Research

These research opportunities are listed as a courtesy to UF CARD constituents. Specific questions should be directed to the contact person listed for each study. Content is updated at least twice a year.

Research opportunity

Aging Well in ASD

The Neurocognitive and Behavioral Development lab seeks autistic adults and control individuals ages 30-75 for participation in a research study focused on healthy aging.

elderly person's hand and puzzle pieces

RESEARCH OPPORTUNITY

Pain Responsivity and Sensitivity in ASD

The Neurocognitive and Behavioral Development lab (NBD lab) is seeking autistic adults and controls between ages 30 to 75 years for a non-treatment research study on pain responsivity and sensitivity in ASD.

Pain Scale

RESEARCH OPPORTUNITY

VocFit Study

Researchers at the University of Florida are conducting a study to improve the Vocational Fit Assessment, a tool designed to help young adults, ages 18-22, with intellectual disabilities find a good job fit.

man siting in front of computer pointing at screen

RESEARCH OPPORTUNITY

PEDI PRO Study

A study developing a new self-report assessment software for kids, teens, and young adults with developmental disabilities.

iPhone in a person's hand

RESEARCH OPPORTUNITY

Sleep Concerns?

The Behavior Analysis Research Clinic is evaluating sleep patterns and problem behavior in children.

young girl sleeping in bed with blanket and toy

RESEARCH OPPORTUNITY

Problem Behavior and Autism

If your child exhibits mild to moderate problem behavior and you would like us to evaluate the function of everyday consequences of that behavior, consider enrolling in our study!

Back of person's head, person holding end of some strands of hair

RESEARCH OPPORTUNITY

Teeth Grinding

Does your child grind their teeth during the day?

young boy showing teeth and snarling

RESEARCH OPPORTUNITY

Cooperation with Medical Procedures

This study is designed to evaluate the most effective ways to increase cooperation with medical procedures such as immunization shots or blood draws in individuals with autism or other neurodevelopmental disorders. 

arm of person getting their blood drawn

RESEARCH OPPORTUNITY

Project PHoENIX

Participatory, Human-centered Equitable, Neurodiverse, and Inclusive XR seeks to engage in design-based research to create advanced virtual reality technology systems and tools which will enable inclusive research and development of immersive learning technologies in collaboration with autistic research participants.

robot in a VR setting with UF Gator logo and Gator football game on tv in background

RESEARCH OPPORTUNITY

Sensory Intervention in Boys with Autism

Help researchers understand and learn more about non-pharmacological interventions for children with ASD and how their brains use sensory information.

little boy on playground

RESEARCH OPPORTUNITY

Disparities in ASD Identification and Services in the Early Years for Black Children

Help us understand how Black* children become identified with autism spectrum disorder.

child in overalls and yellow shirt sitting on floor with colorful toy clocks in front of him

RESEARCH OPPORTUNITY

SPARK for Autism

Simons Foundation Powering Autism Research (SPARK) Online research partnership involving individuals with autism & their families, to speed up research & advance our understanding of autism. SPARK is sponsored by the Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative (SFARI).

Young children; one is holding cardboard box that says SPARK on it

Aging Well in Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

The Neurocognitive and Behavioral Development lab (https://nbd.hhp.ufl.edu/) seeks autistic adults and control individuals ages 30-75 for participation in a research study focused on healthy aging.

Aging, or getting older, changes individuals’ brain function, motor skills, health conditions, or how they feel about their life. By understanding how these things change in autism spectrum disorder (ASD), the field can support autistic adults stay heathier longer.

Eligible individuals will be requested to complete the following non-invasive tests:

  • Autism screening and diagnostic evaluation
  • Questions about medical, developmental, and family history
  • Solve puzzles and remember words
  • Tests of motor skill (e.g., hand movement, standing, walking, etc.)
  • Tests of brain anatomy and function (e.g., MRI)
  • Questions about quality-of-life and happiness

Locations:
Tests are conducted at three locations on the UF main campus in Gainesville, including the UF Center for Autism and Related Disabilities (UF CARD), Florida Gymnasium, and McKnight Brain Imaging Center.

Are you eligible?

  • Between the ages of 30 to 75 years
  • Received a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), OR
  • Meet our requirement as a control participant

Participants will be compensated for their time and reimbursed for travel. This is NOT a treatment study.

For more information contact:
NBD-LAB@UFL.EDU
352-294-5309
Zheng Wang, Ph.D., Principal Investigator
Neurocognitive and Behavioral Development lab (NBD lab)
University of Florida

Study ID:IRB201801378 Date Approved: 10/2/2020


Pain Responsivity and Sensitivity in Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

The Neurocognitive and Behavioral Development lab (NBD lab) is seeking autistic adults and controls between ages 30 to 75 years for a non-treatment research study on pain responsivity and sensitivity in ASD.

