Young Researchers for Social Impact


 
The Young Researchers for Social Impact program is a one-of-its-kind month-long online engagement designed to immerse high school students in live research projects with YLAC’s partner organizations. Candidates are carefully selected, trained and mentored over a period of four weeks to build their capacity as critical thinkers and problem solvers who can leverage the tools of research and advocacy to produce thought-provoking solutions to pressing issues that affect our societies today.
 
Projects concern contemporary issues in fields such as environment, gender, education, global health and governance, and students assist partners through research on specific problems that fall within the ambit of their broader work. Over the years, YLAC has established partnerships with an array of reputed organizations such as World Resources Institute, Teach for India, Praja, Pratham, Indus Action, Breakthrough, Haiyya, Swechha and Nipman Foundation, to name a few. Through this program, students assist either these partners or other social impact organizations that YLAC collaborates with in the run up to the program.
 
Applications to the 2020 editions of the program have now closed. For information on future editions, you can see the tentative calendar here. You may also sign up below or follow us on social media [Facebook, Instagram] for updates.
 
 
See:   2020 Schedule   |   Project Work & Program Rigour   |   Deadlines   |   Fees & Scholarships   |   Eligibility & FAQs
 


 

2020 Editions

The program is scheduled to run twice in the summer of 2020:

  • Edition I: May 30th – June 21st
  • Edition II: July 4th – July 26th

Each edition of the program spans roughly 4 weeks and includes full group learning sessions, interaction with experts and speakers as well as personalized, small-group mentoring sessions. Since the program is executed online through remote collaboration, students from across the globe/ country can participate.


 

Detailed Schedule

(IST: Indian Standard Time)

Curtain Raiser

Week 1 Saturday



Time: 11 am – 3 pm IST (4 hrs)
Breaks: 1 hr lunch break

Session 1
Introduction to the program
Foundations of Social Impact

Session 2
Interaction with partner organizations (clients)

Team Meeting & Project Work

Week 1 Sunday



Time: 11 am to 1 pm IST (2 hrs)

Session 1
Team Building

Session 2
Get started with projects – workflow planning

Mid-Week Mentor Check-In

Wednesday (6 pm - 7 pm IST)

Stakeholder Interactions & Project Review

Week 2 Saturday

Time: 11 am to 1 pm IST (2 hrs)

Session 1
Interviews with stakeholders/ experts

Session 2
Feedback on project submissions/ planning ahead

Skills & Learning Session

Week 2 Sunday



Time: 11 am – 3 pm IST (4 hrs)
Breaks: 1 hr lunch break

Session 1
What constitutes good social science research?
Case study: Identifying the right research questions

Session 2
External Speaker

Mid-Week Mentor Check-In

Wednesday (6 pm - 7 pm IST)

Client Briefing & Project Review

Week 3 Saturday


Time: 11 am to 1 pm IST (2 hrs)

Session 1
Client briefing

Session 2
Incorporating client feedback while planning ahead

Skills & Learning Session

Week 3 Sunday



Time: 11 am – 3 pm IST (4 hrs)
Breaks: 1 hr lunch break

Session 1
Case study: Critiquing research work
Case study: Translating research into action

Session 2
External Speaker

Mid-Week Mentor Check-In

Wednesday (6 pm - 7 pm IST)

Project Presentations & Peer Critique

Week 4 Saturday


 
Time: 11 am – 3 pm IST (4 hrs)
Breaks: 1 hr lunch break

Final presentations by selected groups followed by discussion and critique

Project Presentations & Peer Critique

Week 4 Sunday


 
Time: 11 am – 3 pm IST (4 hrs)
Breaks: 1 hr lunch break

Final presentations by selected groups followed by discussion and critique

Culmination & Closing

See:   Schedule   |   Project Work & Program Rigour   |   Deadlines   |   Fees & Scholarships   |   Eligibility & FAQs
 


 

Project Work & Program Rigour

 

The Young Researchers for Social Impact program is a rigorous month-long initiation for young adults into social science research. As the program is conducted online through remote engagement, students are not required to conduct field visits or collect primary data. Instead they are expected to rely on existing literature and data sources, conduct online surveys and undertake remote consultations with stakeholders/ experts for analysis.
 
Projects are sourced from a range of social impact organizations working in sectors such as health, education, governance, gender, youth empowerment, environment etc. The final output from students includes a research brief as well as an article/ opinion piece to put forward a convincing case for their recommendations.


Structure

The program is structured as follows:

  • Skills & Learning sessions: Students spend 3-4 hours every week with the entire cohort to pick up skills that inform their projects.
  • Team meetings and project work: Every weekend, students engage with their project groups for over 2 hours. YLAC mentors work with the students during this time to guide their projects.
  • Mid-week check-ins: Every Wednesday evening, students check in with their YLAC mentor to ensure that project deliverables are on track.
  • Individual work: Apart from the scheduled sessions, students continue to work remotely on their individual pieces.

Time Commitment

On average, a student is expected to spend about 20 hours per week on the program. Attendance is mandatory for all sessions. Since sessions take place outside school hours, and primarily on the weekends, the program is easily manageable with school commitments.


Evaluation & Requirements for Graduation

Attendance at program sessions is mandatory and all project work is tightly managed and supervised to control for quality. Teams are also provided detailed feedback and guidance at every stage of the process.

At the end of the program, students are given a graded certificate by YLAC highlighting the project they worked on. Graduation from the program requires regular attendance, class contribution as well as completing the assigned project work to the satisfaction of the mentors and the client.

