Current autism research opportunities

bristol autism research opportunities

Bristol Autism Support is often contacted asking if we can share research opportunities with the families we support. This page is where we publicise these opportunities. If you have a research project you would like to promote, please email us here.

Bristol Autism Support has no connection with these external individuals or organisations. Any research opportunities are undertaken at the participant’s own risk and responsibility.

Music therapy research (26.07.19)

I am a postgraduate student at the University of Bristol looking for participants for my dissertation project: How do parents and music therapy teachers report on the effects of music therapy on children diagnosed with Autistic Spectrum Disorder. I hope that my findings will contribute to the research on therapies, specifically on music therapy research for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

I will be grateful if you could help distribute my email to those who would be able to take part. I am looking for participants who are:

  • A parent of a child diagnosed with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) who has been attending music therapy sessions
  • A music therapist working with children diagnosed with ASD

I’m interested in finding out how parents and music therapists report on the effects of music therapy on children diagnosed with ASD. I will carry out one-to-one interviews lasting 30-45 minutes. This will be audio-recorded.  The interview will take place in Bristol or Weston-super-Mare, either within an educational setting, the University of Bristol, at a local library meeting room or at a location convenient to the parent/therapist. Participants will be compensated for their time. 

Once I have received an email from a potential participant, I will provide them with further information about the project and will arrange an interview at a time and place that is convenient for them. If they are unable to travel, I can carry out the interview over a video call platform that they prefer, such as Skype or WhatsApp.

If you would like further information of my project and the demographics questionnaire that I will be using, please let me know and I will provide you with this in my next email. I also have an up-to-date enhanced DBS certificate. For anyone interested in taking part, they may reach me on my student email address (Zakia Begum, MSc Psychology of Education student)

Habitual thinking in autism research (18.07.19)

I am writing to you about a research project that we are currently doing in the Centre of Applied Autism Research in the University of Bath. We are looking for participants with any of the autism spectrum conditions. 

The project looks specifically into habitual thinking in autism, which is really the first of its kind and we are hoping to validate some scales to be used reliably and validly on autistic population in the future. It looks for participants over 16 (so loosely speaking, adults), with a diagnosis of an Autism Spectrum Condition, Autism, or Asperger’s. The project is as follows:

  • If a participant is interested in finding out about the study, they can review the information sheet and also ask the research team any questions they might have before deciding whether or not they want to take part.
  • If agreeable to taking part, we will send the participant a link to a set of short questionnaires. These can be completed online at their own time and pace. The questionnaires collect basic demographic information, their general health status and habits. If people prefer to complete these using paper and pencil, we will make these available by post.
  • Participants will then be invited to a meeting in the University of Bath’s Department of Psychology, where they will have a chance to give an official informed consent, and will be assisted to download a free app onto their phone for the purpose of the research.
  • The app will alert the participant 5 times a day (in a given period chosen by the participant, e.g. 5pm-8pm), for 5 days.
  • They will then be asked to record their thoughts on a “thought booklet” for each alert—each booklet will take less than 1 minute to complete.
  • They will have a chance to familiarise themselves with the booklet during the meeting.
  • At the end of the 5 days, they can just pop their booklets in a pre-paid envelope, post it back to us.
  • Finally, they will be sent a short survey to complete to provide follow-up information about the booklets.
  • They will be provided with a debriefing sheet which explains a bit more about the research study and information about support resources.

To thank the participant for their time and dedication, they will receive a £10 Amazon voucher in return. Travel expenses to and from Bath can also be reimbursed within reasonable budget. Please click here to see the recruitment poster for this research opportunity

Education transition research (15.07.19)

A student from the University of Bristol is conducting research for her MSc Psychology of Education (BPS) dissertation. She wishes to critically explore the views and perspectives of Practitioners and Parents on the impact of various aspects of transition of young people with Autism Spectrum Disorders through educational institutions. It would involve semi structured interviews (please click here to see the interview questions) and should take no longer then 10-15 minutes. To participate or for more information, please email Susan Finan

Support available to autistic students in mainstream schools (11.07.19)

My name is Alicen Keeffe and I am a student at the University of Bristol studying a Master’s degree in Disability Studies: Inclusive Theory and Practice. As part of my degree, I am conducting a research study to investigate the support available to young people with Autism in mainstream secondary schools. This research has been approved by the School for Policy Studies Research Ethics Committee at the University of Bristol on 1st July 2019. To do this I am recruiting young people with a diagnosis on the Autistic Spectrum who have experience of a mainstream secondary school. I am looking to recruit Young People aged 11-14 who have a diagnosis of Autism.

Participants will be asked to complete a short online questionnaire, this will be sent to them via email provided by their parents when they sign the consent form. If you are happy to help I will send the letters for you to pass onto the parents/guardians of any young people you feel would be suitable for the study.

Thank you for taking the time to help me with this research. I will share my findings with you upon completion of my dissertation in September, these findings will be anonymous. If you have any questions or would like to take part in the research please contact me,  Alicen Keeffe at or my supervisor, Dr Sandie Dowling at

Bilingual language use in autistic children (11.07.19)

A Cambridge PhD student is conducting research investigating bilingual language usage in autistic children/children with autism.  This project, in addition to being part of her PhD, is also in collaboration with a larger MEITS (Multilingualism Empowering Individuals Transforming Societies) OWRI project. We are looking for bilingual and monolingual children aged 3 to 11 to take part in our study. Our study has received ethical approval from the University of Cambridge Psychological Research Ethics Committee. Please click here for more information.


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BAS Admin

BAS Admin