The European Commission (EC) is accepting proposals for research on the impact of information and communications technology (ICT) on children and adolescents, a topic which falls under a broader call for research that is part of the EC’s Horizon 2020 research program. Proposals should contribute to an integrative, longitudinal understanding of the potential benefits and threats of digital media use for those under 18 years old.
Applicants can submit a proposal for one of two Horizon 2020 actions, which are funding schemes that designate the scope of what is funded and the specific evaluation criteria to qualify for funding. These are:
- The Research and Innovation action (RIA), which supports funding for activities that establish new knowledge or explore new technologies through basic or applied research, technology development, etc., or
- The Coordination and Support action (CSA), which supports measures such as standardization and dissemination of information, networking, and coordination and support services between different programs and programs in different countries.
The RIA aims to provide up to 3 million euro to support investigations into young people’s online behavior for leisure and in schools, with a focus on differences among socioeconomic, gender, and age groups. Proposals should consider disparities in access to ICT and aim to explain why some youths benefit from these technologies while others are negatively impacted, especially at-risk and disadvantaged groups. Researchers should consider methodologies that assess long-term impacts of digital media on skills and competencies, wellbeing, and mental health and brain development.
The CSA seeks to award up to 1.5 million euro to proposals that establish a Pan-European coordination of research activities on children’s online behavior and potential risks. Award applicants should develop an international framework for European Union Member States and Associated Countries to address existing gaps in knowledge on improving online experiences for youth. The evidence from this work should inform policy recommendations and address emerging threats to children and young people online, especially cultural and gender-related issues, hate speech, and radicalization.
The deadline for applications is March 14, 2019.