At this year's Discover Conference, awards were given to three early-career researchers who have done outstanding work to further autism science. 

We’re incredibly proud to play a role in supporting autism research in the UK, research that has real-world impact, putting the autistic community at the centre of the scientific process and making a real difference to the lives of autistic people.

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Involvement Award:

Dr Sarah Cassidy

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Sarah is based at the University of Nottingham where her research aims to understand and prevent suicide in autistic people. Together they have identified autism community priorities for future suicide prevention research and public policy. 

Sarah works in partnership with autistic people and their allies to better understand and prevent suicide in autism. Involvement of the autism community has ensured that Sarah’s research is ethically acceptable, sensitively conducted and useful to those affected by the research.

Read more about Sarah's research.

Real-World Impact Award:

Dr Jade Norris

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Jade is based at the Centre for Applied Autism Research at The University of Bath where her research focuses on developing questioning support to alleviate autistic people’s difficulties in reporting personal information in important interviews.

Jade also created the Ambassadors for Autism scheme where service providers and employers become Ambassadors by pledging to offer adaptations, including modifying communication, adapting the environment to reduce sensory overload, and providing additional or adapted materials.

Read more about Jade's research.

Reproducible Autism Science Award:

Dr Cathy Manning

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Cathy is based at the University of Oxford where her research aims to understand how autistic children experience sensory information differently to those without autism.

Cathy has made data open and freely accessible for all of the studies she has conducted where participants consented to this, and has invested endless hours making sure that her code and data are also understandable and easy to read. As well as making here data open, Cathy has also pre-registered her analysis plan for two studies she has done. 

She also works with students she supervises to teach and encourage the next generation of autism scientists to commit to open science practices.

Read more about Cathy's research.