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The Graduate Research Grant program awards up to $1,000 each to master’s students and $2,000 each to doctoral students conducting research related to autism. This year, OAR awarded eight grants totaling $13,655.12.These new grants add up to more than $305,755 to fund 179 graduate research studies since 2004.  

OAR received 32 study proposals this year. Members of the OAR Scientific Council, a group of 19 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 was selected for funding. “OAR’s Graduate Grant program is, personally, one of my favorite programs we offer,” says Peter Gerhardt, OAR’s Scientific Council chairman. “In many ways, I see it as an investment in the future of both quality research and talented researchers.”     

Congratulations to the recipients of this year’s Graduate Research Grants! 

2022 Grant Recipients 

  • Katie Alvarez, University of Oregon: Cultural Adaptation of Prevent-Teach-Reinforce for Hispanic/Latine Children with Autism 
  • Nathan Dare, University of Missouri-Columbia: Betwixt and Between: Exploration of Liminal Experiences for Families of Children with Autism Throughout the Diagnostic and Initiation of Intervention Processes 
  • Faith Frost, James Madison University: Interpretation of Indirect Requests by Autistic Adults 
  • Jessica Goldblum, University of North Carolina: Toddler Remote Assessment of Virtual Eye Tracking and Language (TRAVEL) Study 
  • Amani Khalil, Purdue University: Understanding the Help-Seeking Experiences of Asian American Caregivers of Children with Autism: A Qualitative Study 
  • Jessica Pappagianopoulos, University of Virginia: Role-Playing Game-Based Social Skills Intervention for Autistic Adolescents: A Pilot Study 
  • Rachel Rivera, University of Rochester: Persistent Picky Eating: Investigating the Developmental Phenomenon in Autistic and Non-autistic Young Adults 
  • Emily Thompson, Vanderbilt University: Effects of Remote Microphone System Use in Home Environments of Preschool Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) 

For inquiries regarding the Graduate Research Grant Program or for more information on the 2023 funding cycle, please call OAR at 703-243-3466 or e-mail