Autism Edmonton enhances the lives of people on the autism spectrum, through knowledge, services and inclusive opportunities.

Graduate Student Pilot Grants

Autism Edmonton and the Autism Research Centre 

2021 Graduate Student Pilot Grants


The 2021 Graduate Student Pilot Grants will support individuals conducting graduate research in any field related to Autism Spectrum Disorders to begin June 2021 and are to be completed by June 2022. These grants are jointly funded by Autism Edmonton, and the Autism Research Centre at the Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital (affiliated with Alberta Health Services and the University of Alberta). The maximum funding available per grant of $5,000.00 is to be applied towards the operating costs of the successful applicant(s)’s graduate research project (Funds awarded are not a scholarship, funds cannot be utilized to support the grant recipient’s salary/coverage of time). Applications will be judged on the quality and originality of the proposed project, and on the potential of the research to contribute to the well-being of persons with ASD and their families. Each successful applicant will provide a written progress report at 6 months and a final report and presentation of study findings (see below) at the conclusion of the project. Successful applicant(s) would be required to submit documentation to set up a University of Alberta research Project Account through their project supervisor in order to receive funding.

Deadline to apply is April 15, 2021.

Funding for 12 month period – June 1, 2021 to May 31, 2022. NOTE: One no-cost extension of up to 1 year (to May 31, 2023) can be requested after submission of the mid-term report. NOTE: For approved 1 year no-cost extension -the Final report and presentation at Autism Research Rounds can be delayed with an interim report due in May, 2022.

Application procedure:

To qualify, the student must be enrolled in a graduate level university program (Master’s or PhD) in the Edmonton area, and be returning to their graduate studies program as a full‐time student in the fall of 2021. Students who are about to begin their 1st year of a graduate studies program must include a copy of their letter of acceptance into a relevant graduate program for the fall semester.

To be considered for the review process, the student must submit ALL of the following documents via email in ONE PDF file by April 15, 2021 to: Carol Wilson, Manager, Autism Research Centre at

Please submit in the following order in ONE PDF:

  • Cover page with all of the following information:
    • Name of Applicant
    • Mailing address
    • Email address
    • Telephone number (daytime)
    • Department and Institution where the applicant is a registered student
    • Degree program (MA, MSc, PhD)
    • Name of research supervisor and his/her professional contact information
  • Complete CV of applicant
  • Complete University or College transcripts including undergraduate transcripts. Official transcripts not required; a photocopy is acceptable.
  • Description of the proposed research (4 pages maximum, single-spaced, 12 point font, 1 inch margins). The application is to include the following sections:
    • Background and Rationale;
    • Research questions (or objectives);
    • Hypotheses (if applicable), Design/Methodology and Analytic approach;
    • Feasibility of undertaking the proposed research with supervisor support
    • Knowledge translation and exchange plans;
    • Relevance and anticipated impacts: discuss how the proposed research will help Autism Edmonton achieve its mission of improving the lives of people with ASD and their families. Examples of relevant research areas could include (but not exclusive to): improving the health and well-being of individuals with ASD across the lifespan, assessing the needs of children, adolescents and adults in the community; vocational planning; and family experience.
  • Lay abstract (1/2 page in a publishable format) that will outline the title, objectives, prior research approval, and expected outcomes of the research. Ensure your lay abstract is written in plain English.
  • One page description of the applicant’s previous research and/or work experience and graduate studies and expected career goals. Discuss how previous work is relevant to ASD and the current application, and how the pilot grant experience will help the applicant achieve the goals of their graduate studies and future career plans.
  • Letter of support from the supervising researcher that describes the strengths including research potential of the applicant, the training and mentorship plan, the relevance of the proposed research to the overall goals of the student’s research training and career development and indicating any supplementary funds to be provided to support the proposed research..
  • Two-page CV from the supervising researcher
  • Letter of support from another faculty member familiar with the candidate’s academic and/or research performance.
  • Detailed budget and budget justification. Please utilize the template provided. Note the following limits under each line item
  • o A maximum of $500 can be used to support attendance at a scientific conference to present the results of the study findings (may include airfare, meals, accommodations and conference registration fees).
    • A maximum of $1000.00 for equipment including hardware costs.

Each successful grant recipient will provide:

  1. By December 1, 2021 - A mid-term report (template will be provided) which includes a brief financial summary;
  2. By May 1, 2022 - submission of a one-page article (750-1000 words maximum and written in an engaging, reader-friendly style) that will be published in Autism Now, the Autism Society of Edmonton Area (ASEA) quarterly magazine;
  3. By June 2022 - a presentation to Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital, Autism Research Rounds at the conclusion of the project and;
  4. By August 31, 2022 - submission of a two-page final report (including financial summary).

For additional information, please email at: or

Click here to download the application process details.