Autism Research Innovation Centre

Girl with a leaf

Enriching Lives

The Autism Research Innovation Centre (ARIC) is focused on strengthening the wider autism community through participatory action research. The group's mission is to create a diverse and inclusive environment where community knowledge and academic expertise merge to produce evidence-based innovative professional approaches and services for enriching the lives of autistic people and those who support them throughout their lifespan.

About the Autism Research Innovation Centre

We are combining the diverse expertise of academic professionals in the fields of autism research, business, computer science, dog and animal-assisted interventions, education, health, human resource management, medical statistics, and psychology with the in-depth, first-hand experience of community leaders, community partners, and policy-makers, including governmental organisations, local government and public authorities, charities, and engagement groups.

Why Our Research Is Important

Our objective is to empower autistic communities by developing, evaluating, and cultivating modern, efficient, evidence-based initiatives and protocols to strengthen the connection between autistic people and those supporting them – from early childhood to late adulthood – and to enhance and maximise the rewards of their collaboration. 

Ultimately, we envisage and realise practices, techniques, and technologies, which inherently enable and actively promote the organic creation of a society that cherishes and thrives on its diversity and inclusivity.

Our Research Is Different

Our work is grounded in the innovative principles of participatory action research and community-based participatory research, where we strategically involve all stakeholders to co-develop the stages of project design, data collection and dissemination, in order to break through the current boundaries of scientific- and public understanding of autism and of autistic individuals. 

Using this framework, the multiple perspectives we adopt and combine, shed light onto various unique life experiences shared by autistic people from accessing additional support in education, through gaining novel opportunities by making the most of skill development programs and service provisions, to improving overall quality of life by finding and retaining employment. We draw on these experiences and research outcomes to inform policy development and re-assess current professional practices in the UK.




Dr Stefano Belli


Dr Simon Durrant

Senior Lecturer

Dr Sophie Hall

Research Fellow

Miss Rebecca Hawkins


Dr Kirsten McKenzie

Senior Lecturer

Dr Adrian Parke

Senior Lecturer

Dr Michael Rasell

Senior Lecturer

Dr Amanda Roberts


Dr Matina Tsiora


Dr Emile van der Zee

Principal Lecturer

Dr Fenja Ziegler

Principal Lecturer

Dr Niko Kargas

Senior Lecturer

Dr Stephen Sharman 




Victoria Brelsford


Charlotte Cartledge


Mirena Dimolareva


Greta Kerulo