Research co-production


Autism CRC has long been committed to inclusive research practices and co-production for and with the autistic and broader autism communities. The development of our Inclusive Research Practice Guides and the establishment of our  Sylvia Rodger Academy are two significant initiatives previously undertaken by Autism CRC.

Evidence demonstrates that engaging individuals on the spectrum and their families and carers as peers in research – from the definition of need to the conduct of research and its application – promotes quality, translatable research relevant to community need.

To highlight those organisations who are committed to sustainable research co-production, we have established our Autism CRC Research Co-production Partner initiative.

The first round of applications closed in June 2018. A second round is due to open later in 2019. 

Benefits of being an Autism CRC Research Co-production Partner

Benefits of being endorsed as an Autism CRC Research Co-production Partner include:

  • support by Autism CRC for research proposals to funding/investment agencies
  • Autism CRC potentially being a partner for Australian and international research grants, such as ARC Linkage grants
  • being highly regarded as part of eligible applications for Autism CRC investments
  • promotion of Autism CRC Research Co-production Partners through Autism CRC communications.

Application and assessment process (currently closed)

Applicants will need to complete an online application to be considered as an Autism CRC Research Co-production Partner.

  1. Submit application via the online form
    Applicants must submit an online application form. Submissions by other means, such as email, will not be accepted.
    Applications are not currently open.

  2. Assessment of applications
    An expert panel, comprising autism researchers and autistic adults, will review and assess all applications. This panel will make recommendations to the Board of Autism CRC.

  3. Receipt of recognition and promotion by Autism CRC
    Applicants will be notified of outcome. Successful applicants will be promoted through Autism CRC communications upon award, with other recipient benefits also starting at this time.

Assessment criteria

Outstanding applications will evidence:

  • commitment to co-production: through completed, continuing and research yet to commence
  • appropriate engagement and recognition: co-producers on the spectrum and/or their families/carers have been, and will continue to be, engaged, recognised and rewarded appropriately
  • sustainability of co-production: the organisation takes a sustained approach to research co-production, including promotion of co-production internal or external to their organisation.


Organisations from all research, industry and community sectors undertaking research, development or service provision in the area of autism are eligible to apply.

Ongoing performance/assessment

Autism CRC Research Co-production Partners will report to Autism CRC on the progress of co-production initiatives on a six-monthly basis.

Autism CRC will directly engage with end-user co-producers (being people on the spectrum and/or their families/carers) to assess and monitor performance.

About research co-production

Research co-production, also termed ‘peer research’, involves researchers and end-users working together as peers to ensure that the purpose of the research, the research methodology and the application of research outputs are relevant to, and appropriate for the end users – in this case, those on the autism spectrum and their communities. Traditionally, people on the spectrum have been ‘subjects’ of research studies and excluded from direct research involvement and autism-policy development1. Research co-production, however, recognises and equally values the skills of researchers and the expertise that people on the autism spectrum and their families/carers have gained through their lived experience, and engages them at every stage of the research process – from identification of research questions, data collection and analysis, through to dissemination and knowledge translation2.

Benefits of co-production include increased research quality3,4,5,6 through better designed studies, more trustworthy conclusions and access to larger samples as a result of more accessible data collection instruments7,8. Research co-production has the potential to generate more relevant and appropriate research that is responsive to the needs of people on the spectrum2,3,6,9. Further, co-production supports research implementation and translation as research findings and interventions are more likely to be accessible, useful and sustainable, and more widely disseminated2,9. In addition, end-user involvement in research co-production can increase empowerment, personal development and self-esteem for individuals and autistic communities3,4,9.

About Autism CRC

Established in 2013, Autism CRC is the world’s first national, cooperative research effort focused on autism.

Our vision is to see autistic people empowered to discover and use their diverse strengths and interests.

We take a whole-of-life approach to enhance the lives of people on the autism spectrum, from diagnosis and the early years, to the school years and into adult life.

Autism CRC has 56 participant organisations, as well as other partners, based around Australia and internationally. Together, we seek to build capacity and support for neurodiverse environments in our communities, so every individual has the opportunity to reach their full potential.

More information

If you have any questions or for more information, please email


  1. Raymaker, D., & Nicolaidis, C. (2014). Participatory research with autistic communities: shifting the system. In J. Davidson & M. Orsini (Eds), Worlds of Autism: Across the spectrum of Neurological Difference (pp.169-188). Minnesota: University of Minnesota Press.
  2. Cargo, M., & Mercer, S.L. (2008). The value and challenges of participatory research: strengthening its practice. Annual Review of Public Health, 29(1), 325-350.
  3. Bailey, S., Boddy, K., Briscoe, S., & Morris, C. (2014). Involving disabled children and young people as partners in research: a systematic review. Child: Care, Health and Development, 41(4), 505–514.
  4. Kirby, P. (2004). A Guide to Actively Involving Young People in Research: For Researchers, Research Commissioners, and Managers. Hampshire, UK: INVOLVE.
  5. Puyalto, C., Pallisera, M., Fullana, J., Vila, M. (2015). Doing research together: a study on the views of advisors with intellectual disabilities and non-disabled researchers collaborating in research. Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities. 29 (2), 146-159.
  6. Stantiszewska, S., Brett, J., Mockford, C., & Barber, R., (2011). The GRIPP checklist: strengthening the quality of patient and public involvement reporting in research. International Journal of Technology Assessment in Health Care, 27(4), 391-399.
  7. Nicolaidis, C., Raymaker, D., McDonals, L., Dern, S., Boisclair, W.C., Ashkenazy, E., & Baggs, A. (2013). Comparison of healthcare experiences in autistic and non-autistics adults: a cross-sectional online survey facilitated by an academic-community partnership. Journal of General Internal Medicine, 28(6), 761–769.
  8. McDonald, K.E., & Raymaker, D.M. (2013). Paradigm shifts in disability and health: toward more ethical public health research. American Journal of Public Health, 103 (12), 2165-2173.
  9. Pellicano, E., Dinsmore, A., & Charman, T. (2014). Views on researcher-community engagement in autism research in the United Kingdom: a mixed-methods study. PLoS One, 9(10), e109946.doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0109946.