We know that 9 in 10 autistic people and families want to take part in research, but many don't know where to start. We set up the Discover network to make it easier to get involved. Here we answer your questions.

What is Discover?

Discover is the UK's autism research network. Through Discover we bring together autistic people, families, professionals and researchers to do bigger and better research.

What do I get if I join?

You will get personalised emails about:

  • new research
  • studies that need volunteers
  • talks and events
  • campaigns and fundraising

If you are a researcher

Discover offers different things, see our offer to researchers.

What research could I take part in?

You will be invited to take part in studies run by us and other partners, normally universities.

Most research doesn’t happen in a laboratory. It could be as simple as taking part in a survey or advisory group. There is a lot of research that can be done from the comfort of your own home. Other research might be more involved - you could be trialling a new therapy or mobile app for example.

Do I have to take part in research?

No, you can ignore these emails if you wish. We understand not everyone has the time or interest in studies. 

What if I want to take part in a study?

If we send you an email about a study and you'd like to get involved, you can respond to the research team directly. They will give you further information and you can decide whether to go ahead. You can always leave a study if you change your mind.

What if I don't fit into one of these groups, can I join?

Discover is not for you, but you can join our mailing list. We will share research and campaign updates and some research studies. 

How will my information be used? Will it be kept confidential?

Your personal details will be stored confidentially and securely. We only ask for basic information when you join. We ask for your postcode as well as contact details so that we can send research opportunities that are local to you. For more information, read the Autistica privacy policy.

If you decide to take part in a study you will be asked for more information by the researcher. We check that they have followed a detailed ethics process to ensure that your data is secure. 

How will I know if the research is appropriate or ethical?

All research shared with Discover members is approved by an independent team. You will always be fully informed about a research project before you decide to take part.


If you have more questions about Discover, email Lorcan at discover@autistica.org.uk or call 0203 746 2673.

Join Discover here

Your experience of autism is unique and your voice is valued. We want everyone with an experience of autism to join Discover. Together we can change the future of autism.

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