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Exploring the experiences of minority ethnic groups in education

Call for members for the research project advisory group for 'Exploring the experiences of minority ethnic groups in education in Northern Ireland'.

Are you aged 16–21? Would you like to influence important research on education in Northern Ireland?

Queen’s University Belfast is conducting a research project on the school experiences of minority ethnic and migrant pupils and parents in Northern Ireland. To guide the research, we are recruiting an advisory group of young people (ages 16–21) from minority ethnic and migrant backgrounds who have done some or all of their education in schools in Northern Ireland. If this describes you, we would love to hear from you.

What is the research about?
The aims of the research are to understand minority ethnic pupils’ and families’ experiences and views of education and to develop recommendations to address inequalities and enhance the educational experience.

The main part of this study will involve interviews with 60 children and their parents/carers across Northern Ireland to explore topics including school choice, the curriculum, day-to-day experiences of school, and relationships among parents, teachers and pupils. It will also involve interviews with education officials, teachers, and representatives of voluntary sector organisations who work with minority ethnic communities.

What will the advisory group do?
You will be invited to join three meetings of the advisory group over the course of the project: in November 2021, June 2022 and January 2023. (Dates will be confirmed based on members’ availability.) At these meetings, you will have the opportunity to help shape the research design, the research methods, and the strategy for communicating the findings. You will also be invited to contribute to the analysis of data as part of the group. The advisory group will be a key part of the project, ensuring the research captures important information using appropriate methods and in a sensitive way. 

We hope to meet in person in Belfast, but meetings will be online if Covid restrictions require. This is a voluntary role, but group members’ travel costs will be paid and refreshments will be provided.

How will taking part benefit me?
Through your involvement, you will have the chance to shape the research programme and how we use the information we collect to benefit other young people and families in Northern Ireland. You will also gain experience of contributing to a research project. No prior knowledge is necessary – we will give you some training on the research process to help you in the role.

Towards the end of the project, you will be able to attend a workshop to speak to policymakers, voluntary organisations and other agencies about the research. Finally, we hope you will enjoy meeting and sharing experiences and ideas with other advisory group members. There will be lots of opportunity for discussion in a friendly, fun and supportive environment.

How do I apply?
Please send an email with a short paragraph (no more than 200 words) outlining why you would like to be involved in the project to Dr Rebecca Loader, project researcher, at by Friday 12 November 2021.

Things like spelling, punctuation and grammar are not important – we’re just keen to know what interests you about the research. If we receive more emails than we have places on the group, we will select the applicants that we think offer a good mix of perspectives.