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SECP & DSP Opportunities

Conference Scholarships

A number of scholarships to offset the cost of attendance are available to students, early career professionals and direct support professionals. Most of these scholarships are awarded to individuals who are lead authors of submissions (concurrent, symposia, or poster sessions) accepted for presentation at the conference. Individuals apply for consideration for these scholarships as part of the submission process.

Attendance at the conference is required to receive a conference scholarship, individuals who are notified of their selection for a scholarship but do not attend the conference will not be presented with the scholarship honoraria.

Below are the scholarship opportunities that are not related to making a presentation at the annual meeting.

Legal Process & Advocacy (LP&A) Scholarship

Amount: $550

Number Awarded:
Typically one (1) per year

: to (a) develop a broader base of engaged members for the LP&A’s agenda and activities; (b) develop and support students’ capacities for legal and policy activities related to the rights of individuals with IDD; and (c) encourage the active participation of applicant students and early career professionals in the development and implementation of the LP&A’s agenda and activities.

Eligibility: Undergraduate (junior or senior) or graduate student in good standing in a degree program closely related to working/advocating with people with IDD.

Application: Submit (a) a signed letter of application that describes how attendance at the AAIDD conference will enhance the student’s study about legal issues and advocacy for people with IDD and (b) a signed letter of reference, preferably on University letterhead, from a faculty member in the student’s higher education degree program via email to Barb Kleist (kleis041@umn.edu) by close of business, Friday, April 13, 2018.

Region V DSP Scholarship

Amount: $1,500

Number Awarded:
Up to two (2) per year

: To support DSPs from Region V states to attend the AAIDD annual meeting.

Eligibility: Applicants must (a) be a direct support professional and (b) reside in one of the following states: Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Oklahoma, or Texas.

Application: Submit a letter of application describing how attendance at the AAIDD annual meeting is likely to enhance your professional development via email to Maggie Nygren (mnygren@aaidd.org) by close of business, Friday, April 13, 2018.

The AAIDD Student and Early Career Professional SIG and Research Division

Call for Proposals

Title: 2018 Research Colloquium: Developing a Research Career Path 
Purpose: The purpose of the preconference research colloquium is to provide AAIDD students and early career professionals with an opportunity to present their research and network with leading IDD researchers and policymakers. Participants will receive feedback on how to translate their work into meaningful research, policy, and practice. 

Colloquium presenters will present a review of literature, research questions, methods, results, and questions they would like feedback on in a Pecha-Kucha style (20 slides, 20 second per slide). Following each presentation, Research Division members and AAIDD colloquium audience participants will engage in an brief open forum discussion to provide feedback to the participants on how the research fits into research, policy, and practice related to individuals with IDD. Discussion will also address sharing findings in multiple venues (i.e., peer-reviewed journals, practitioner-based journals, blogs, etc.). Examples of research to present could include grant applications with pilot data, formal research study (thesis, dissertation, first solo research study), or a program evaluation. 

Participants: Students and early career professionals (10 years in field or less)

Location:  AAIDD conference, St. Louis, Missouri

Date/Time:  Monday, June 25th, 1-4 p.m.

Evan Dean, PhD University of Kansas
Heather J. Williamson, PhD, Northern Arizona University
Jim Lemanowicz, BBA, Temple University

Submission Requirements: Please send proposals to Evan Dean (edean2@kumc.edu) with "SECP/RD Research Colloquium" in the subject.

December 31, 2017
February 15, 2018

Please note this colloquium will be a pre-conference session. All presenters will need to purchase a pre-conference session admission ticket. 

To be considered for this session, submit a proposal with the following information: 

  • Name/title
  • Institution
  • Program/department
  • Where are you in your training/career?
  • Title
  • Abstract (50 words or less)
  • Summary – Topic/Research questions/sample results (500 words or less)

Learning Objectives:
It is anticipated participants will engage in the following learning objectives:

  • Developing manuscripts, proposals, and presentations
  • Building relationships and developing connections
  • Introducing other AAIDD SIGS and Divisions (e.g., Research Division)
  • Assist students and early career professionals with translational research 




 conference pics