UCL Mathematical & Physical Sciences


MAPS EDI Lunch Hour Conversations 2023: Neurodiversity and University

28 March 2023, 1:00 pm–2:00 pm

EDI News

The first in the 2023 series, the next MAPS Lunch Hour Conversation will take place on Tuesday 28th March. We welcome Brian Irvine and Freya Elise from the Centre for Research in Autism and Education (CRAE) at UCL to discuss "neurodiversity and university".

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to

UCL staff | UCL students






Ethne James-Souch (on behalf of MAPS Vice-Dean EDI Nick Achilleos)

After some short introductions the event will run in a Q&A format where the audience can also submit questions on neurodiversity and university to Brian and Freya. All staff and students in UCL are welcome to attend.

The event is via Zoom. Please ensure you register using the link above.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the event.

MAPS EDI Lunch Hour Conversations 2023

Please see below to download the MAPS EDI Lunch Hour Conversation Schedule for 2023, that contains registeration links to the other events:

About the Speakers

Brian Irvine

at Centre for Research in Autism and Education (CRAE)

Photo of Brian Irvine
Brian joined CRAE in the summer of 2022 on the ESRC Superior Perceptual Capacity Project. The project hunts for enviroments where all might thrive. This might be less about creating simple education or employment environments and more about making them the "right kind of interesting". We also want to make sure that this kind of approach is helpful to all, by developing research tools with and for those with intellectual impairment, and by widening our thinking to see if superior perceptual capacity crops up elsewhere. 

Brian wrapped his own ESRC doctorate at ACER, the University of Birmingham's Autism Centre for Education and Research. There, he developed the first framework for Specialist (Austim) Menotoring in UK HEIs. Brian is committed to foster a neurodiverse academy. With the changes that face the world, we need robust universities and other institutions that gather thinkers of all kinds to answer problems in new ways. To do so, autistic people and communities need to be central to the production of knowledge about autism. This knowledge will inspire and demand compassionate, clear and calm universities where all students thrive. 

He has mentored autistic students at Royal Holloway, University of London, where, over the last decade, has met regularly with many students as they journeyed through their university life. 

More about Brian Irvine

Freya Elise

Research Assistant at Centre for Research in Autism and Education (CRAE)

Photo of Freya Elise
Freya has worked with autistic and mental health Public and Patient Involvment (PPI) for many years, both as a participant and, since 2019, as a research assistant at UCL. Freya has a passion for ensuring PPI is meaninful and evaluated for improvement. 

Freya has worked on NIHR funded systematic reviews in autism since 2019. Prior to this Freya was part of the Wellcome Trust-funded "Cafe Connect" project, which engaged the public throughout all phases of the research cycle. Freya completed their BSc at the University of Nottingham, where they also worked on a project studying individual stories on "steps to recovery from self-harm and eating disorders".

Freya is currentlly the research assistant on a systematic review of RCTs with autistic partipants involving language and communication interventions. 

More about Freya Elise