See:   Schedule   |   Project Work & Program Rigour   |   Deadlines   |   Fees & Scholarships   |   Eligibility & FAQs
 


 

Deadlines

Scholarships deadline: 10th May, 2020 (Sunday)

Final deadline for Edition I 17th May, 2020 (Sunday)

Final deadline for Edition II: 31st May, 2020 (Sunday)
 
Applications to the program are processed on a rolling basis. Typically, applicants are informed of the admissions decision within 2-3 weeks of their candidature being filed.
 
Candidates applying for scholarships must ensure that both their program and scholarship applications reach us on or before the first deadline – 10th May, 2020. Ideally, both applications should be submitted within a week of each other.

 
See:   Schedule   |   Project Work & Program Rigour   |   Deadlines   |   Fees & Scholarships   |   Eligibility & FAQs
 


 

Fees & Scholarships

 

Program Fee

 
INR 20,000 per participant (excluding GST @18%)
 
The fee is payable only after an applicant has been selected into the program. The program is run completely online and if the student has access to a computer and an internet connection, no other expenses are anticipated.
 


Scholarships

 
We recognize that all deserving candidates may not have the means to fund their participation in the program. To support such candidates, YLAC offers need and merit based scholarships. Scholarship amounts range between 25% and 100% of the total program fee. YLAC decides on the quantum of support based on its assessment of the applicant’s merit and need.
 
Up to six applicants are offered scholarships in each edition. To be considered for a scholarship, applicants must submit additional details here.
 

See:   Schedule   |   Project Work & Program Rigour   |   Deadlines   |   Fees & Scholarships   |   Eligibility & FAQs
 


 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Should I consider joining?

The Young Researchers for Social Impact program is an opportunity for students to work on a live project with a renowned social impact organization under close supervision and personalized mentorship from YLAC. Students will pick up several important skills, such as critical thinking, structuring and breaking down problems, asking the right research questions, looking for innovative solutions and putting forward answers in a way that can build support among decision-making authorities.

Throughout the program, students will also interact with and share ideas with a carefully selected group of motivated peers. This will help them build a strong network of like-minded individuals who are passionate about similar issues and themes. The exposure will also help students strengthen their profile, build a stronger resume and open up avenues and opportunities for higher education.

2. Am I eligible to apply?

If you are studying in grades 9th to 12th and are no more than 18 years of age, you are eligible to apply. Students who are moving into class 9th or those who have just completed their class 12th exams are also eligible.

3. What are the selection criteria?

We look for talented students who wish to create an impact through research and advocacy on social issues. There are no prerequisites as such. Students are selected on the basis of their responses to the questions in a short application form.

4. What is the program duration?

The overall duration of the program is four weeks. There will be 5-6 hour sessions every weekend (Saturday and Sunday) as well as a mid-week check-in every Wednesday for an hour. Outside of these sessions, students are expected to spend 10-12 hours on individual research and writing work.

5. How is the program executed? Is it all online?

Yes! The entire program will be run online through video conferencing. A student will require access to a desktop computer/ laptop as well as a stable and reliable broadband connection to participate effectively.

6. What kind of projects will students work on?

Students will work on projects in the fields of social science and humanities. Project topics will look at contemporary issues and cover different developmental and social challenges in healthcare, education, governance, gender, youth empowerment, environment etc.

7. What does a live project imply?

'Live' implies that the output of the project feeds into/ supports the ongoing campaigns and initiatives of our partner organizations. Projects are result-oriented and tightly managed by the YLAC team to ensure the most enriching experience for our students.

8. How are projects assigned?

A team of 4-6 students works on one project. In terms of the assignment of projects, we seek preferences from students and try our best to match students with a project of their choice, but a specific allocation cannot be guaranteed.

9. Who are the project partners?

We establish partnerships with prominent NGOs and social enterprises that work across a range of subjects and social issues such as education, health, women and child rights, environmental and wildlife protection, livelihoods generation and urban governance.

10. How much time do I commit for the program?

On average, a student is expected to commit about 20 hours per week during the program. This includes 6-7 hours of online sessions per week and 10-12 hours of individual remote work for the project.

11. Who are the facilitators/ mentors for the fellowship?

The sessions are taught and facilitated by the YLAC team. Their profiles can be found on the website. During the course of the program, external speakers and staff from partner organizations are also invited to interact with our students, and engage with them on a range of issues and subjects.

12. What is the cohort size?

The cohort size is likely to be 40-55 students, divided into groups of 4-6 students to work on different projects for partner organizations.

13. Is attendance compulsory?

Yes, attendance at the sessions is mandatory. Graduation from the program requires that a student not miss more than one day during the entire duration of the program. Special circumstances can be considered on a case by case basis, but approval must be sought from YLAC facilitators in advance.

14. Do I get a certificate? Are there any specific requirements for graduation?

Yes! At the end of the program, students are given a graded certificate by YLAC highlighting the project they worked on. Graduation from the program requires regular attendance, class contribution as well as completing the assigned project work to the satisfaction of the mentors and the client.

15. What is the refund policy?

In case any unforeseen circumstances prevent you from joining the program, you can request our office to initiate the refund process. YLAC will refund 100% of your payment if the request is received 20 days before the beginning of the program. For requests received 10 days before the program, the refund amount shall be 50% of the payment received. YLAC shall not be able to issue any refunds in case the intimation reaches us at a shorter notice.

 
See:   Schedule   |   Project Work & Program Rigour   |   Deadlines   |   Fees & Scholarships   |   Eligibility & FAQs