Centre for Innovation and Research in Childhood and Youth


The Centre for Innovation and Research in Childhood and Youth was established by Professor Rachel Thomson in 2012 as part of a major university investment in the interdisciplinary field of childhood and youth.

The Centre’s work is distinguished in three ways. It is:

  • Interdisciplinary - combining the best of the social sciences, sciences, arts, humanities and professions
  • International - concerned with the interaction between global processes and local consequences
  • In the real world - aiming to make a positive difference to the lives of children and young people, and working closely with policy makers, professionals and young people and their families nationally and internationally.

CIRCY provides a space for collaboration, creativity and capacity-building to support new research activity, knowledge exchange and collaboration with research users, and related enterprise. Our research is conceptualised in relation to five over-arching thematic areas: childhood publics; digital childhoods; emotional lives; good childhoods and (extra)ordinary children; and methodological innovation.

We host a regular programme of events, including seminars, workshops and other activities. Most of our events are open to external visitors, and we engage in a range of activities to share expertise, promote good practice and exchange knowledge.

We also provide a stimulating environment for doctoral students working in the area of childhood, youth and family studies, as well as a destination for visiting researchers.

CIRCY also nurtures synergies between research activity and the teaching curriculum through an undergraduate Bachelors and a postgraduate Masters course, as well as the provision of specialist training in research methods with children and young people for Masters and doctoral researchers.