Eligible individuals will be asked to complete the following tasks:

  • Diagnostic screening and evaluation (autistic adults only)
  • Thermal stimulation tasks
  • Electroencephalogram (EEG) recording of the brain
  • Pain and sensory questionnaires

Locations:
Tests are conducted at

  • UF Center for Autism and Related Disabilities (autistic adults only)
  • Florida Gymnasium at the University of Florida main campus

Are you eligible?

  • Between the ages of 30 to 75 years
  • Received a diagnosis of ASD
  • Meet our requirement as a control participant who never received a diagnosis of ASD

If you are unsure about your eligibility, please contact the study team.

Costs covered by this study include EEG, travel, and stipend
*This is a pilot study*

For more information contact:
NBD-LAB@UFL.EDU
352-294-5309
Zheng Wang, Ph.D., Principal Investigator
Neurocognitive and Behavioral Development lab (NBD lab)
University of Florida

Study ID:IRB202200413 Date Approved: 7/27/2022


Vocational Fit Assessment and Employment Status in People with Intellectual Disabilities

Goal: Explore the work-related experiences of people with intellectual disabilities.

Who can participate?

  • Adults with intellectual disabilities, ages 18-22, currently engaged in work activities
  • A person who knows them well and has been a part of their life for over a year (e.g., teacher, parent, job coach, employer)

Interview partners will:

  • Provide background information on the adult with intellectual disability
  • Talk about what they are good at or work history

How long with it take?

  • Each interview will take approximately 2 hours
  • There will be 3 interviews: now, in 12 months, and again in 24 months
  • Questions will be given to participant partners two weeks before to allow more time for reading and preparation
  • As a thank you gift, each participant partner will receive $40 for each interview (each partner can expect to receive $120)

For more information contact:
yell@phhp.ufl.edu
352-273-9365
Elizabeth Kennelly-Smith, Research Coordinator
Jessica Kramer, PhD, OTR/L, Associate Professor University of Florida
Department of Occupational Therapy
University of Florida

Protocol Number: 19-8656H


PEDI PRO Study

Help develop a new app that helps youth and young adults with disabilities speak up for their needs.

We are looking for teens and young adults:

  • Ages 14-22
  • With developmental disabilities such as cerebral palsy, autism, or Down syndrome
  • With intellectual disabilities

What will happen?

  • Answer questions on the app.
  • Your parent, guardian, or other adult will also answer some questions about you and your abilities.
  • Meet with us one time.
  • You can choose to do the study in a location that is safe and easy for you.
  • After the meeting, you will receive a $30.00 gift card.

For more information contact:
yell@phhp.ufl.edu
352-273-9365
Elizabeth Kennelly-Smith, Research Coordinator
Jessica Kramer, PhD, OTR/L, Associate Professor University of Florida
Department of Occupational Therapy
University of Florida

This study is funded by a grant from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute Of Child Health & Human Development of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number R42HD090772

Study ID:IRB201903395 Date Approved: 11/19/2021 


Sleep Concerns?

The Behavior Analysis Research Clinic (BARC) at the University of Florida is evaluating sleep patterns and problem behavior in children.

  • Required that the child not co-sleep.
  • Preferred that the child attends a clinic for ABA therapy, but not required.
  • All sleep analyses conducted in the home.

For more information contact:
lloveras@ufl.edu
Lindsey Lloveras
Behavior Analysis Research Clinic
University of Florida


Problem Behavior and Autism

If your child exhibits mild to moderate problem behavior and you would like us to evaluate the function of everyday consequences of that behavior, consider enrolling in our study!

Individuals diagnosed with autism often exhibit problem behavior that is disruptive to themselves and others.

The purpose of the current investigation is to evaluate the function of common, everyday consequences of the problem behaviors of children with ASD.

Procedures will include brief, 5 to 10-minute sessions lasting no more than 30 minutes per day. Because all individuals have different problem behaviors, duration of participation will vary, but will terminate upon completion of the evaluation or after 2 months elapse.
You or your children may withdraw from the study at any time.

Participants will not receive compensation.

Location:
In person appointments at the UF Health Center for Autism and Neurodevelopment 1-3 times per week for a duration not to exceed 2 months.

Is your child eligible?

  • Must have a diagnosis of autism.
  • Must be between 3 and 18 years of age.
  • Problem behavior must not be severe (e.g. head-directed self-injury; dangerous aggression)

For more information contact:
catherine.kishel@ufl.edu
352-273-2184
Catherine Kishel, M.Ed., BCBA, Study Coordinator
Behavior Analysis Research Clinic
University of Florida

Study ID: IRB202101280 Date Approved: 7/30/2021


Does Your Child Grind Their Teeth During the Day?

