Announcing Our 2021 Graduate Research Grantees | Organization for Autism Research

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OAR is pleased to announce the recipients of its 2021 Graduate Research Grants. The program awards up to $1,000 to master’s students and $2,000 to those in doctoral programs to conduct research related to autism. This year, OAR is awarding 10 grants totaling $17,599.68. These new grants add up to more than $305,755 awarded to fund 171 graduate research studies since 2004.

The funding for two of these grants was provided through the generosity of Team Robby, a dedicated group of individuals who raised $55,000 for OAR in memory of Robby Schulz.  Robby, who passed away last year in an accident at the age of 14, was an energetic, enthusiastic teenager who loved Minecraft, interacting with other people, and making jokes, especially puns. The funds raised by his family will be used to support an applied research study and four OAR scholarships in addition to two of these graduate grants.

OAR received 40 study proposals this year. Members of the OAR Scientific Council, a group of 20 autism professionals from a variety of fields and backgrounds, reviewed and scored each proposal. Their evaluation was based on three key criteria:

  • Alignment with OAR’s research priorities
  • Methodological soundness
  • Relevance of potential findings for those affected by autism 

In keeping with OAR’s dedication to high quality research, only the best of the best were selected for funding.

Congratulations to the 2021 grant recipients:

  • Claudia Abbiati, University of Vermont and State Agricultural College: Communication is Movement: Speech and Gesture Motor Control and Coordination in Adolescents with Mild Autism
  • Rebecca Bradley, University of Arkansas: Emergency Service Use in Youth and Young Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder: Predictors and Family Perspectives
  • Abigail Moretti, Rowan University: Pilot Study: The Acceptability and Feasibility of Virtual Parent Acceptance and Commitment Therapy Groups
  • Rose Morlino, University of Georgia: The Effect of Unit Price on Problem Behavior and Academic Compliance
  • Haven Niland, University of North Texas: Stimulus Prompts in Tablet-based Instruction: An Assessment with Children with Autism
  • Ciara Ousley, Pennsylvania State University: Coaching Families of Young Children with Autism and Minimal Speech in Naturalistic Developmental Behavioral Strategies Using Video Feedback
  • Lauramarie Pope, Pennsylvania State University: Comparison of the Efficacy of Text-based vs Picture-based AAC Systems to Maximize Outcomes for Preschool Children with ASD
  • Ana Ramirez, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley: Perceptions of Bilingualism in Bilingual Autistic Children
  • Lindsay Rentschler, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill: Effectiveness & Feasibility of a Webinar-Based Daily Living Skills Intervention for Caregivers of Adolescents with Autism without Intellectual Disability
  • Sarah Wiegand, University of Georgia: Training Part C Providers to Screen for Autism Spectrum Disorder Using an Online Training Module: A Pilot Study

For inquiries regarding the Graduate Research Grant Program or for more information on the 2022 funding cycle, please call OAR at 703-243-3466 or e-mail .


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