Academic Research

Effective Date Jan 24, 2014

One of the core goals of The Scott Center for Autism Treatment is the completion of research, including theses and dissertations. Faculty, employees (“employee” includes any paid staff member, volunteer, intern, GSA, UGS, federal work study) and graduate students may be provided access to referrals, current clients and facility, within reason, when the parameters of the research would serve to further enhance the clinical and procedural standards for clients at The Scott Center for Autism Treatment, or further to enhance our knowledge in the area.  While working at The Scott Center for Autism Treatment does not guarantee that a research protocol will be approved, priority will be offered to clinical faculty supervising a caseload[1] and full-time employees (e.g., BCBA’s). As such, it is recommended that students interested in conducting research at The Scott Center for Autism Treatment attend the annual orientation at the beginning of the Fall semester in its entirety. 

Written permission from the Director of Autism Services and Training must be obtained before contacting clients at The Scott Center for Autism Treatment (see research protocol form). Additionally, a site approval letter is required to be submitted to the IRB committee. Written requests should include: 1. Preliminary title, 2. General description of procedures, 3. Population, 4. Number of participants, 5. Projected duration, and 6.Recruitment flyer. If the recruitment flyer is to be circulated outside of campus, the template developed by Florida Tech Creative Services must be used. Finally, student research must be supervised by a Florida Tech faculty member. 

Access to Clients: Current clients or clients on the waitlist may be recruited to participate in research. This participation must be voluntary and should not interfere with the client’s current treatment program (arrangement may be made to conduct studies outside of clinic hours), and it must be clear to the guardian that terminating research consent will not affect services provided.

Following approval of the project, the recruitment flyer will be distributed to current and waitlist clients.  It is recommended that a meeting between the parents (or guardians), Director(s) or BCBA, and student be scheduled to discuss the research project prior to the first session; however the Director(s) may speak to the caregiver on the researcher’s behalf at his/her discretion. 

Facility/Materials: The Scott Center for Autism Treatment facility and materials may be used for research that has been approved[2]. Generally, research not affiliated with faculty, employees or clients of The Scott Center for Autism Treatment may not be conducted at the facility. Priority of space and room reservations will be given to clients currently receiving billable treatment services. However, requests for use of space by individuals that are not clients of The Scott Center for Autism Treatment may be submitted and will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

Scheduling Sessions: Research being conducted with clients or staff may be conducted during scheduled treatment sessions by faculty supervising cases only. Such research projects include those that are clinically relevant to on-going treatment protocols (e.g., resolving a clinic problem in a unique manner). As such, a priori research projects (e.g., thesis, dissertations, and academic faculty projects) should be conducted outside of regularly scheduled clinic sessions. 

** Please note that a student should not decide whether research is conducted during or outside of client sessions; explicit permission must be documented and on file.

Research Lab: Ongoing research must be presented at the Scott Center for Autism Treatment research lab.  As such, attendance at the weekly meeting is required by at least one member of the team once data collection begins.

[1] Faculty case managing client programs also have veto power over a priori research, until any discrepancy can be resolved.

[2] Reasonable usage