The Behavior Analysis Research Clinic is evaluating assessment and treatment strategies for teeth grinding while awake.

Requirements:

  • Diagnosis of ASD
  • Ages: 2-13 yrs
  • Must engage in teethgrinding while awake

For more information contact:
tatesavannah@ufl.edu
Savannah Tate
Behavior Analysis Research Clinic
University of Florida

Study ID:IRB202000522 Date Approved: 6/16/2021


Cooperation with Medical Procedures

The Behavior Analysis Research Clinic is currently conducting a study designed to evaluate the most effective ways to increase cooperation with medical procedures such as immunization shots or blood draws in individuals with autism or other neurodevelopmental disorders. 

  • Must have a history of restraint, problem behavior, or noncomplicane in the context of medical procedures.
  • Must be able to attend weekly or biweekly appointments at UF CAN. 

Participants will not receive compensation.

For more information contact:
lloveras@ufl.edu
Lindsey Lloveras
Behavior Analysis Research Clinic
University of Florida

Study ID: IRB202102414


Project Phoenix

Transition-aged adults between 18 and 24 with an autism diagnosis needed for this study.

What is Project PHOENIX?
Participatory, Human-centered Equitable, Neurodiverse, and Inclusive XR seeks to engage in design-based research to create advanced virtual reality technology systems and tools which will enable inclusive research and development of immersive learning technologies in collaboration with autistic research participants.

Study Goal
Investigate the usability and user experience of a 3D virtual environment we have designed and developed for supporting co-design and collaborative research with autistics stakeholders in Virtual Reality (VR).

How Can You Help?
If you choose to participate, we will ask that you complete three sessions:
1. Training: Learn to use the software
2. Walk through a gallery to learn about VR software for autistic people.
3. Walk through another gallery to learn about VR software that might be useful for autistic people Interested in helping us improve our virtual reality environment?

For more information contact:
matthew.schmidt@coe.ufl.edu
Dr. Matthew Schmidt
Educational Technology Program
School of Teaching and Learning
College of Education
University of Florida

Study ID:IRB202102310 Date Approved: 10/26/2021


Sensory Intervention in Boys with Autism

What’s the study about?
Greater than 80% of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) experience sensory differences that make it difficult for them to fully participate in meaningful everyday activities. In this research study, we will use MRI and behavioral methods to assess how sensory interventions might change sensory brain structures, allowing us to better predict which sensory interventions might work best for whom.

What will happen in the study?
The study is for boys aged 6-8 years old diagnosed with autism by a physician, psychiatrist, neurologist, or psychologist. Over a 12-week period, families in the experimental group will attend intervention sessions twice a week. The intervention will be administered by a licensed Occupational Therapist and will include playing on swings, scooter boards, climbing equipment, bolsters, and large carpeted barrels. The 12-week sensory intervention may improve your child’s communication, reciprocal social interactions, repetitive behaviors, and/or restricted interests. As a thank you for participating, families will receive up to $120.

For more information contact:
https://sensorylab.ot.phhp.ufl.edu/contact-us/
Sensory Development Lab
Department of Occupational Therapy
College of Public Health & Health Professions
University of Florida

UF IRB-01 Approved


Disparities in ASD Identification and Services in the Early Years for Black* Children

FAU CARD is recruiting participants for focus groups, one on one interviews, and surveys as part of a research project to understand how Black* children become identified with autism spectrum disorder. To participate, you must: Reside in Gulf, Gadsden, Citrus, Marion, Flager, St. Johns, Lake, Orange, Hillsborough, Lee, and Monroe Counties

How to Participate:
Complete an online survey

Have More to Say:
Schedule a 1:1 interview or join the next Focus Group

Recruitment Period:
June 2022 to March 2023

For more information contact:
texume@fau.edu
561-405-0059
Torica Exume, Ph.D.
Center for Autism and Related Disabilities
Florida Atlantic University

Thank you for your continued support.
This project is provided by the Florida Developmental Disabilities Council, Inc., supported in part by grant numbers 1901FLSCDD-01 and 2001FLSCDD-01 from the U.S. Administration for Community Living, Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, D.C. 20201. Grantees undertaking projects with government sponsorship are encouraged to express freely their findings and conclusions. Points of view or opinions do not, therefore, necessarily represent official ACL policy. Black* – of or relating to any of various population groups including, but not limited to, African-American, Caribbean, Haitian, Nigerian, Kenyan.