Laura Crane

Laura joined CRAE in 2015 and currently holds the role of Associate Professor and Deputy Director of CRAE.

Laura’s research focuses on understanding the educational experiences of autistic children and young people (in mainstream and special schools), and identifying evidence-based ways to support pupils, their parents and their educators. Laura is passionate about engaging education professionals in research – supporting them to identify priorities for research and co-designing research studies that positively impact on pupil outcomes and wellbeing. 

Laura also has expertise in the following areas: (1) examining the diagnostic and post-diagnostic experiences of autistic people, their families, and the professionals who work with them; and (2) promoting access to justice for witnesses on the autism spectrum (in both the criminal and family justice systems).  Laura’s early work centered on cognition and autism (with a particular focus on autobiographical memory). 

Laura has received a number of awards for her work.  This includes the UCL Provost’s Prize for Public Engagement (2018), the UK research charity Autistica’s Inaugural Community Engagement Award (2018) and a British Academy Rising Star Engagement Award (2017).

Central to all of Laura’s work is a commitment to the involvement of the autistic and broader autism communities in the research process; ensuring that research has a strong participatory ethos and is of direct and practical relevance to those it affects.  

Linked to Laura’s commitment to community engagement in research, she is on the steering group of UCL’s new Centre for Co-Production in Health Research, is Chair of the Pan London Autism Schools Network Research Group (fostering partnerships between specialist autism schools and academic researchers) and also serves as Social Media Editor at the Autism: The International Journal of Research and Practice, where she leads all community engagement initiatives (e.g., podcasts, lay abstracts, social media) at the journal.

On the web: Twitter | LinkedIn | Google Scholar | ResearchGate

Recent publications:

Scheeren, A., Crane, L., Heyworth, M., & Pellicano, E. (2023). Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Autistic adults: A scoping reviewCurrent Developmental Disorder Reports.

Pellicano, E., Adams, D., Crane, L., Hollingue, C., Allen, C., Almendinger, K., . . . Wheeley, E. (2023). Letter to the Editor: A possible threat to data integrity for online qualitative autism researchAutism: the international journal of research and practice.

Cheng, Y., Tekola, B., Balasubramanian, A., Crane, L., & Leadbitter, K. (2023). Neurodiversity and community-led rights-based movements: Barriers and opportunities for global research partnershipsAutism: the international journal of research and practice. doi:10.1177/13623613231159165

Crane, L. (2023). Response to ‘Research-practice partnerships in education: Why we need a methodological shift in how we do research’ by Dr McGeownThe Psychology of Education Review.

Hobson, H., Linden, A., Crane, L., & Kalandadze, T. (2023). Towards Reproducible and Respectful Autism Research: Combining Open and Participatory Autism Research PracticesResearch in Autism Spectrum Disorders.

Davies, J., Remington, A., Buckley, C., Crane, L., & Smalley, K. (2023). “It seems like a luxury to be able to offer that”: Factors influencing the implementation of annual health checks for autistic people in EnglandAutism: the international journal of research and practice.


View all publications by Laura Crane

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