Student and Trainee Committee (STC)

Student & Trainee Committee Statement on Black Lives Matter and Discrimination:

Recent atrocities, namely, the murder of Black people at the hands of the police in the U.S., highlight racism at all levels. Our Student and Trainee Committee is largely composed of members from the U.S., although some of our members live in Europe, Australia, and Asia. We understand that racism occurs worldwide, and it is everyone's responsibility to work to dismantle it. Sparked by the death of George Floyd and the ensuing Black Lives Matter protests across the world, our committee has been reflecting on our own complacency--and thus complicity--in upholding systems of oppression. Together, as the next generation of autism research leaders, we must educate ourselves and work to advocate for anti-racist systems. We urge our student and trainee members to do the same. To bring this issue to the forefront within the autism research community, we commit to highlighting multicultural and intersectional autism research across our initiatives. We will also work with the INSAR Board to develop structures for recruiting and supporting Black students and trainees. The STC stands in solidarity with Black Lives Matter and supports the INSAR Board’s statement.

INSAR's Public Statement on Discrimination and the Black Lives Matter Movement

Committee Statement of Purpose

Support INSAR’s mission of promoting quality autism research to improve the lives of people with Autism Spectrum Disorder and their families, and to provide the next generation of autism researchers with opportunities for education, career development, and collaboration.

Mission and Goals

The Student and Trainee Committee was established in 2009 to further the INSAR’s mission of promoting education and training in the field of autism research. 

The committee has focused on three goals:

  1. Represent the perspectives and needs of student membership in all activities of the society.
  2. Provide support for the student membership of INSAR through learning, networking, and mentorship opportunities.
  3. Increase global representation and accessibility of INSAR activities.

Student and Trainee Committee Officers

Chair: Alana McVey, PhD

Co-Chair: Jiedi Lei, MS

Treasurer: Alan Gerber, MS

Secretary: Hillary Schiltz, MS

Past Chair/Faculty Liaison: Marika Coffman, PhD

Student and Trainee Newsletters

July/Summer 2020 
January/Winter 2020
May/Spring 2019
December/Winter 2018
May/Spring 2018 
December/Winter 2017 
May/Spring, 2017 
December/Winter, 2016 
Spring, 2016

The Student & Trainee committee strives to highlight the innovative and significant contributions of student and trainee autism researchers in our bi-yearly newsletter.To be considered for the Student and Trainee Spotlight in an upcoming STC newsletter, please complete the submission form.

STC Activities and Events

INSAR Annual Meeting STC Events

Student and Trainee Social
The social is typically held at a local establishment near conference venue. This is a free event open to all students and trainees.  It is a great opportunity to network and enjoy some free feed.

Meet the Experts
This event provides students with direct access to leaders in the field of autism research. Students and trainees get to spend the lunch hour with researchers. This event requires pre-registration and often fills up quickly. 

Student Trainee Pre-conference Workshop
The workshop is held on the Wednesday before INSAR. This workshop has focused on topics related to grant writing, but changes from year to year. This event requires pre-registration. There is also a travel award specifically for the workshop to help cover the costs of traveling to conference early to attend.

The Networkshop - New for 2020
At this year’s annual INSAR meeting in Seattle, the INSAR Student Trainee Committee (STC) is organizing a new event to help you master networking: The Networkshop. This event will take place at the same venue at INSAR (Washington Convention Center) on Friday, May 8th, 2020 during the lunch hour.

We are excited for this new event, which will provide the opportunity to learn from a panel of experts about their own experiences with networking. The faculty panelists will share their advice for networking at a conference, including initiating, maintaining, and following up with new connections. After the panel, participants will have the chance to practice networking skills within a group of peers and senior scientists in a safe and non-intimidating environment.

All INSAR student and trainee members are welcome to apply. Space is limited and there will be 32 spots for this event. If you are interested in participating in this event, kindly fill out the following application and return by March 2, 2020. The STC will carefully review each application and announce their decision in early spring 2020.

Student Booth
The booth is place to get information about events at INSAR and other resources relevant to students and trainees. The booth is often staffed by committee members, so it’s a chance to talk and meet us in person. We hope you stop by!

INSAR Institute
This is a six-week series of webinars on topics related to autism spectrum disorders. The INSAR Institute (previously titled Summer Institute) is open to everyone. It is a great opportunity for students and trainees who are unable to attend the annual meeting to connect with each other and leading researchers.  Read More...

View INSAR Institute archive recordings

For questions about the committee and its activities, email

Contact Us

International Society for Autism Research
400 Admiral Blvd. | Kansas City, MO 64106

p. 816.595.4852
f.  816.472.7765

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