The Youth as Researchers Training Programme created by the UNESCO Child and Family Research Centre, NUIG seeks to deliver research skills and workshops to groups of young people nationally and internationally to enable and empower them to conduct their own research. The programme was developed by a team of researchers and youth researchers at UNESCO CFRC and operates under the guidance and academic directorship of Prof Pat Dolan.  


Youth as Researchers Cover

Youth as Researchers: Guidelines on how to apply 

Who can Apply?

We accept applications from youth groups and school groups who want to conduct research in an area that interests them. Groups applying should be led by a facilitator, who will either be a youth worker or school teacher. The facilitator will be present on the training day, and will oversee the group’s research process thereafter.    


Groups should submit a short initial description of the research project. The research should focus on social issues affecting youth. Previous research undertaken by Youth as Researchers groups can be viewed in the series of videos below.


Participants in the programme will take part in a training workshop led by a member of the UNESCO CFRC Youth as Researchers team. This training workshop is based around The Youth as Researchers Training Manual, produced by the Centre, which provides a step-by-step guide to carrying out a research project. Participants will receive a copy of both the Training Manual and the accompanying Youth as Researchers Workbook upon completion of the training workshop.

Ethics Approval

Under the guidance of the UNESCO CFRC Youth as Researchers groups will apply for ethical approval.  This is to ensure that any research is safe and protects participants and that research meets the highest standards. Gaining ethical approval means that groups can be confident that they are producing safe, quality research.


UNESCO CFRC staff will be available to provide advice and support throughout the research project where needed.


All participants will receive a certificate of completion from the UNESCO CFRC.

For full guidelines and step by step instructions see our YaR Guidelines.

See below for videos documenting findings from previous youth research groups.

 Anna   Anna Golden, 16, UNESCO CFRC Youth Researcher in 2015

"Youth research is important because it encourages and allows young people to find out about the issues that  interest and influence us so that we can make positive changes in these areas. It is important that young people are involved in researching  issues that affect us because we understand and experience these issues ourselves. Conducting research also gives us valuable research skills  and experience in doing research".  ‌‌

Cillian Murphy & Youth as Researchers 

The acclaimed Irish Actor and Centre patron, Cillian Murphy, has in the past attended and supported the delivery of some of the youth research skills workshops and has provided his support in narrating the videos. Cillian Murphy shares the Centre’s commitment and passion for supporting positive youth development. He attended the 9th UNESCO Youth Forum in Paris with our team in 2015. Here he met with Director General of UNESCO Irina Bokova and spoke about the importance of youth participating in their communities and the wealth of knowledge and energy they have to offer.

Video: Centre Patron, Cillian Murphy in conversation with youth researchers

Read more about Cillian Murphys work with the Centre here

Cillian, Irina and Pat 
(L-R Irina Bokova, Director General of UNESCO, Cillian Murphy, Actor & Pat Dolan, UNESCO Chair)

Youth- Led Research Projects Undertaken at the Centre 

The first in a series of videos produced documenting youth researcher findings are now available. 

These videos were produced by Independent Irish Filmmakers, Swansong Films. Please visit for more information

Roscommon Minds of Many Colours


Galway Youth as Researchers: Dawn till Dusk

Dawn till Dusk

Mayo Youth as Researchers: Social Media Use in Mayo's Youth

Mayo How Young People are Heard and Helped

Sexual Health Knowledge in Northern Ghana

Youth Perceptions on Homelessness

Click here to watch

LGBT Youth and Their Mental Health

Click here to watch

How Mental Health Affects Young People in Ballina

Click here to watch

Carrick on Suir Empathy in Action

Carrick on Suir


The following two videos 'It's Ok' and 'Dear Parents, Dear Friends' was a participant led project undertaken by a group of children and young people who had taken part in doctoral research that explored children's and young people's experiences of parental separation, divorce and subsequent changed family life. The videos provide helpful information to parents, friends and primary schools about these experiences. 

The videos were made through the CFRCs Youth as Researchers programme in association with Foróige and Techspace. The researcher, Ann O'Kelly, can be contacted at

It's OK

Click here to watch.

Dear Parents, Dear Friends

Click here to watch.

Get Involved

For further information, please contact Ms. Danielle Kennan on  091495731 or email