About CRAE

A group shot of many CRAE members during its 10th Anniversay event.

The UCL Centre for Research in Autism and Education (CRAE) is based within the Department of Psychology and Human Development at UCL Institute of Education.

CRAE is a team of autistic and non-autistic people, headed by Dr Anna Remington. We conduct ground-breaking scientific research to enhance our knowledge about support, education and outcomes for autistic people, their families and those who support them.

Our mission is to improve the lives of autistic people and their families through research.

This research is participatory in nature; doing research with autistic people, rather than on, about or for them.

We work to ensure that this evidence-based knowledge is translated so that it can have meaningful impact and make a real difference to people’s everyday lives. 

We actively engage with autistic people and their allies (e.g., families, educators, clinicians), as well as policy-makers and the wider public, to promote awareness – and acceptance – of autism. We achieve this through collaborative research practice, sharing of knowledge and hosting an active programme of public engagement events.

Our story so far

CRAE began in 2009 as a collaboration between the Institute of Education (Nick Peacey, Centre for Inclusive Education) and Ambitious about Autism, and was established thanks to generous donations from The Clothworkers’ Foundation, the Kirby Laing Foundation and the Pears Foundation.

CRAE was originally set up to improve the outcomes for autistic people by 1) conducting research into how to remove barriers to learning and participation in schools and society for autistic people, 2) determining how autism education practice in school and society as a whole can be evaluated more effectively, and 3) promoting the translation of research into practice to ensure that it has impact where it is needed most. We still work hard to achieve these aims, more than ten years on.

CRAE’s current Director is Anna Remington, who has built upon the excellent work of former Directors Tony Charman (our founding Director) and Liz Pellicano. We are honoured to have had a talented and diverse group of staff and student at the Centre over the years; many of whom have gone on to be leading figures in the field of autism research. 

Our supporters

Since the initial foundation of CRAE, we have been very fortunate to receive additional funding that has allowed us to continue our work.

For over a decade now, we have benefitted hugely from our ongoing relationship with Pears Foundation. Their long-term support and guidance have allowed CRAE to flourish, and we value their input immensely. Specifically, Pears Foundation’s sustained contribution to our core Centre costs and engagement activities (rather than on a project-specific basis) has provided a foundation from which we are able to translate our research into meaningful impact.

In addition to Pears Foundation, we are extremely grateful to the amazing set of funders who have contributed to our individual research projects:

UCL Institute of Education, alumni of the Institute, Ambitious about Autism, Autistica, Baily Thomas Charitable Fund, British Academy, Economic and Social Research Council, European Research Council, John & Lorna Wing Foundation, Leverhulme Trust, Medical Research Council, the N Sethia Foundation, National Institute for Health Research, Research Autism, Research England, and the Wellcome Trust.

The work we do depends not only on these generous financial contributions, but also on the huge amount of time and support that our collaborators, colleagues and research participants have so willingly given over the years. We are very thankful and could not do it without you!

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