We are now accepting abstracts and talk summaries for our 2021 Research Festival, taking place online, 12 – 16 July.

The UK’s leading autism research conference, this event will bring together autism researchers, autistic people, family members and the professionals who work with and support autistic people to discuss innovative research, barrier pushing involvement and participation work and how we can start to make real progress towards happy, healthy, long lives for all autistic people.

We are looking for abstracts for panel talks and for poster presentations. There is no cost to submit an abstract.

Panel talks will take place in themed sessions and each individual talk will last for 15 minutes followed by a Q&A discussion with up to three other speakers.

Posters will be hosted on our website over the week of the festival – these will be a combination of a one-page PDF and a video, up to 2 minutes long that can accompany your PDF poster.

We ask researchers to submit both a lay summary of their research and a scientific abstract. All abstracts need to be under 250 words and in English. Abstracts can be on research from any discipline

If you are interested in giving a talk that is not research-based at our festival, please fill in our Lived Experience Talk application form instead. We are looking for short summaries of talk ideas that cover a range of viewpoints and experiences to help us ensure that autistic voices are at the forefront of the festival.

The deadline for abstract submissions is 5pm, 19th March. If you need an extension in order to finish submitting your abstract, please get in touch.

If you have any questions about our call for abstracts please email Bethan, our Engagement and Events Manager (bethan.davies@autistica.org.uk).

(Hopefully) Helpful Questions and Answers

What is an abstract?

An abstract is a short summary of what you are looking to talk about. If you are planning on talking about a research project that you are part of then this will look at your method and results.

For our Lived Experience talks, this will be a short paragraph that explores what you want to talk about and why it is important.

How do I know if my abstract has been submitted sucessfully?

When you click the Finish Survey button on the last page of the form you should get to a page that says "Thank you for submitting your abstract". If you see this then you know your abstract has been submitted successfully. There will also be a print response button on that page if you would find it helpful to print or save a copy of your application.

You will not get an email after submitting your abstract but Bethan will email everyone when the deadline has closed to confirm that their submission has been received. If you have any questions or aren't sure then do just email Bethan.

How do the sessions work?

We will be releasing more information about the festival and the structure of the sessions as we go. All sessions will be virtual and we will be working with our Insight Group and accepted speakers to ensure that the festival is as accessible as possible.

Is there a cost if I am accepted as a speaker?

While we have not come to a final decision around what tickets to our festival will look like, we will not be charging for speaker tickets. It is important to us that everyone is able to share their research or their story, and cost should not be a factor in this.

Can I submit more than one abstract, or apply for a series of talks?

You can submit as many abstracts as you like, as long as each of them is done as a new form. All submissions will be blind reviewed and judged individually. We cannot guarantee anyone multiple slots in the same panel session or that successful submissions on the same theme will necessarily be in the same panel together.

Can we have more than one speaker?

Yes, definitely. We have updated the form so it is clear where to put the information of co-applicants if you are applying together, and if successful we will be in touch with you to check all the details of your talk - we know things change a lot between now and July!

While there is no limit on the number of speakers you can have, the talks will only be 15 minutes long so don't be too ambitious as changing between speakers takes longer than you think.