KidsCan: Research Engagement Initiative
Direct engagement of young people in research can be mutually beneficial to both researchers and youth. While young people can lay the groundwork for brilliant scientific careers by early involvement in research, researchers can benefit from the novel ideas of youths and their ability to find realistic solutions to problems their demographic faces.
We've established an engagement initiative, KidsCan, to directly involve youths aged 14-17 as advisors and partners in the research and development of innovative solutions to the health challenges they face.
The KidsCan Young Persons Advisory Group helps young people learn about research and then share their advice based off of their personal experience and point of view to researchers, directly influencing all phases of research including the development of research questions, methods, recruitment plans, and strategies for results dissemination. At BC Children’s Hospital, the KidsCan advisors have worked with research groups at BC Children’s Hospital on consent/assent forms, vaccines, cancer and mobile health-promotion technology.
The objective of the KidsCan project is to develop a national Youth Research Advisory Group to engage young people in research as partners. They are active participants in transferring scientific knowledge from clinicians to young people, rather than solely as receivers of knowledge.
In the long-term, the KidsCan initiative will serve as a driving force for the reduction of research waste in pediatrics, while also a platform for end-user involvement in the betterment of research.
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