Organization for Autism Research

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press release


Arlington, VA - September 3, 2010 – The Organization for Autism Research (OAR) is pleased to announce the results of its seventh annual Graduate Research Grant Competition. This competition, open to graduate students pursuing Master’s or Doctoral degrees, awards up to $1,000 and $2,000 respectively to those conducting research related to autism spectrum disorders. This year, OAR will make seven awards totaling $13,000 to six doctoral students and one master’s student conducting research related to autism. With today’s grants, OAR has awarded $108,000 in research grants to 59 graduate researchers since the inaugural competition in 2004.

OAR received 21 research proposals this year. In evaluating the research proposals, two members of OAR’s Scientific Council reviewed and scored each proposal. The reviewers’ task was to identify the studies that best matched OAR’s research priorities and whose potential outcomes were most relevant for families. In keeping with OAR’s dedication to quality research, only the best of the best were selected for funding.

Commenting on this year’s competition and grant recipients, Peter Gerhardt, Ed.D., OAR’s Scientific Council Chairman, noted, “This was an impressive group,” said Gerhardt, “The range of research interests and quality of the winning proposals suggests that the future for autism research is in good hands with these young researchers.”

The 2010 grant recipients are:

Brian Barger, University of Georgia – Doctoral Grant
Temperament in Autism: A study using the inventory of children’s individual differences

Dana Battaglia, CUNY Graduate Center – Doctoral Grant
Word Association in Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders: Toward a Model of Lexical Access

Cristan Farmer, Ohio State University – Doctoral Grant
Characterization for Aggressive Behavior in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders

Veronica Pamparo, University of Washington – Doctoral Grant
Improving the Quality of Shared Book Reading Experiences for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder: The effect of dialogic reading on early literacy outcomes

Mi Na Park, University of California – Doctoral Grant
Improving Social Communication Impairments in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders through Self-Management

Andrea Reinholz, University of Washington – Masters Grant
Social Support for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Families of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders

Cheryl Shaffer, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey – Doctoral Grant
Parenting Stress in Mothers of Preschool Age Children Newly Diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder

For information on the 2011 Graduate Research Grants Program, please visit OAR’s Web site or contact Alyssa Kruszyna, Director, Business Operations and Communications, (703) 243-9717.


ABOUT OAR: The Organization for Autism Research (OAR) is a national, nonprofit organization formed and led by relatives of children and adults with autism and Asperger Syndrome. OAR is dedicated to promoting research that can be applied to help families, educators, caregivers, and individuals with autism find much-needed answers to their immediate and urgent questions. To find out more about OAR please go to: