Study Title: Sharing the Stories
Name of Researchers: Nishad Khanna, The Students Commission of Canada,
Dr. Benjamin Kutsyuruba, Faculty of Education, Queen’s University,
Dr. Heather Lawford, Department of Psychology, Bishop’s University,
Dr. Heather Ramey, Child and Youth Studies, Brock University
We are inviting participants in this program to take part in a research study called Sharing the Stories. Sharing the Stories examines how participants engage in this program. This research is led by the Students Commission of Canada, a national charitable organization that purposely works with others to help create a world where young people are valued and heard and their ideas for improving themselves, the lives of their peers and communities are put into action.
You are being asked to participate because you are an expert in your experience; your voice helps us learn how programs impact participants, their communities and the systems they live in. We think this research is important because participants should have a say in the decisions and policies that directly affect their lives and well-being.
What are the risks?
Participation in this study is voluntary. There is no obligation for you to say yes to take part in this study. The risks of this study are minimal, namely that we may ask sensitive or personal questions. You don’t have to answer any questions you don’t want to. You can stop participating at any time without penalty. If you experience any strong emotional responses to any material, please connect with your program staff or the Students Commission of Canada facilitator leading the data collection, who can connect you with supports. There are no direct benefits to you for participating in this study unless you are informed by your program staff or Students Commission facilitator that there is a budget for a small gift voucher honorarium of $25.
We will keep your data securely indefinitely. Your confidentiality will be protected to the extent possible by replacing your name with a unique code for all data and in all publications. The code list linking real names with unique codes will be stored separately and securely from the data. Other than the research team, only research assistants who have signed a Confidentiality Agreement will have access to any of the data.
There are three circumstances in which we may need to share your personal information with a third party. These are:
- If you are under 16 years old and share that you are being abused or are currently at risk of being abused, the information must be reported to a local child welfare agency by law.
- If you share that you are planning to harm yourself, we must get you help.
- If you share that you have endangered the life of someone, or are about to do so, we have to contact the proper authorities.
The Queen’s General Research Ethics Board (GREB) may request access to study data to ensure that the research team is meeting their ethical obligations while conducting this study. GREB is bound by confidentiality and will not share any personal information. (Please note: GREB communicates in English only).
How will it work?
If you agree to participate, over the course of your participation in this program, you may have a number of different opportunities to share your voice.
You may be asked to complete a survey either on paper, on-line, through texting, or apps or social media on your phone. Depending on the number of surveys you are being asked to complete, this may take between 10 and 30 minutes. Your survey results will be added to the survey results of youth, young adults, and adults across the country and analyzed to identify trends and changes. No one will know how you answered any questions—your responses will be anonymized in the research. If you decide that you want to withdraw from the study, you can do so for three months after completing the study by contacting Nishad Khanna at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Focus groups and interviews:
You may be asked to participate in focus groups or interviews either in-person, on the phone, or via on-line/social media video conferencing (like Zoom). Focus groups and interviews may take between 30 and 90 minutes depending on the size of the group and degree of engagement, i.e., if more information/experiences are shared, the focus group may take longer. Focus groups and interviews may be transcribed by a SCC team member who has signed a confidentiality form. The transcripts will be analyzed for common themes and trends. We will include quotes from some of the focus groups/interviews when presenting our findings. However, we will never include any real names with quotes, and we will do our best to make sure quotes do not include information that could indirectly identify participants. During the interview or focus group, please let us know if you say anything you do not want quoted.
Please note that in focus groups, we can assure our own confidentiality, but we can’t guarantee that other participants will maintain confidentiality. Please consider this when you respond to questions.
You can withdraw consent for your interview from the study for three months after completing the study by contacting Nishad Khanna at email@example.com; however, withdrawing consent for a focus group is not possible because we will not be able to identify your responses by voice or in the anonymized notes or transcription, or the removal of your responses may compromise another participant’s responses. You can request the removal of your quote from an evaluation or research report by contacting Nishad Khanna at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Arts-and activity-based methods:
You may be asked to participate in arts-and/or activity-based evaluation in-person, online or via social media (ex. Instagram posts). These arts- and/or activity-based evaluations may take between 30 and 90 minutes, depending on the size of the group and the degree of engagement, i.e., if more individuals share their experiences, it will take longer. You can choose to allow all, parts, or none of your contributions for research use. Materials you create may be shared in reports; however, we will never include any real names with your art work.
We will take notes and/or audio record the discussion. Audio will be transcribed by a SCC team member who has signed a confidentiality form. The transcripts will be analyzed for common themes and trends. We will include quotes when presenting our findings. However, we will never include any real names with quotes, and we will do our best to make sure quotes do not include information that could indirectly identify participants. During the discussion, please let us know if you say anything you do not want quoted.
You may withdraw from the study for three months after completing the study by contacting Nishad Khanna at email@example.com. However, if any of your contributions are linked to group contributions (e.g. you helped create a collage from photographs, or something you said sparked group discussion), your contributions will be difficult to remove and may still be used.
We may be collecting information about you and how you identify, as well as your experiences in programming. We hope to publish the results of this study in academic journals and present them at conferences. All information will be presented at the group level. There will be no way to trace your responses directly to you—the data will be anonymized. This means your name will not be connected to any of your responses or the study in general.
This study has been reviewed for ethical compliance by the Queen’s University General Research Ethics Board (GREB). If you have any ethics concerns please contact the General Research Ethics Board (GREB) at 1-844-535-2988 (Toll free in North America) or chair.GREB@queensu.ca.
If you have any questions about the research, please contact Dr. Benjamin Kutsyuruba at firstname.lastname@example.org or 613-533-3049 or Nishad Khanna at email@example.com or 416-597-8297.
This Letter of Information provides you with the details to help you make an informed choice. All your questions should be answered to your satisfaction before you decide whether or not to participate in this research study.
Please note: You have not waived any legal rights by consenting to participate in this study.
Keep one copy of the Letter of Information for your records and/or find the Letter of Information on-line through the Sharing the Stories website.