A unique opportunity for Penn State students and others to join the UNESCO Chair the Youth as Researchers program. This program trains youth and young adults to create and carry out youth-driven and youth-owned social justice research projects of their choosing. We need you!!! Join up now!

UNESCO is the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization. This UN agency focuses on international development issues related to education, science, and culture. At Penn State, Dr. Mark Brennan is UNESCO Chair in Rural Community, Leadership, and Youth Development and has been commissioned by the UN to be a leading source of high-impact research, educational programs, policy and partnerships that improve the lives of youth and communities worldwide.

Each year there is a unique opportunity for a small group of students Penn State students to join Dr. Brennan and his team in an initiative called Youth as Researchers. This program trains youth and young adults to create and carry out youth-driven social justice research projects. At the end of these research projects, video documentaries are made to present findings to a global audience, including at the annual UN Youth Summit and UNESCO Youth Forum.

This is opportunity for Penn State students with an interest in international development, community development, and social justice issues. It is especially suited for students who are interested in collaborative research and who enjoy working in teams with other students.

Youth As Researchers Projects

Groups of youth researchers from Penn State, Philadelphia, and State College conducted research of their choosing on the issues that they saw as important to themselves, their communities, and to social justice.

UNESCO Youth As Researchers in Response to COVID-19

The Youth As Researchers (YAR) global initiative on COVID-19 connects and engages with young people to conduct research on the impacts of COVID-19 on young people and the responses young people have implemented to tackle these. UNESCO and the UNESCO Chairs at the National University of Ireland Galway and Penn State University lead a consortium of youth-led or youth-related actors to support the research through training, mentoring and coordination.

Youth As Researchers on Peace, Citizen Security and Safety in the Caribbean

YAR in Jamaica: Youth Researchers Present Findings on Peace and Citizen Security The first Youth as Researchers (YAR) pilot was rolled out in Jamaica in the framework of the Amplifying Youth Voice and Action to address Citizen Security and Safety (AYVA) project coordinated by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Over five months, UNESCO provided intensive training in basic social science methods, sessions on Youth, Peace and Security concepts, as well as mentoring and coaching for three YAR groups that brought together participants aged 18-30 from Jamaica. The young participants addressed the following topics through their research projects: Government Programmes on Peace and Security; Youth-centric Policy-Design for Peace, Citizen Safety and Security; Youth Engagement and CSOs in Peace, Citizen Safety and Security.

Our Partners



 University of Galway

Bosserman Center for Conflict Resolution