WP4 – Citizen Engagement and Co-creation


1. To develop BOOTSTRAP with youth and for youth, i.e., to involve young people in key decisions about the research process as peer researchers and school ambassadors, actively participating in the development of BOOTSTRAP outputs;

2. To actively involve teachers and parents/carers from participating schools in BOOTSTRAP, and via the extensive networks of European Associations for Teachers and Parents (IAB partners);

3. To ensure that the involvement of youth is ethical, safe, and co-defined with youth;

4. To maximize engagement of participants in data collection;

5. To empower youth, families and schools to act towards a society that guarantees digital human rights and protects wellbeing and mental health of youth.


WP4 will actively involve the three central groups in this project: young people, parents/carers and teachers. The general approach is to integrate young people as co-researchers in WP1 (recruitment and retention), WP5 (dissemination and social influence), as well as youth, teacher and parent/carer representation in the management structures of the project (WP6); the co-creation of the digital apps (WP2 and 3); and the engagement of teachers via certified training contributing to their continued professional development, in collaboration with the Association for Teacher Education in Europe (see LoS). We aim to reach parents/carers and families, to inform and involve them in Bootstrap via participating schools’ parent associations and international parent/carer groups, including the European Parents’ Association (see LoS). EYMH will play a key role in ensuring the voices of Europe’s youth are heard, with EYMH peer researchers in place to support young people with WP4 activities, working across the project with Bootstrap researchers. EYMH will lead an evaluation of citizens’ involvement and will monitor their wellbeing. UoH will lead on ethics and safeguarding (together with EYMH and local researchers at recruitment sites) and education and training for all citizens involved (young people, teachers and parents/carers) and support all Bootstrap researchers with training about the involvement of citizens in research. Activities mainly take place remotely, with 3 face-to-face Bootstrap Camps, bringing together school ambassadors (student and teacher representatives from each participating school across the 9 sites) with Bootstrap researchers and EYMH peer researchers, for team building, training, support, co-design activities and self-evaluation.

Task 4.1 Management and quality of youth involvement (M1-M60)

Lead partner and participants UPORTO, UoH, EYMH, UZH, FIBHGM, JGU Mainz, UZH, ELTE, LSMU, VUA, CHUM

• UPORTO leads on the recruitment and coordination of young people, teachers and parents/carers (via school parent associations) to be involved in the research in collaboration with research teams in the 9 recruitment sites. We will involve young people, teachers and peer researchers: (1) School Ambassadors: one student and one teacher per participating school is invited (in liaison with the schools’ student and teacher communities) to work in collaboration with WP1 researchers at the 9 recruitment sites, to liaise with local students, parents (via school parent/family associations), teachers, and school structures, to maximize recruitment and retention; (2) EU-PUI PPI (patient-public involvement) Reference Group136: This established international group of young people with training on involvement in problematic usage of Internet has already been created within the EU-PUI136. In collaboration with EYMH, they will support engagement of the Bootstrap School Ambassadors, review and revise lay documents (information sheets, flyers), and assist with the communication and dissemination of Bootstrap events, research and achievements. Four members will be actively involved in WP activities to ensure accurate representation of the youth voice: One Representative will be involved in the WP6 Management structure; One member will be involved with the communication and dissemination of Bootstrap activities with WP5; and two members will be involved in the preparation of the future implementation of the final BootstrApp.

• A peer researcher group, recruited from EYMH’s network of young people with lived experience, will support young people with WP4 activities, including at the 3 face to face Bootstrap Camps, and work across the WPs supporting Bootstrap researchers with engagement of young people. In these roles, the Peer Researchers will use their lived mental health experience to ensure that data collection methods are the most appropriate to the aims of the project, and co-writing ethics approvals and consent forms. They will co-facilitate focus groups and conversations to ensure the Bootstrap school ambassadors feel comfortable and safe to give open and honest input. EYMH’s team will offer innovative, update to date and expert training in participation and co- production techniques and support the communication and dissemination of Bootstrap events, research, and achievements. EYMH will also lead the evaluation of citizens’ involvement (see below).

