people at the beginning of a PHD research degree
  • and Co-researchers (you!) people that have been actively involved in co-delivery of research. You may have seen this kind of work be referred to as ‘peer research’ in the past.

At McPin we use the term ‘co-researcher’ for someone who is working as a trainee researcher, usually with relevant mental health lived experience of the topic being researched.

See more about Co-researchers in our new 10 for 10 Guide 10 for 10: Working as a co-researcher | The McPin Foundation.

Rather than conducting the research itself, in this project you will be helping us to skill up other young people and train Early Career Researchers to involve young people as co-researchers.

This is a great opportunity to gain experience in supporting and mentoring others, by sharing what you have learned about being a co-researcher and improving this process for others.

Some of the work you will be doing includes:

  • Teambuilding and advising both young people and early career researchers.
  • Co-designing a ‘taster day’ for early career researchers.
  • Co-designing and co-delivering peer-research training to young people and early career researchers, in person and online.
  • Mentoring early career researchers and young people: including, goal-setting and helping develop research tools, preparing for research work, reflecting on fieldwork, and helping develop recommendations and final outputs for the project.

You will be working closely with the Young Foundation and IMH, but McPin staff members will be onboard to help throughout.

This will also be a great opportunity to connect with and learn from some very well-established research organisations in the field of youth mental health.

  • Age 18-30
  • Lived experience of mental health issues and applying this in a co-researcher role.
  • Experience of being a young person co-researcher on a mental health-based project. For example, you may have worked alongside senior researchers co-facilitating interviews, contributing to literature reviews, analysing data, writing up reports, and contributing to other outputs (e.g. presentations).
  • Based in the UK – you may be required to travel to Birmingham University at different points in the project.
  • Able to commit to a maximum of 70 hours in total from September 2023-July 2024 – this is approximately 10 days work (1 day a month).
  • Flexibility to join meetings during evenings or weekends when needed.
  • Access to a stable internet connection.

  • £25 per hour for a maximum of 80 hours over the course of the project
  • All reasonable travel expenses (I.e travel to Birmingham) will be paid for in advance or reimbursed.
  • A named contact at McPin (Roya Kamvar) to provide support and answer your queries.
  • General supervision from the Young Foundation on direction and delivery of work required.

If you are interested in this opportunity, please email Roya [email protected] by 9am on Thursday 31st August 2023 with the Subject Line “Co-Researcher Role: EXCITE” and brief answers to the following questions:

  1. What is your name?
  2. What is your date of birth?
  3. Are you based in the UK?
  4. Why are you interested in this role?
  5. Please give details of all relevant experience (as a young person peer or co-researcher on a previous project.) Please provide the name of the project, and links where possible.
  6. Sometimes after talking about topics like mental health, people feel they need a little extra support or someone to chat to. What support do you currently have in place (e.g. supportive friends, family, health professionals or mental health charities)? Is there anything that McPin could do to support you or make your involvement experience better?
  7. How did you hear about this opportunity?

You are welcome to send your responses in audio or video format if preferred! If you need any help completing your expression of interest, you can get in touch with Roya [email protected].

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9am on Thursday 31st August 2023

Please note that the McPin Foundation regularly promotes opportunities on behalf of other institutions; we are not responsible for the continuation or contents of further correspondence with any project partners where we are not listed as the project main point of contact.