To align with Wellcome's new strategy, the Education and Learning team is now wrapping up its work on improving science education in the UK. Our new focus is supporting a pivot towards involving young people – aged between 10 and 24 – in the research agenda for three worldwide health challenges: mental health, infectious diseases, and global heating.

Young people are disproportionately affected by these health challenges and will have to live with them for longer, but they are often not included in research.

Often considered the 'next generation' who we must prepare for society and the workforce, involving young people in the here and now is equally critical. Young people’s relationship with science has always been of concern to Wellcome, but the pandemic makes it even more imperative that they have agency in shaping the post-Covid-19 world.

We commissioned Dalberg Advisors to conduct a study to explore the role, benefits and potential of young people’s involvement in health research. We were interested in youth involvement along the whole research chain: from influencing questions and research design, to data collection and advocating for the issue.

We found that the vast majority of published health research that involves young people occurs in high-income countries. Young people are most frequently involved in research design and data collection, rather than agenda-setting and discussing and sharing findings. And they often don’t have much control in the projects they participate in.

Young people's involvement in health research benefits the research, the young people themselves, and their communities.

Read the full article about young people involved in health research by Anita Krishnamurthi at Wellcome.