RAY research activities aim to apply an interdisciplinary approach, in particular referring to sociology, political science and educational science. In this respect, RAY research activities can apply diverse social and educational research methods – quantitative, qualitative as well as a mix of different methods and instruments: multilingual surveys with project participants, project leaders and key staff of beneficiary organisations; case studies of selected projects; interviews and focus groups with different actors involved in Erasmus+: Youth in Action etc.
For a wider public and academic discourse of the research results, RAY aims at an exchange with policy makers and other researchers. The RAY Network is committed to disseminate the research outcomes and results in an adequate and effective way to (potentially) interested audiences.
The RAY research programme currently includes seven research projects:
- Research-based analysis and monitoring of Erasmus+: Youth in Action aims at contributing to monitoring and developing Erasmus+: Youth in Action and the quality of projects supported by it. This activity is a joint activity of all RAY network partners (ongoing).
- A research project on the long-term effects of Erasmus+: Youth in Action on participation and citizenship of the actors involved, in particular on the development of participation and citizenship competences and practices. 12 network members are involved in this project (ongoing).
- A research project on competence development and capacity building of youth workers and youth leaders involved in training/support activities in Erasmus+: Youth in Action; it also explores the effects of Erasmus+: Youth in Action on the organisations involved. This projects involves 17 National Agencies of the Erasmus+: Youth in Action Programme and their researchers (ongoing).
- Research-based analysis and monitoring of the European Solidarity Corps aims to explore a broad scope of aspects of the European Solidarity Corps and to share the research findings with different actors and stakeholders; furthermore, it seeks to contribute to the development of the projects supported by it as well as of the programme itself. All RAY partners of countries involved in the European Solidarity Corps are part of this project, currently 27 (started with a pre-study in 2019).
- A research project on the impact, role and potential of the strategic partnerships and cooperation in Erasmus+ Youth in Action (under Key Action 2) as instruments to foster innovation and exchange of good practices in the youth sector and related fields. The project partners are 16 RAY network members (started in 2019).
- A research project on strategies and practices for organisational development and learning of organisations and networks in the European youth sector. 14 National Agencies of the Erasmus+ Youth in Action Programme and their researchers are involved (started in 2019).
- A research project on approaches to participation and citizenship education and learning in Erasmus+ Youth in Action, in particular in respect to a European dimension; furthermore it also explores how the competences necessary to implement these approaches can be developed. The research design will be based on findings of the RAY research project on long-term effects on E+ YiA on participation and citizenship and on the research-based analysis and monitoring of E+ YiA. This project involves 9 RAY network members (will start in April 2019).