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Frist Center releases application to become affiliate, fellow

Posted by on Monday, August 19, 2019 in News.

The Frist Center for Autism and Innovation has just announced its new membership program, which will allow Vanderbilt faculty and staff to apply to become affiliates or fellows of the Center.

Frist Center literature. // Photo by Claire Barnett

An affiliate can be any VU/VUMC faculty or staff member who has a relevant interest in the activities of the Frist Center, including—but not limited to—developing a strengths-based understanding of neurodiverse abilities; studying novel employment arrangements and workplace practices that leverage these capabilities; inventing new technologies that enable individuals with autism to achieve their potential; and exploring innovative approaches inspired by neurodiversity. Affiliates are eligible for benefits such as access to resource staff, postdoctoral fellows, and the ability to apply for mini-grants.

Fellows will be affiliates who are willing to contribute time and effort toward the Center’s initiatives, ranging from participating on committees, mentoring students, mentoring postdocs, hosting speakers, planning symposia, leading white papers, conducting studies and more. Those awarded fellow status will be eligible for additional benefits, such as administrative support for working groups, prioritized access to resource staff and Center workspace, and the ability to propose projects with significant Center support.

The Frist Center workspace, which fellows will receive priority access to. // Photo by Claire Barnett

This new membership program follows the Center’s official Grand Opening on July 25. It intends to formally recognize the many faculty and staff members who seek to support the Center’s mission, and to facilitate collaboration with these individuals. Given the high amount of anticipated interest in becoming a Frist Center member, applications will be carefully reviewed and the strongest applicants will be offered membership.

Both affiliate and fellow status will be renewable on an annual basis, based on mutual agreement. The Frist Center will have annual calls for affiliation, so if this year does not work out for you, there will be ample opportunity to pursue affiliation in the future. If you are interested in becoming a member of the Frist Center, please take a moment to fill out this online form by September 15, 2019. The first cohort of members will be announced on a rolling basis until the application closes.


  • Jennifer Ask

    August 26th, 2019

    Hello, I am interested in applying for affiliate status with the Frist Center. I am the Coordinator for Vanderbilt Bill Wilkerson Center’s Autism Diagnostic Program as well as the Associate Director of the Preschool for Children with Autism. I have a committed interest in this population of people and would welcome the chance to support the Frist Center’s mission of supporting them. We seek out interns who have ASD and other neurodevelopmental disorders to be placed in our Preschool for rotations via Next Steps as well as private referrals. We serve children in a unique way through this intensive communication program, as our preschool is led by Speech-Language Pathologists and has a focus on social and syntactic language development, expansion of play, development of relationships and self-regulation. Please let me know if there is an application to be filled out for this membership. thank you, Jenni Ask M.S. CCC-SLP

  • Claire Barnett

    August 26th, 2019

    Hello Jenni,

    You can apply to be a member at this link:

    We look forward to reviewing your application!

    Claire Barnett
    Frist Center Communications Coordinator

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