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Frist Center Membership

The Frist Center for Autism & Innovation invites applications for Affiliates and Fellows. Full information about the mission and scope of the Center, including current activities, can be found on the Center’s website at vu.edu/autismandinnovation. Primary areas of focus for the Center’s work include:

  • inventing and commercializing new technologies that enable people with autism and other neurodiverse people to gain employment, succeed at work, and achieve their full potential;
  • studying and understanding neurodiverse capabilities, and inventing and commercializing algorithms and systems that are inspired by those capabilities;
  • developing policies, tools, trainings, and workplace practices that support, recognize, enhance, and enlist neurodiverse people and talents in the workforce;
  • demonstrating, documenting, and disseminating a community-based approach—including employers, self-advocates, researchers, policy makers, agencies, and organizations—to simultaneously enhance the bottom line for business and the quality of life for autistic individuals.

There are two ways that faculty and staff can officially be affiliated with the Frist Center: 

  • Affiliate is open to any VU/VUMC faculty or staff member who has a relevant interest in the activities of the 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 are 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, etc. 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.

Affiliate and Fellow status will be renewable on an annual basis and based on mutual agreement. We plan to have annual calls for affiliation, so if this year does not work for you, there will be ample opportunity to affiliate in the future. If you are interested in becoming affiliated with the Frist Center, please take a moment to fill out this online form by September 15, 2019.