Ready, set, co(produce): a co-operative inquiry into co-producing research to explore adolescent health and wellbeing in the Born in Bradford Age of Wonder project

Publication authors

David Ryan, Hannah Nutting, Chloe Parekh, Suzie Crookes, Lauren Southgate, Kenzie Caines, Phoebe Dear, Abel John, Muhammed Adnan Rehman, Dawn Davidson, Usayd Abid, Lewis Davidson, Katy A. Shire & Rosemary R. C. McEachan



Co-production of research with communities and stakeholders is recognised as best practice, but despite this, transparent reporting and reflective accounts on co-producing research is lacking. Born in Bradford Age of Wonder (AoW) is a large longitudinal health research project, following the health trajectories of up to 30,000 young people across the Bradford district; moreover, AoW has been entirely co-produced with teachers, parents, and young people. This paper describes the co-production of the Born in Bradford Age of Wonder (AoW) project and shares general reflections on co-production from peer researchers involved in co-producing AoW.


A co-operative inquiry (CI) approach was used to gather written reflections on co-production from ten peer researchers (one teacher, one parent, eight young people) involved in co-producing the AoW project. Written reflections were collected and rough “themes” were identified using thematic analysis.


Four key ‘themes’ were identified: (1) promoting young people’s voice and views (2) identifying impacts of co-production, (3) fostering a collaborative ethos, and (4) suggested improvements to the co-production work in AoW. Peer researchers’ reflections highlighted how co-production can positively impact research projects such as AoW, whilst also holding broader benefits including giving young people a voice, facilitating their personal development, and fostering a collaborative ethos both within AoW and with partner organisations. Suggested improvements to AoW co-production included supporting greater numbers of young people and researchers to engage in co-production, organising more regular sessions, and establishing clearer communication channels.


Peer researchers’ reflections highlight positive impacts of engaging in co-production, both for research projects (including AoW) and for peer researchers’ personal and professional development. That said, continued efforts are needed in AoW to meet young people’s needs and interests, maintain trusting relationships, and foster sustained growth of co-production efforts within and beyond the AoW project. Evaluation of AoW co-production, along with wider partnership building are key to these efforts.