Summer Internship Call for Proposals
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Apply Now for 2018 INSAR Summer Research Internship in Autism Spectrum Disorder and Cultural Diversity

Application Due: February 8, 2018 - NOW CLOSED
Notification of Awards: March 15, 2018



In recognition of the increased need for the field of autism to incorporate global perspectives and issues of cultural diversity in scientific research, the International Society for Autism Research (INSAR) Cultural Diversity Committee invites research proposals from highly qualified undergraduate and graduate students interested in cultural diversity issues relevant to autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

The proposed research must be human subject-based and should specifically address topics related to cultural diversity in ASD research, including, but not limited to, diagnosis in under-represented populations, identification of ASD in immigrants, and research in low and middle income countries (LMIC).

The INSAR Cultural Diversity Committee will provide two (2) awards: 1) to one domestic (US-based) undergraduate student and 2) one domestic (US-based) graduate student. Students from a historically under-represented group or LMIC who are currently enrolled at an accredited US institution will receive priority. Research must be conducted in an accredited university or a research institution under the supervision of a highly qualified mentor with a full-time faculty position and documented ASD research experience. Duration of the award period must be between May 2018 and August 2018, and may be determined by the mentor and mentee, but justified by a proposed timeline.

Awards in the amount $4,000 will be made directly to the university/research institution sponsoring the research, of which $3,000 will be provided to the student as a stipend. Funds provided must not be used to cover tuition payments. Students will also be provided with an allowance of $1,000 for housing and roundtrip travel.
Applicant: Applicants must be currently enrolled undergraduate/graduate students in good standing with an accredited institution. The research should take place at a university other than the one where the student is enrolled and must be located in the United States. Students who are not US nationals will need a valid visa to participate in the programs. If accepted, students are responsible for obtaining the appropriate visa.  The applicant must be a current INSAR Student member.

Mentor: The proposed mentor must be employed in a full-time faculty position at an academic or research institution where the research will be conducted. The mentor must also have documented cultural diversity and ASD research experience (basic or applied) as evident by peer-reviewed publications and previous acquisition of funding to conduct ASD research. The mentor must also be a current INSAR Full member and have previous experience mentoring graduate-level trainees/students.

Application Preparation
The applicant must identify his or her prospective mentor who meets the stated criteria and coordinate with the selected mentor accordingly to prepare the application. All documents should be submitted as a single PDF bundled together to the INSAR Cultural Diversity Committee at

Proposals are due on February 8, 2018 and will not be accepted after the due date.

Applications must include the following materials:

Applicant Materials:

  1. Cover Page (2 pages max): This should include the name and email address of the applicant, name and contact information for the proposed mentor, project title, a brief description of the proposed research project and timeline, and how participation in the program will enhance the mentee’s learning experience.

  2. Statement of Proposed Research (1500 words max, Times New Roman 12pt font, double-spaced): This should include:
    a. A description of the proposed research to be conducted during the funding period 
    b. A proposed research timeline
    c. Relevant background and research questions
    d. Research methods and specific tasks to be completed during the internship
    e. Potential impact the research will have on the autism community
    f. The applicant should also explain how they will extend their learning experience beyond the duration of the internship (e.g., presentations, publications, training others, etc.).

  3. Applicant’s Biosketch (in NIH format) -

  4. Applicant’s graduate transcripts (Unofficial is acceptable)

  5. Letter of Recommendation from a previous advisor, mentor, instructor, or supervisor

Mentor Materials

  1. Mentor’s Biosketch (in NIH format)

  2. One representative manuscript showing the mentor’s previous ASD research focusing on cultural diversity

  3. Letter of Support from the Selected Mentor: This letter should include information on the mentor’s ASD research related to cultural diversity, previous experience mentoring graduate-level students, and a statement of the mentor’s commitment to provide research mentorship in the selected ASD research area.

Review Process and Evaluation Criteria
There will be an external review committee comprised of INSAR members who have research expertise in the field of cultural diversity. Final decisions will be made the external review committee and the INSAR Cultural Diversity Committee leadership. Applications will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • Relevance of the proposed project to cultural diversity in ASD research
  • The mentee’s proven interest in ASD research and academic achievement
  • The mentor’s research qualifications and capacity to mentor
  • Potential for long-term impact of mentoring 

Internal review board (IRB) approval is not required to submit the application; however, where applicable, evidence of IRB approval must be provided prior to the start of the funding period.

Award notification will be made in March 2018 and must be used between May 2018 and August 2018. Finalization and preparation of results may be completed after the funding period at no cost to the INSAR Cultural Diversity Committee. Project results must be submitted for presentation at the INSAR Cultural Diversity pre-conference symposium or INSAR 2019 regular session.
Award recipients will be required to participate in Cultural Diversity Committee activities at the INSAR meeting, including a group photo and social media promotion. Award recipients are also asked to share what they learned during their internship experience with the INSAR community and may include writing a blog post, writing up research for peer-reviewed publication, and sharing photos of experience.


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