1. Information about applying to recruit research participants or involve the autistic community in research

Please submit one application per research study.

You can use this form to apply to:
  • Involve autism community members in the research process via the Autistica Insight Group
  • Recruit research participants via the Autistica network
  • Both involve the autism community and recruit participants for the same study

Who can apply?
Researchers who are currently completing or who previously completed a PhD and who are based at a university or NHS Trust in the UK. Researchers will be responsible for managing safeguarding of all participants, and therefore must be familiar with their institution's safeguarding policies. You will be asked to demonstrate this in your application. Applications that do not meet these criteria will not be approved.

Please note that we receive a high volume of requests. For Network facilitation, it is advisable to submit the form at least 2 months in advance of your closing date for recruitment, and for Insight Group involvement 2 months in advance of the involvement start date, to allow us to review all the information; we may need to contact you for further information before we can share your study.

We recommend that researchers are attentive to Autistica’s values and goals, and the priorities and interests of the Autistic community, in the design of their research. Consulting with Autistica’s coproduced 2030 Goal Plans and the James Lind Alliance Top 10 priorities for autism research can help to identify areas of priority. Requests with missing information will not be circulated.

Please note the Autism Spectrum Database (ASD-UK) is closed to applications.

If you have any questions about the application form or processes, please email research@autistica.org.uk
Involve community members via our Insight Group
Our Insight Group consists of 300 members of the autism community who wish to be involved in research, including:
  1. autistic adults
  2. non-autistic parents and carers of autistic children and adults
  3. autistic parents and carers of autistic children and adults
Our Insight Group work as peer researchers on autism research across the UK to improve the way research is conducted. For example, identifying if research questions are a community priority, advising researchers about whether their assessments, materials and testing environments are accessible and acceptable for autistic people, and giving their interpretations of study findings. 

Projects involving Insight Group members should be long-term opportunities involving no more than 5 individuals. For input from larger groups or one-off involvement, researchers should direct this to the wider Autistica Network. Researchers should have funding available to pay involvement fees (see below) and expenses (e.g. travel), and should be prepared to provide any necessary training needed to involve Insight Group members in their projects.

We require an involvement fee be paid to each person involved in return for their expertise. Involvement fees are fixed and have been set in accordance with the NIHR INVOLVE guidelines, detailed below.
Time Cost
1 hour £25
1/2 day (3.5 hours) £75
Full day (7 hours) £150
Recruit research participants via the Autistica Network
We have over 16,000 members of the Autistica Network who are willing to be contacted about taking part in autism research happening across the UK, including:
  1. autistic adults
  2. parents, carers and family members of autistic children and adults
  3. professionals who work with autistic people
  4. autism researchers
We will not share any calls regarding research that we feel may cause harm to participants or where potential harms may be unclear. We also recommend that where procedures will take over 30 minutes for participants to complete or involve high cognitive demand, researchers ensure there is appropriate reimbursement/compensation, such as individual payments at least in line with minimum wage, or a draw  for a voucher (please avoid using the term “prize draw” in any text intended to be shared with the public, we recommend “random draw” as an alternative). We may reject requests where we feel participants will not be sufficiently compensated for their time or effort.