1. What is the focus of WARC’s research?
Research at WARC is centred on three themes:
For more information on our Research follow this link http://sites.cardiff.ac.uk/warc/research/
We specialise in research that follows the expertise areas of our scientific staff. You can find their research profiles here: http://sites.cardiff.ac.uk/warc/contacts-and-people/
- Can I take part in research at WARC?
Yes, we welcome your involvement! The WARC Research Recruitment Register is a database for children and adults with autism who would like to take part in our research. You can sign up yourself or have someone sign up on your behalf, and all children must be registered by a parent. If you are on the Register we will contact you if we have a suitable research project. You can read more about the Research Recruitment Register and sign up here: http://sites.cardiff.ac.uk/warc/get-involved/
- Does WARC carry out research only in Wales?
Not always. Some of our research studies are questionnaire based and are therefore available to anyone who can access the internet (with postal questionnaires also a possibility). However, the majority of our research involves face to face activities (e.g. completing a computerised task) and is therefore primarily carried out in Wales.
- Does WARC carry out assessments and diagnosis for adults?
We do carry out assessments with adults, but these are for research purposes only. We do not run a diagnostic service. In most areas of Wales, the first step towards a diagnostic assessment is an appointment with your GP. The GP would then refer you to the local health board professional who is carrying out an adult diagnostic assessment. We have some useful links on our website:
One of these is Autism Spectrum Connections Cymru and their One Stop Shop, see: http://www.autisminitiatives.org/where-we-are/ascc/
- Does WARC carry out assessments and diagnosis for children?
As above, we do carry out assessments with children and with parents, but these are for research purposes only. We do not run a diagnostic service. In most areas of Wales, the first step towards a diagnostic assessment is an appointment with your GP. The GP would then refer you to the local health board professional who is carrying out a child diagnostic assessment. We have some useful links on our website: http://sites.cardiff.ac.uk/warc/information-for-parents-and-adults/parents-individuals-asd/useful-links/, particularly http://www.asdinfowales.co.uk/parents-and-carers
- Does WARC offer support for those on the autism spectrum wanting to study at Cardiff University?
Cardiff University run a programme, called the Discovery Project, which provides group sessions and mentoring for 14-19 year olds who may be interested in going to University. Their courses usually start in October. The contact for this is Scott McKenzie: McKenzieSD1@cardiff.ac.uk.
- What support is there for those on the autism spectrum already studying at Cardiff University?
If you are already studying at Cardiff University and would like further support then you can contact the University’s Student Support Centre: http://www.cardiff.ac.uk/studentsupport/ Email: email@example.com. The University has a dedicated Disability and Dyslexia Service and encourages students with a disability to let them know as soon as possible so that any necessary support can be arranged. Further information can be found here: http://www.cardiff.ac.uk/new-students/before-you-arrive/disability-support
- Does WARC offer work experience opportunities?
WARC has benefited from the fantastic contribution made by interns and summer placement students over the years. We are also grateful to the valuable support given on an occasional basis by volunteers, parent and family members. Unfortunately, opportunities for internships are subject to staff resources and availability and we do not offer a routine programme of work experience or internships at WARC. However, please feel free to look up our staff profiles and contact us individually, and do check out our website or Facebook page where we will advertise any opportunities in the future.
- Can I study for a PhD or other postgraduate qualification at WARC?
WARC has a vibrant group of PhD students, who form an important part of the centre’s activities. If you are interested in studying for a PhD at WARC then you should contact the staff member who best suits your interests: http://sites.cardiff.ac.uk/warc/contacts-and-people/. WARC is a part of the School of Psychology at Cardiff University, so all WARC PhD students apply through the School. More information about the School of Psychology’s PhD schemes can be found here: http://psych.cf.ac.uk/degreeprogrammes/postgraduate/research/ . Please note that the deadline for applications is usually in March each year, but with some exceptions. The other postgraduate opportunities available at the School of Psychology can be found here: http://psych.cf.ac.uk/degreeprogrammes/postgraduate/. Staff members at WARC occasionally supervise research projects for students on some of these additional courses.
- I am an undergraduate studying psychology with a keen interest in autism spectrum disorder and wish to pursue a career in this field. Do you have any information regarding postgraduate research opportunities?
A career in autism research requires a PhD. Students sometimes progress directly from undergraduate study to a PhD although it is also common to complete a research assistant position or Master’s degree first. Please see the response to the previous FAQ (Can I study for a PhD or other postgraduate qualification at WARC?) for more information about PhDs at WARC and the School of Psychology. The School of Psychology’s Career Pathways video on a career in academia (presented by WARC’s Dr Catherine Jones) gives further insight into a research career: http://psych.cf.ac.uk/degreeprogrammes/careers/careerpathways.html . If you have a more general interest in working with ASD and think a postgraduate research position in ASD (i.e. a research assistant) would suit you then if you visit www.jobs.ac.uk, which lists most academic vacancies in the UK. Keep an eye on our website and the website of the School of Psychology, as any posts within WARC will be advertised there also http://psych.cf.ac.uk.
If your primary interest is working with people with ASD (and not necessarily in a research context) then there are career options you could explore including clinical psychology, educational psychology, working in a school for children with special needs (or mainstream with a special needs unit), working for charities for people with autism or special needs. The School of Psychology’s Career Pathways video series presents a useful video on a career as an educational psychologist: http://psych.cf.ac.uk/degreeprogrammes/careers/careerpathways.html
- Does WARC offer regular autism events, conferences or training?
Over the years we have hosted many enjoyable open lectures, parent coffee mornings, research update seminars and professional development sessions. Whenever we are planning a WARC public engagement event you will find it advertised on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Wales-Autism-Research-Centre-WARC and on the Latest News pages of our website: http://sites.cardiff.ac.uk/warc/news/
There are a number of autism organisations in Wales that offer specific training and workshops. This includes the National Autistic Society, who can be contacted in Wales using the following email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wales Autism Research Centre (WARC)
School of Psychology