Teenovate Youth Advisory Board Applications For 2022 Are Closed

Here at the Socio-Technical Interaction Research Lab, we strive to foster best practices and tools for adolescent online safety. We do this by conducting research studies with teenagers to empower them, by giving them greater control over how they interact through social media and online communities. However, our researchers need your help in designing, creating and conducting these research studies, because your voice matters.

You can work with researchers at STIR Lab within our Teenovate research team in monthly meetings, helping us to improve and make our research studies more teen-centered. As a member of the Teenovate Youth Advisory Board, you’ll get the opportunity to experience the world of Human-Centered Computing research firsthand, while providing valuable feedback to our research teams, and you may even get to help launch all-new research projects with the Teenovate team! We also offer a $10/hour wage to our board members over the course of their year-long membership.

Membership Requirements:
-Must be between 13-17 years of age
-Fluent in English (Reading and Writing)
-Able to attend both monthly one-hour virtual meeting and four-hour bi-monthly virtual meetings
-Have access to a working computer/smartphone and internet connection

Application Timeline:
January 24th
: Applications Open
March 7th: Applications Closed (Extended Deadline)
March 11th: All final candidates invited to interview stage
March 21st: Board members are selected and invited to begin orientation process.

Interested in joining? Answers to commonly asked questions can be found below. If you have further questions or concerns about the Youth Advisory Board, please email Neeraj Chatlani (Teenovate Lab Manager) at nchatlani@knights.ucf.edu

Youth Advisory Board FAQ

Teenovate aims to be a program for adolescents (ages 13-17) that engages teens as co-researchers and co-designers in the development and evaluation of online safety solutions that empower youth. Launched in 2019, Teenovate has partnered with over 85 teens to tackle important topics ranging from cyberbullying, sexting and digital mental health, to safety, and privacy concerns relevant to the lives of modern-day teens. We take a socio-ecological approach to risk-resilience by promoting the core values of teen self-regulation, active parent-teen communication, and peer support in online safety solutions that protect and empower teens. The objective of the Teenovate Youth Advisory Board is to go beyond engaging teens as end users and research participants, to have teens steer and shape the design of our research activities. Our objective is to ensure that Teenovate prioritizes the most relevant and timely issues confronting teens online. We are forming this Youth Advisory Board to have teens in the United States work with our Teenovate team to improve the design of our ongoing and planned research studies, as well as helping us to concentrate our research efforts on the most relevant online safety issues for teens
Teenagers use the internet in several aspects of their everyday lives. This includes many different kinds of social interaction, whether through the use of social media or messaging apps, on their computers and smart phones. Additionally, teens are at a developmental stage where they explore their social boundaries. However, exploring social boundaries through online interaction can sometimes result in situations which make teenagers feel unsafe or uncomfortable online. Adolescent Online Safety refers to a field of research which considers the best practices for teens to use in their everyday online interactions, which can help them cope with and resolve these unsafe situations. This can also include the development and use of special technologies/online safety tools to assist teens in protecting themselves during situations which may make them feel unsafe.
Youth Advisory Boards are typically made by research institutions, often in hospitals or schools, to bring in interested youths who will review the ongoing work of the institution and provide relevant feedback which is used to improve the appeal of the work to teenagers, and ensure that the results are created in a way which benefits teens as much as possible. Within the Teenovate program, our goal is to address adolescent online safety issues in a way that centers the design of our concepts and technologies on teens' own needs, as current online safety solutions have a tendency to take agency away from the teen rather than empower them to resolve their own online safety situations. Through the Youth Advisory Board, we want to work with teens to ensure that our research activities fully align with the needs of teens as they interact with other online in their everyday lives.
By participating in the Youth Advisory Board, you will be able to work with User Experience researchers at the highest level, providing feedback on our future Teenovate research programs and having your input be included in the design of all our future work. Through regular meetings with the Teenovate research team over the course of the year, you'll be able to gain valuable research experience, and even get the opportunity to launch new research projects with us. Throughout the year, we will also offer research training sessions and scholarly opportunities like college preparation workshops and volunteer hours. We also ensure that every board member is paid $10/hour every month for the time and effort they invest into their work with the Teenovate team.
The Teenovate Youth Advisory Board will hold virtual meetings every month to review current and planned studies with the research team, where you will be asked to share your feedback and work with the researchers to improve the study designs. Materials and drafts for these study designs will be sent to all board members before meetings, and members will be expected to review these documents before every meetings. During meetings, we may also review mock prototypes of technology that we are developing in the lab, and/or do mock sessions for research studies. The board will also hold half-day, in-person meetings every other month at the STIR Lab, at the University of Central Florida's main campus. Food will be provided at these meetings and we will reimburse all board members for transportation costs. These meetings will be used for both research study reviews and training workshops with the Teenovate research team. Outside of meetings, board members and the Teenovate team will communicate online using preferred means of the board members, and all members are expected to stay up to date with daily communication and notices from the research team.
Applications for the 2022 Teenovate Youth Advisory Board are currently closed. If you have any questions about the Youth Advisory Board, or would like to find out how to join next year's board, please contact nchatlani@knights.ucf.edu