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Student Trainees in Autism Research

Published on · Last Updated 1 year 5 months ago


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Student trainees at the Center for Autism Research (CAR) gain valuable experience working with expert clinicians, scientists, and engineers focused in autism research. Opportunities include supporting clinical research data collection and procedures, utilizing databases, preparing data for analysis, and a variety of shadowing and learning experiences in real-world applications of engineering, data science, psychology, and medicine.

Application Process

To apply to a student role at CAR, complete our Application.

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. We recommend applying by March 15 for roles beginning in summer, and by July 15 for roles beginning in the fall semester.

All applicants offered a role must complete the CHOP NTP onboarding process and be cleared prior to starting their role at CAR. Note that this process can take 4-6 weeks to complete.


Contact us at [email protected]

Student Trainees in Autism Research Alumni Stories

Student Trainees in Autism Research become experts and leaders in a variety of fields. Each year graduating CAR students pursue graduate school, medical school, and careers in research, healthcare, engineering, and more. Student alumni have received NIH and NSF Fellowships, and they have been accepted into leading psychology research doctoral programs.

Learn more about some of CAR’s 200+ student alumni.


Jaclin Boorse, MEd

Doctoral Student, Lehigh University

CAR Student Alum: 2015-2018

Mentor: Julia-Parish-Morris, PhD

“The knowledge of the research process and research methods I learned at CAR were invaluable as I transitioned right to grad school after graduation."
Read more >


Meghan DiBello, M.A., CCC-SLP

Speech-Language Pathologist, Nemours Children’s Health

CAR Student Alum: 2015-2016

Mentor: Julia-Parish-Morris, PhD

“Being able to participate and understand the research behind this population has helped me make connections with my patients."
Read more >


Aubrey Faggen, LMSW

Mental Health Clinician, YAI's Center for Specialty Therapy

CAR Student Alum:2015-2019

Mentor: Juhi Pandey, PhD

“Some of my favorite personal and professional moments happened at CAR".
Read more >


Dominique McKnight, BA

Graduate Student, Temple University

CAR Student Alum: 2015-2017

Mentor: Judi Miller, PhD

“The most valuable experience for me was sitting in on differential diagnosis as it was always very interesting hearing how symptoms and behaviors were conceptualized."
Read more >


Vlad Obsekov, MD

Resident, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

CAR Student Alum: 2016-2017

Mentor: Ashley deMarchena, PhD

"The summer I spent [at CAR] was one of my most memorable experiences during undergrad."
Read more >


Asana Okocha, BA

Doctoral Student, Princeton University

CAR Student Alum: 2016-2017

Mentor: Julia-Parish-Morris, PhD

“It was so rewarding to meet and serve local families and children! I also felt so professionally supported by the community at CAR."
Read more >


Samantha Plate, BA

Graduate Student, University of Pittsburgh

CAR Student Alum: 2016-2017

Mentor: Julia-Parish-Morris, PhD

“It was because of this experience that I knew I wanted to pursue a career in research."
Read more >


Mary Zhuo Ke, BSE

Research Data Manager, Boston Children’s Hospital

CAR Student Alum: 2017-2019

Mentor: Casey Zampella, PhD

“I found this [experience] to be a demonstration of the importance of interdisciplinary work where engineering is bridged with psychology and neuroscience."
Read more >



The steps are:

  1. Submit your Application
  2. If selected, interview with program staff
  3. If offered a role, complete the NTP Onboarding process
  4. Once cleared, begin at CAR with your Orientation

This process often takes two months from submitting an application to beginning to work at CAR.

Anytime! We accept applications on a rolling basis. However, we recommend applying by March 15 for roles beginning in summer, and by July 15 for roles beginning in the fall semester.

We seek a wide range of skillsets, experiences, and interests. In general, stellar candidates are those who are hardworking, detail-oriented, fast learners, and good communicators.

Yes. While most students at CAR are undergraduates, high schoolers age 16+, post-bac students, graduate students, and those not currently in school are welcome to apply. We generally seek candidates who will be able to continue with our team for a year or more.

Yes! Several of our teams offer introductory level research roles, where you can learn research procedures on the job.

You may, but do not have to. If you are interested in a specific project, mentor, team, or type of opportunity, include that information in your cover letter which you will upload as part of your application.

There are no specific start dates, each student will start when they complete the Onboarding process. Most students will start by June 1st for the summer, and in September for the academic year. Specific schedules and hours are determined by your team. Most students will work 10-20 hours per week when school is in session, and 30-40 hours per week over the summer. All in person work occurs during business hours.

Often this is an option. In your application, please note the information about the program in your application and we can discuss on a case-by-case basis. For example, students at CAR have received credit or funding through external programs such as:

  • Penn federal work-study program
  • Penn CURF and PURM
  • Temple Pathways 2 Professionals
  • Course credit managed through college/university program