Introduction:  As part of the Next Engineers program, FHI 360 will be conducting a research study to learn about how the Next Engineers Engineering Academy supports development in engineering. Since your child is applying to the Next Engineers program, FHI 360 is seeking your permission for your child to participate in this study. We want to make sure you understand what this study includes so you can decide if you want them to participate.

Study Description:  We are conducting this research study so we can identify better ways to help students learn about engineering and gain new skills. Research activities included in this study will be conducted annually and involve a student survey, a student interview, and a student focus group. Student participants will be asked about their experiences with the Next Engineers program or experience with similar classes at school. Students will also be asked about their progress through school and to share updated academic information such as what courses they are enrolled in.  The survey will take around 40 minutes to complete, and interviews and focus groups will last one hour.  

We are inviting all students who apply to the Next Engineers program to participate in this research. Your child’s participation in these activities is completely voluntary. There are no negative consequences for your child’s selection for, or participation in, the Next Engineers program if your child does not participate in the research activities. Your child may choose not to participate in all, some, or none of these research activities. Your child can also decide not to answer specific questions and/or stop participating in the research at any time. Your child does not have to provide a reason for not answering questions or for deciding to stop participating.     

Compensation: As noted previously, there will be no compensation for your participation in the survey, interview or focus group if they are selected into the Next Engineers program. Students who are not selected into the program but do choose to participate in the research will be offered a small stipend for providing their time.  Again, selection into the Next Engineers program will not depend on your or your child’s participation in the research study.

Participant Selection: This research is being done across multiple cities where there are Next Engineers programs. Once all student applications are submitted and reviewed, all eligible students will then be given an equal chance of being admitted into the Academy. This, unfortunately, means that some students may not be admitted to the Academy due to the limited number of available seats. Students admitted to the Next Engineers Academy, approximately 50 students per year in each city where the program is happening, will be asked to participate in the annual survey. Another 50 to 150 students not enrolled in the Next Engineers program will also be asked to participate in the same survey.  Approximately 24 students per year will be asked to participate in interviews, and 20 will be asked to participate in focus group discussions.