The distinctions and descriptions of our research approach that follow here may seem irrelevant to readers who see themselves as mainly practitioners. However, our experience with this project has shown us how easy it is to underestimate - even discount - the extent to which EU policy and practice is driven by traditional forms of research and evaluation, rooted in a view of society - and science - that is limited in its reach and impact. In Part III, we shall explore this tension further, suggesting that the failure to explore this connection and its influence on EU policy and practice has significant consequences for both young people and professionals. But first, we wish to introduce ourselves, and the work we undertook together over three years.