Researchers working with children need to explain their research to children (and their parent/guardian) to help them decide if they would like to take part. However, children are often not familiar with the role of a researcher. For children to make an informed choice about taking part in research, they need to have some idea of what ‘research’ actually is.
In 2022, Dr Laura Benton from University College London's (UCL) Department for Culture, Communication and Media contracted The CYRA Service to write and help coordinate a short, pilot video for young children (approx. age 3-7 years). We drew on existing research and practice evidence, insights from our involvement with ERIC (The Ethical Research Involving Children Initiative), feedback from an advisory group of children and parents and engaged with the professional illustrator, Holly Smith. For further information on the research and development process read the Case Study published on the website for the international Ethical Research Involving Children initiative.
The video has been funded by an Impact Grant from the UCL Department for Culture, Communication and Media. It is available as a short and a slightly longer version. Both are freely accessible for any researcher to use to support the informed consent process with young children. The hope is to secure funding to build upon this initial video.
Example screenshots from the 'What is a Researcher?' video: