The training program involves several components that are intended to provide trainees with expertise in one or more areas of autism research:

a) one program supervisor directly supervises the trainee’s research program (the program supervisor is the trainee’s thesis / project supervisor from their department / university;

b) three mentors from the ART Program faculty (all three should be individuals from outside of the trainee’s discipline) co-supervise the trainee;

c) centralized training events such as the Summer School Program, & The Donald Cohen Autism Lectureship provide the trainees with core autism research training;

d) graduate school; each trainee (except post-docs) must be enrolled in a graduate program either in basic or clinical research. This will provide course work in basic research methods as well as an opportunity to gain a graduate degree;

e) ART Program Steering Committee will monitor the progress of the trainee, will provide extra input and decide whether the trainee meets specific criteria at the end of the program.


The ART Program Summer School, is a 5-day intensive teaching session where all ART program faculty members teach in their autism related discipline. The summer school is held on a yearly basis in Montreal during the month of August. (See schedule below)

Summer School 2010 dates: August 23-27, 2010

Deadline to apply to the 2010 ART Summer School-only: July 16, 2010




• Provide a broad based overview and introduction to autism. Key reading materials will be provided prior to lectures.

• Provide an opportunity for recent and important research findings to be presented, discussed and used as training materials. The content will be decided by the steering committee, based on new research advances in the field and the balance of interests and educational needs of the trainees.

• Participate in the Canadian Autism Research Conference (CARC). This conference will be a focus for all mentors of the program and for other researchers in autism from Canada and abroad. For each conference, an international expert will be invited to give a special lecture, and trainees will have time to interact freely with this guest. The Conference will be a forum for trainees and for junior researchers to make presentations and where a broader range of people (parents, policy makers, administrators, economists,..) will be invited to participate and provide feedback to the trainees on the clinical and policy relevance of the proposed research in autism.

• Expose the trainee to different facets of autism from both an experiential and technical point
of view. Attendance at assessment clinics with clients of different ages, and visits to community schools, special schools for children with autism, community centers and families, discussions with professionals (doctors, psychologists, teachers, etc..), visits to an MRI or genetic laboratory will provide the trainee with a rich array of experiences that are relevant and are also experienced by individuals with autism and their families.


The program organization is the same for years 2 and 3 but the curriculum is spread out over two years and
sessions will be rotated from one year to the other. This will ensure that any trainee will have a chance to go through the entire program whereas the summer school can be organized each summer to meet the needs of a mixed group of trainees (some will be in their 2nd year some will be in their 3rd year at any point in time).


• Presentations by trainees of their work that will be at different stages of completion. This session is interactive with mentors and other trainees providing feed-back.

• Advanced research methods. Sessions will be organized by mentors and will illustrate particular technical or conceptual issues relevant to autism research.

• Advanced sessions (as in year 1) where there will be presentation on new findings and their implications for future research. Evening sessions will increase the level of interaction between participants.

• Provide trainees with sessions which build up professional skills necessary for future careers as researchers. Over the course of 2 years, a range of topics and practical skills will be covered. In addition, evening sessions are scheduled to demonstrate new tools, techniques, tests etc.. with an emphasis on hands-on experience and practical demonstration.

• Participate in the CARC Conference

• Complete a summer school program evaluation.


Autism Research Training Program