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Re-Mapping Autism Research in the UK: Identifying Priorities for the Decade Ahead

Breaking News: US spends 18 times more on autism research than UK

Levels of autism research in the UK fall way behind those of the US, finds new research The research, undertaken on behalf of Research Autism, is published today by the Centre for Research in Autism and Education (CRAE) at the Institute of Education (IOE), London and King’s College London’s Institute of Psychiatry.

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House of Commons Reception, 3 May 2012. Launch of the Re-Mapping Project.

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Child with autism and teacher looking at globe

Project Area: Systematic survey which summarises the current state of UK research activity on autism.

Lead Researcher: Professor Tony Charman

Institution: Centre for Research in Autism and Education, Institute of Education, University of London

Status: Underway

Length: 15 months from the point at which funding is secured

Method: Systematic literature review, along with interviews of individuals with autism, carers, researchers and others

Likely impact:

This project will

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Re-Mapping Autism Research in the UK: Online Survey Launch

This survey is part of the Re-Mapping Autism Research in the UK project currently being carried out by CRAE in partnership with Research Autism. Re-Mapping seeks to summarize the current state of autism research in the UK, identify any gaps in current research and pinpoint priorities for the future.

The survey can be accessed at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/37NLVLQ. It gives autistic people, their parents/carers and professionals working in the field the opportunity to have their say on current autism research and, importantly, about their hopes and aspirations for future research. As the focus of the study is autism research in the UK, we are specifically looking for views from the UK community.

We are keen to capture the views of as many people as possible to ensure that our findings represent the views of the entire autism community. The survey takes approximately 10-15 minutes to complete and all of the questions are non-technical; you don’t have to be an expert on autism research to take part. The survey will remain open until 12th February. The responses we receive will form part of the final Re-Mapping report to be launched in May 2013. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions about the survey or the Re-Mapping project in general.

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Additional Information

This project is designed to identify the priorities for autism research over the next decade. We will achieve this by identifying and evaluating the existing research in this area and by soliciting the views of people with autism, parents of people with autism and autism researchers.

It is essential that we have an up-to-date understanding of what research is taking place and where, to ensure that future activity is co-ordinated and rational. In order to direct funds where they are most needed, there needs to be an exercise which summarises the current state of the field in terms of UK research activity and spending, that consults parents, people with autism, researchers, funders and government agencies about future priorities, and places UK research within a European and international context. Parents and carers, and people with autism, are rarely actively engaged in the research process – in saying how an issue is researched, how it becomes funded, who undertakes the research and so on. This re-mapping exercise will continue a much-needed dialogue between these communities and researchers, and enable parents and people with autism potentially to actively shape the future UK research agenda.

By undertaking a systematic study of current research, this project will identify areas of urgent need and gaps in research, and inform the research agenda for the next decade. In so doing, it will help to unlock the potential of people with autism in the UK, support their families, and contribute to scientific understanding and knowledge. The project also has the potential to ensure that research funding is targeted to areas where it is most needed – as decided by the communities for whom scientific research is most relevant – over the coming decade.

This project will build on and update a similar project undertaken by Professor Charman in 2004, which was published as Charman T., Clare P. (2004). Mapping autism research: identifying UK priorities for the future London: National Autistic Society.

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Last Updated : 18/06/2013   Back to Top

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