We are a group of young people (between 14 and 18 years old) who work with the Neuroscience, Ethics and Society (NEUROSEC) team to help develop methods for working with young people to better understand their views.
We meet once or twice per term, normally on Saturdays in central Oxford. In between meetings, we keep in touch via email or other online platforms.
Why do we have a YPAG?
We think teenagers should have the opportunity to get involved in the decision-making about larger issues that may affect our lives, including public policy and research. At the YPAG, our thoughts and experiences are valued, and we act as co-participants in the design and implementation of research studies. Together we hope to create research products that have a large impact on young people’s lives.
What does a meeting look like?
The main purpose of the meetings is to collaborate with and advise researchers on research projects. Meetings also include games and icebreakers to help us get to know one another and work well as a group.
We participate in the design and implementation of studies, including recruiting participants, elaborating and testing interview questions, and conducting on-line surveys and face-to-face interviews. We also discuss concepts related to ethics and mental health.
Our group is also involved in developing educational materials and innovative, digital methodologies for research with teenagers, including apps and games.
Finally, there is space for reflection on the meaning and applied value of research results, and the group helps disseminate results to the general public.
What do we gain from it?
YPAG members have a chance to learn about mental health, ethics, and the process of doing research. We also have the chance to interact closely with researchers who are doing cutting-edge work in their field. The group also help us develop important skills, such as the ability to work in a team. Most importantly, we ensure that young people’s voices are heard and engaged throughout the research process.
Who is behind the NEUROSEC YPAG?
Gabriela Pavarini, a postdoctoral researcher with a background in psychology organises the meetings and normally facilitates the group. She is joined by David Lyreskog, a post-doc in Philosophy. The YPAG is supported by research assistants Vanessa Bennett and Eddie Jacobs, as well as PhD students Arianna Manzini and Jessica Lorimer. Ilina Singh, Professor of Neuroscience and Society at the University of Oxford, is our research group leader.
Are there other YPAGs in the UK?
Yes, there are many groups in the UK. If you want to learn more about them, we recommend you watch this videoclip made by an YPAG based at Durham University, and check out this website about a group of NHS-supported YPAGs called Generation R.
Still have questions?
If you still have any questions about the YPAG feel free to ask at firstname.lastname@example.org.