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We are a team of researchers that plans, supports and implements research projects, including evaluations, to ensure the continuous improvement of Aspect services. We also collaborate in autism research studies with other experts across Australia and internationally, and share our research findings through publications and presentations. Our expertise encompasses autism-specific education, interventions, assessment and inclusive practices.

Dr Vicki Gibbs – Head of Research

I am a Clinical Psychologist and Head of Research at Aspect, and an Adjunct Associate Lecturer at the University of Sydney. I am also the parent of a young man on the autism spectrum and am passionate about research that aims to make a difference in the everyday lives of autistic people and their families. Prior to my current role, I was responsible for establishing Aspect’s first dedicated diagnostic assessment service. My PhD thesis focused on exploring violent victimization of autistic adults, investigating the extent, nature and impact of these experiences. At Aspect, I have lead or supported research projects on a wide range of topics, including several autism and criminal justice related projects and projects related to autism screening and assessment practices, employment, education, financial well-being, and self-compassion.

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Dr Ru Ying Cai – Research Fellow

Dr Ru Ying Cai

I am passionate about understanding and researching the person-specific and environmental factors that promote mental health and resilience in Autistic individuals and their parents/caregivers. And translating the research knowledge into practical programs to improve the lives of Autistic individuals and their caregivers. My PhD thesis focused on examining the relationships between emotion regulation, intolerance of uncertainty, and mental health and well-being in youth and adults on the autism spectrum. Currently, I lead a program of work that aims to explore the self-compassion experiences of Autistic adults and parents of Autistic children.

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Dr Abbey Love – Research Fellow

I am an Educational Psychologist with experience working as a teacher, advocate, and researcher. I completed my PhD at the University of Kentucky where my dissertation and advocacy work centred on educating first responders to better support their Autistic community members. I have worked as a lecturer in inclusion in the international context, and have experience teaching school-aged students with a focus on teaching students on the autism spectrum. Currently, my research aims to impact the lives of Autistic people and their families/carers, and my projects include work within criminal justice, education and adulthood.

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Dr Chris Edwards – Research Fellow

Dr Chris Edwards

I am an autism researcher and Adjunct Research Fellow with the Menzies Health Institute Queensland (Griffith University) as part of the Inclusive Futures beacon. I am also an Executive Committee member of the Australasian Society for Autism Research (ASfAR). I have been supporting the Autistic community for over nine years through various roles. These roles have been in special education settings, as a disability support worker, positive behaviour support and research-focused positions.

Chris's LinkedIn profile


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Dr Ru Ying Cai and Dr Chris Edwards were honoured with the Autism CRC Achievement in Autism Research Award (Translation of Autism Research) for their ground-breaking project, Improving the Mental Health of Autistic Adults Through the Cultivation of Self-compassion

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Dr Chris Edwards received an Autism Queensland Limited awards (Individual Achievement 18+), recognising his remarkable contributions to the Autistic community through research.

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Dr Chris Edwards was awarded an Australasian Society for Autism Research (ASfAR) Margot Prior Award 2022 for his project, Using Experience Sampling Methodology to Capture Disclosure Reflections from Autistic Adults.

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ARCAP won the Inclusive Research Category in the 2021 Autism CRC Achievement in Autism Spectrum Research Awards for its landmark study to identify research priorities of Australia’s Autistic and autism communities. The award recognises ARCAP’s outstanding commitment to inclusive autism research practices demonstrated through the Aspect Research Priorities Project, which will inform the future focus of ARCAP’s research.

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Aspect is proud to have been endorsed in 2019 by the Autism CRC as one of its first Research Co-Production Partners. This endorsement requires an organisation to have demonstrated a sustained commitment to quality research co-production, producing translatable outcomes relevant to the needs of the community.

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Vicki Gibbs accepted an Autism CRC Award for 'Best Translation of Autism Research' in recognition of research conducted by Aspect Research Centre for Autism Practice (ARCAP) that led to the development of Australia’s first autism training module for police. 

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