At Children’s Hospital Boston, we use VIA to study the illness experience of children and adolescents, but this technique can be applied to the study of any socially mediated situation or condition, such as violence, teen pregnancy, the transition from high school to college, or social change in a developing country. By receiving training in the VIA method, you can learn how to apply this innovative methodology to your own work.

Who can be trained in VIA?

Anyone can do VIA. The only requirement is that you understand the method and empower your population of interest to teach you about their experience and advocate for themselves. We have mentored a wide range of established researchers, post-doctoral fellows, graduate students, medical fellows, residents, medical students, and several promising undergraduates. The method and staff are transparent in the best applications of VIA, allowing the participants to speak for themselves, since they are the experts on their lives.

How does VIA training work?

In most cases, interested individuals work with us directly for several weeks or, in some cases, years learning the VIA method, while brainstorming and designing their own research projects. We are able to provide multidisciplinary support and knowledge, while you develop research protocols, proposals, and funding to pursue studies using VIA. Much of your learning about VIA will be "hands on," continuing through the launch and execution of your project. Recognizing this, VIA staff will stay involved, learning about your successes and helping troubleshoot any difficulties you may encounter.

Where does training occur?

The researchers we mentor hail from institutions around the world. Projects have been proposed at sites across the US and as far away as South Africa and Japan. For training, we ask that you plan to spend some time with us at “VIA Central”, at Children’s Hospital Boston in Boston, Massachusetts learning the fundamentals of VIA before continuing your learning by applying it to your own research project.

What does VIA training involve?

The VIA team has created a training protocol designed to teach the method as efficiently as possible. Training in the basics can occur over the course of one intense week, but the longer you can spend working with us at "VIA Central", the better you will acquire the concepts and fundamental skills that are crucial to the successful application of VIA. Basic VIA training teaches you how to implement the method from start to finish. Specific areas of instruction include a detailed look at the data collection process, including equipment needs, recruitment, enrollment, camcorder training, field visits, and related issues. Trainees will have the opportunity to observe a field visit with the VIA Field Coordinator. The VIA Analysis Coordinator will demonstrate the analytic method with plenty of opportunity for hands-on practice. Project management and teamworking are discussed, as are many other topics individualized to the trainee. Related background reading on a variety of topics is encouraged before, during, and after the training sessions. There is a fee associated with the training to cover VIA staff time, so capitalize on it by bringing members of your research team at no extra cost! Having more people on your project who have learned VIA will make your research easier and more effective.

Sounds great! How do I sign up?

Start by contacting us to express your interest in VIA and training in our method. Please provide information about you, your background, and your ideas for using VIA so we can begin a dialogue about the possibilities!

Center on Media and Child HealthPrivacy Policy & Terms of UseChildren's Hospital Boston