Application to recruit research participants or involve the autism community in research
Information and criteria for advertising to Autistica's Insight Group, Discover or ASD-UK
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You can use this form to apply to any of the following, you may apply for more than one in the same application, more details about each is provided below:
Involve autism and autistic community members in research via Autistica's Insight Group
Recruit research participants via Autistica's Discover network
Recruit research participants via the Autism Spectrum Database UK (ASD-UK), which is a partnership between Newcastle University and Autistica
Autistica is the UK’s national autism research charity. We work to ensure every autistic person has the chance of a long, happy, healthy life. Our mission is to:
Improve outcomes for autistic people of all ages through world-class research
Grow autism research in the UK through innovative collaborations with other funders, campaigning for increased state investment and developing capacity and infrastructure within the research community
Be the bridge between researchers, policymakers and people affected by autism, ensuring that services are evidence-based and research responds to the autism community’s needs and desires
To help achieve this mission we help UK-based autism researchers to involve the autism and autistic communities in every stage of the research process and to recruit people to participate in research.
Autistica manage an Insight Group of 250 autistic adults, parents and carers of autistic people. The Insight Group work with Autistica and with autism researchers across the UK to improve the way autism research is conducted. Insight group members help ensure that:
Taking part in research is a positive experience for autistic people
Assessments used in research studies are appropriate for autistic people
Research focuses on what matters most to autistic people
Research materials are autism-appropriate
Public events are autism-friendly
Websites, articles and blog posts are easy to understand
Insight Group members help by attending workshops or discussion panels, monitoring research projects, giving feedback on planned research protocols.
The Insight Group is not designed to recruit people to take part in a research project, this option is available below.
Please note, if your application to our insight group is successful, you will be required to pay each member who gives you insights on your project an involvement fee in return for their expertise, this fee is fixed and has been set in accordance with the
NIHR INVOLVE guidelines
, detailed in the table below.
1/2 day (3.5 hours)
If you are interested in involving members of our Insight Group in your research project, please complete this application form and indicate that you wish to involve autistic people and/or their family members or supporters in your research.
If you have any questions about our Insight Group, please email Bethan Davies,
Recruiting participants through Discover
We have over 11,000 members of Discover who are autistic people, professionals who work with autistic people, autism researchers and parents or family members of autistic people. Our members want to hear about and take part in the latest autism research happening across the UK. We don't know where in the country they are based, so you will not be able to target your recruitment and we cannot guarantee that there will be members that fit your criteria. Advertising via Discover is free of charge.
If you would like us to advertise a study you are running via an email to Discover, please complete this application form and indicate that you would like to recruit participants via Discover.
If your application is successful and meets our criteria for advertising via Discover, then we will notify you about the next steps needed for us to advertise your study.
Recruiting through ASD-UK
We partner with Newcastle University to provide the Autism Spectrum Database for the UK (ASD-UK). ASD-UK is the UK’s research register including families of children diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), who can be contacted about taking part in research.
Almost 5,000 families have joined (including over 2,000 families living in the North East). The ASD-UK families are
broadly representative of UK families of children with ASD
If you would like us to advertise a study you are running via ASD-UK, please complete this application and indicate that you would like to recruit participants via ASD-UK.
Your application will be reviewed by the ASD-UK research committee. This committee is run by Autistica with input from researchers from Newcastle University and parents of autistic children from Autistica's Insight Group.
Advertising via ASD-UK is more targeted than Discover, and we can tell you in advance how many participants will broadly meet your criteria, including how many live within a given area and so this opportunity is suited to opportunities that involve participants attending in person. ASD-UK is also well suited to studies conducted online, by post or by telephone. An advantage of ASD-UK is that de-identified demographic information can be provided about those who don't respond which can help in determining the representativeness of your final sample.
Using ASD-UK has an associated cost
Partnering with Autistica
If you think running a research project in partnership with Autistica would better suit your proposed study, please get in touch with us on
and we can discuss this possibility.
To complete this form, you will need:
For involvement opportunities via the Insight Group
Descriptive information about the opportunity being advertised
The number of people you wish to consult
The Involvement fee you will be paying
For research participation opportunities via Discover
Details of your study design
Description of the sample(s) you wish to recruit, including inclusion/exclusion criteria and sample size justifications
The ethical review status of your project (you may apply before submitting your ethics application, but the opportunity will only be advertised once ethical approval has been secured)
Details of any community involvement you have had in designing this study (this is not a prerequisite)
Information about the pre-registration of your study design and/or analysis plan (this is not a prerequisite)
For research participation opportunities via ASD-UK
The study protocol
Evidence of that your study design has been independently peer reviewed by researchers outside of your team
Information about whether your research is funded – including an award letter, if applicable
The participant’s information sheet(s), including where applicable, those aimed at adult or children participants, parent/carer’s, teachers or any other groups who need to consent to your study
Questionnaires/measures being used, if applicable and if they can be shared without infringing copyright
Anything else you would like us to send to families, e.g. email, text or expression of interest form (this should include space for parents to provide you with their contact details)
A list of criteria for recruitment, e.g. number of participants you would like to recruit, geographical location, inclusion/exclusion criteria
Evidence that ethical approval has been granted or provide evidence this is not necessary.
A letter confirming sponsorship of the research (i.e. which organisation will take overall responsibility for conduct of the research, governance, and insurance)
Please contact the Discover team (0203 746 2673 | firstname.lastname@example.org) if you have any questions about completing this application form or if you require an accessible format of this application.
If you have not had a response within 2 weeks of submitting your application, please contact us directly.
Download a word document version of this form
- this is for your reference only; all applications must be submitted via this online form.
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. The information submitted on this form will be kept confidential, if you apply to ASD-UK the documents you submit will be shared with members of the ASD-UK research committee to allow them to review the suitability of your application.