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STAR Statement on a recently funded project at Stirling.

We have recently learned of a newly funded project at the University of Stirling called “The Cortical Head Direction System as a Model for Systems-level Alterations in Three Rat Models of Autism Spectrum Disorder/Intellectual Disability”. The project has been funded by the Simon’s Foundation and is in collaboration with the University of Dundee and McGill University in Canada. We first learned of this project after the funding had been awarded. 


We believe it is important to make clear that the Stirling Autism Research (STAR) team is not associated with this project in any way. We do not believe that rat (or any other animal) models can reflect the autistic experience. Such research is incompatible with the values and priorities of our team and the wider autistic community.


We would like to reiterate that STARs values are: Humility, Compassion and Inclusion. We aim to do ethical, rigorous and inclusive autism research that will ultimately make a meaningful difference in autistic people’s everyday lives. We research topics such as mental health and wellbeing, community, identity, minority stress, masking, aging, memory and everyday thinking. You can find out more about the individual team members and our research here. We have also updated our ‘useful links‘ page to include some helpful resources and recommended papers.