• UoH will lead on the ethics of citizen involvement, in collaboration with EYMH and the PPI Reference Group. Citizen involvement activities will be conducted in compliance with relevant national, institutional (universities, schools etc) and professional codes of conduct. Guidance will also be drawn from the resources of the International Ethical Research Involving Children (ERIC) project267, aimed at researchers and others to ensure the rights, dignity and wellbeing of children and young people are respected. We also follow guidance from the Citizen Science Association’s Ethics Working Group webpage268 and adhere to the Ten principles of citizen science. We will liaise with the schools from which school ambassadors are drawn and follow their safeguarding policies, including when researchers visit schools and meet with students in their school environment or at Bootstrap camps. Teachers or parents/carers will accompany students to Bootstrap events, with risk assessments conducted in collaboration with the participating schools, to ensure relevant safeguarding good practice is followed.

● EYMH will lead evaluation of citizen involvement in collaboration with the EU-PUI PPI Reference Group, using a citizen science evaluation framework265 to evaluate impact and process along three dimensions: scientific impact; learning and empowerment of citizens; impact for wider society. For each of these dimensions, criteria will be applied. Evaluation methods include: focus groups and interviews with key stakeholders; reflective diaries kept by the research team, to record shared learning and evidence of citizen science spreading within our academic communities; a citizen ‘impact’ log of research decisions influenced by citizens, to document the difference made by active citizen participation. Ongoing self-monitoring will provide feedback and corrective practices: Young people involved will be invited for regular support reviews with the EYMH team (online and face to face during the Camps), to enable the safe and most meaningful co-production practices with young people, while also enabling the project to learn and evolve alongside. During the Camps, there will also be group evaluation methods conducted by the EYMH team, which will be interactive and develop an element of comradery amongst the young people involved, this also leads to a more empowering and supportive engagement. Involvement of youth will require an ongoing close work relationship with researchers in different WPs, who will meet for self-evaluation, team-building and planning in three Camps during the Consortium meetings.

Task 4.2 Education and training for citizen science (M1-45)

Lead partner and participants UoH, EYMH, UPORTO, FIBHGM, JGU Mainz, UZH, ELTE, LSMU, VUA, CHUM

We will provide support and training for young people, parents/carers and teachers who want to actively participate in the project, providing them with knowledge and skills to support their active participation in the different work packages and research activities. This will include age-specific training on PUI and mental health and citizen science methods being used in the project. Specifically:

● To strengthen commitment of teachers in the recruitment sites, UPORTO will lead on the creation of an international network of teachers from all participating schools and offer free blended certified training on participatory schoolbased research for teachers (25h contact hours, including a practical component of implementing Bootstrap in schools) providing credits for the professional career of teachers, accredited by the UPORTO. Training will be designed in collaboration with members of the ATEE Research and Development communities, including Health, Environment and Sustainability and Professional Development of Teachers Forums.

● In collaboration with the participating schools, teachers, EU-PUI PPI Reference Group members, EYMH peer researchers and The European Parents’ Association, we will prepare awareness and training sessions for parents/carers and families to improve knowledge and understanding about PUI and the aims of Bootstrap (with online resources, for example, our EU-PUI HANDBOOK which has a chapter for parents and families). This training program will be offered by local research teams of each recruitment site to participating schools and their parents/family associations

● In the Bootstrap Camps, WP4 will provide training on PPI and team building for teams of youth, co- researchers and WP researchers. We will also organize intensive co-design sessions to guide teams, elaborating their detailed plan of action of citizen involvement (see below).

Task 4.3 Co-creation of digital tools (M1- M33)

Lead partner (bold) and participants UPORTO, EYMH, UDE, UULM, UKSH, IDC

Youth will be involved in the process of development of the BootstrapApps, to enhance its engagement and utility.

UPORTO will lead on two co creation processes:

● Validation of the BootstrApp Assessment Tool. Bootstrap student and teacher Ambassadors will be invited to test a beta version of the BootstrApp Assessment Tool. Their feedback will be collected via an online questionnaire covering four dimensions of the Technology Acceptance Model, ready by M9 (see Annex 1).

● Co-design of the BootstrApp Intervention tool. Young people will be working as part of the interdisciplinary teams in codesign of the BootstrApp Intervention tool. The objective is to transpose the evidence-based knowledge on selfmonitoring interventions into functionalities, which will inform the development of the BootstrApp Intervention tool (see Annex 2,3). The codesign development will take place in a series of four intensive workshops (three in face-to-face format during the Bootstrap Camp 2; the fourth online for an iterative cycle of development).