Our research

We carry out research to build better understandings of children and young people’s physical and mental wellbeing in their on- and offline lives. Building on our research we advocate for how the world can best support children and young people to thrive.

The Centre puts children and young people’s insights at the core of our research as their expertise is vital to understand their health and wellbeing. To do so, we collaborate closely with our sister Open University centre, the Children’s Research Centre (CRC) in Our Voices  – a research hub for children and young people and adult researchers.

Addressing children and young people’s wellbeing in body, mind and media, the Centre currently builds research and advocacy on:


Achieving Effective Informed Consent

Researchers working with CYP strive to provide the most appropriate, comprehensive and understandable information about their research... in a way that is accessible to CYP … so that CYP can make informed decisions about engaging and continuing to take part in research.

This principle is one that is easy to embrace but much harder to implement in practice.

Working with the OU HREC, we are scoping a potential project which could result in a range of resources, templates and innovative methods of providing information and securing informed consent that support CYP participants and CYP researchers.

We are interested in hearing from colleagues about challenges they have experienced and good practice they or others have deployed.


Open Societal Challenges

Our vision is the creation of a sustainable Four Nations Advisory Panel of young people, which will realise children and young people's (CYP) rights, and inform OU research, policies, integrity and practice: the Open Children and Young People’s Research Advisory Panel (OCYPRAP). This will be an innovative cross-faculty collaboration, which will be supported by a framework for continual improvement of CYP-centred best practice, to optimise research expertise in CYP’s wellbeing. CYP health and wellbeing is a major UK societal challenge which is complex and multiple-dimensional (Casas & Frønes, 2020). Those living in disadvantaged circumstances are disproportionately impacted regarding health, educational and other outcomes. National policies have had a negligible impact on CYP wellbeing.