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Dr Laura Crane
Centre for Research in Autism and Education (CRAE)
UCL Institute of Education
55-59 Gordon Square
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7331 5141
  • Senior Lecturer
  • IOE - Psychology & Human Development
  • UCL Institute of Education
UCL Principal Supervisor,UCL Subsidiary Supervisor

Laura is an Associate Professor at UCL Institute of Education, where she is Deputy Director of the Centre for Research in Autism and Education (CRAE).  

Laura was awarded a BSc (Hons) in Psychology (First Class), an MSc in Research Methods (with Distinction) and a PhD in Psychology (with no corrections), all from the University of London (2002-2009). Following this, Laura held postdoctoral research positions at several London-based universities, before joining UCL Institute of Education as a faculty member in 2017.  

Research Summary

Laura’s research focuses on understanding the educational experiences of autistic children and young people (in mainstream and special schools), and identifying evidence-based ways to support pupils, their parents and their educators. Laura is passionate about engaging education professionals in research - supporting them to identify priorities for research and co-designing research studies that positively impact on pupil outcomes and wellbeing. 

Laura also has expertise in the following areas: (1) examining the diagnostic and post-diagnostic experiences of autistic people, their families, and the professionals who work with them; and (2) promoting access to justice for witnesses on the autism spectrum (in both the criminal and family justice systems).  Laura’s early work centered on cognition and autism (with a particular focus on autobiographical memory). 

Central to all of Laura’s work is a commitment to the involvement of the autistic and broader autism communities in the research process; ensuring that research has a strong participatory ethos and is of direct and practical relevance to those it affects.  

Laura is also a strong advocate of public engagement and community outreach; ensuring that research is accessible to autistic people, their families, and the professionals who work with them. Laura has won several prizes for this work, including the charity Autistica’s Community Engagement Award (2018), a UCL Provost’s Prize for Public Engagement (2018), and a Rising Star Engagement Award from the British Academy (2017). 

Teaching Summary

At UCL Institute of Education, Laura teaches on the MA in Special and Inclusive Education, where she is module leader for the postgraduate module 'Autism: Research and Practice'.  Laura also delivers guest lectures on autism for students on the PGCE Secondary programme and Professional Doctorate in Educational Psychology programme.


Laura supervises several postgraduate taught and research students at UCL, all of whom conduct autism research.  Please note that Laura is not accepting applications from prospective doctoral students at present.  

Laura is also an experienced internal and external examiner.  Currently, she is external examiner for the MSc Child and Adolescent Psychology at the University of Greenwich.  Laura has also acted as internal/external examiner for research theses at several universities in the UK (Bedfordshire, Birmingham, Cambridge, Exeter, Huddersfield, Sheffield, UCL) and internationally (Flinders).  

NOV-2017 Associate Professor Centre for Research in Autism and Education (CRAE) UCL Institute of Education, United Kingdom
FEB-2017 – OCT-2017 Senior Teaching and Engagement Fellow (p/t) Centre for Research in Autism and Education (CRAE) UCL Institute of Education, United Kingdom
OCT-2015 – OCT-2017 Postdoctoral Research Associate (p/t) Department of Psychology Goldsmiths, University of London, United Kingdom
JAN-2014 – JUL-2016 Research Fellow (p/t) Division of Language and Communication Science City, University of London, United Kingdom
APR-2011 – JAN-2014 Research Fellow (p/t) Department of Psychology London South Bank University, United Kingdom
Academic Background
2010   Doctor of Philosophy University of London
2006   Master of Science University of London
2005   Bachelor of Science University of London
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