Ayres' Sensory Integration Therapy 

Helping children and adults with SI difficulties

SI Research Grant Awards


Aims and Scope of Awards

The purpose of SI Network Research Grant Awards is to support the development of early career SI researchers by providing financial, recruitment and dissemination support. The aim is to build the skills of those researching SI in order to contribute to the national and international evidence base for SI.

The SI Network research grants are to support development of the evidence relating to Sensory Integration across the Lifespan: The Art and Science. All grant applications must demonstrate contribution to one or more of the following themes:
  • Evidence from within the field of Neuroscience
  • Assessment and Measures of SI and Sensory Processing Difficulties
  • Evidence for the treatment of Sensory Processing Difficulties:
    • Ayres' Sensory Integration Therapy
    • Sensory Strategies.
The SI Network will support quality research projects that will provide robust evidence with clear relevance to service users, carers, and/or the organisation and delivery of effective services.

Where appropriate, practitioners and service users should be involved and close collaborative working between academic and service provider organisations is also encouraged.

Grant Information and Application forms

Grant Awards available

Grants will be available as per calendar year, from January 1st. The financial envelope allocated to each type of the five Research Grant Award has the potential to support more than one study. However, when the financial envelope for each award has been allocated, the award will be closed to further applications. Grant awards may be re-launched prior to the end of the financial year if all research funds have not been allocated, therefore expressions of interest may be submitted.


1. MSc Research Projects Grant (£5000)

These grants will support research activity undertaken as part of a Masters programme where the focus of the Research project is on advancing sensory integration knowledge and/or aligned with the key research strands of the SI Network. Applicants will need to demonstrate appropriate expertise in Sensory Integration Theory and Practice aligned to the research project.  These grants do not support tuition fees. Please refer to T&Cs below for further information. You must be a current Gold or Silver member of the SI Network in order to submit a grant application. If you are not already a member, then you can join online here.

2. PhD Research Projects Grant (£5000)

These grants are to support the research activity undertaken as part of a PhD or Doctorate programme where the focus of the Research project relates to one or more of the key research themes of the SI Network (as above). Applicants/co applicants will need to demonstrate appropriate expertise in Ayre’s Sensory Integration Theory and Practice aligned to the research project.

Alternatively experienced researchers who may be experts in other fields and are not eligible for SI practitioner status such as Psychology and/or Neuroscience may apply for funding to develop their knowledge of Ayres SI theory and practice in order to complete a proposed research project as part of their PhD. These grants do not support tuition fees. Please refer to T&Cs below for further information.  You must be a current Gold or Silver member of the SI Network in order to submit a grant application. If you are not already a member, then you can join online here.

  1. Terms and Conditions 
  2. Application form 
  3. Guidance for application
  4. Submission Form

3. Small Projects/Studies Grant (£7000)

These grants support small pilot studies and/or single case study experimental design or qualitative studies reflecting the key research strands of the SI Network with a clinical focus.  Grants may be awarded to clinicians and health practitioners as well as new researchers.  Applicants/application groups will need to demonstrate appropriate expertise in Sensory Integration Theory and Practice aligned to study needs. You must be a current Gold or Silver member of the SI Network in order to submit a grant application. If you are not already a member, then you can join online here.

4. Dissemination of Research Grant (£3000)

These grants will contribute to conference attendance where research results relating to topics aligned to Sensory Integration Theory and Practice will be disseminated. The grant can also be used for developing skills for publishing research adhering to the SI research themes. You must be a current Gold or Silver member of the SI Network in order to submit a grant application. If you are not already a member, then you can join online here.

5. Recruitment Support Grant

The SI Network will promote research on their online forums, publications and to their members relating to the research strands provided above. Proposals will be subjected to the same review process as other grant awards. You must be a current Gold or Silver member of the SI Network in order to submit a grant application. If you are not already a member, then you can join online here.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I apply for a grant to fund tuition fees for a PhD or MSc?

SI Network Researcher Development Grants will not support tuition fees for any MSc modules or for a PhD.  However, grants can be used in part to fund participation in training or Continued Professional Development activity (not included in the applicant’s MSc/PhD course) that is central to the performance of their research. This may include SI Network courses (Non Modular).  Please see the Research Grant Awards details in the section below, and particularly the Terms and Conditions, for further information.

What types of equipment can I request funding for?

SI Network Researcher Development Grants will not support purchase of equipment that a student would typically require for any academic course.  For example a laptop/PC would not be funded.  Equipment that is necessary for completion of the specific piece of research will be considered for funding.  For example, additional assessment sheets or specialist equipment not available to the researcher through any other means. Applicants will need to ensure that they provide a clear rationale for why they require any requested equipment.  Please see the Research Grant Awards details in the section below, and particularly the Terms and Conditions, for further information.

Update: 

SI Network Research Grants (Dissemination, MSc & PhD) now include funding for co writers/supervisors to support with for writing for publication. Please see new Terms and Conditions below for more information.

Advice for BSc students

Before applying for the recruitment support grant in order to access members of the SI Network please consider the following:

  • Members who choose to participate in research studies use their good will and time to complete surveys or questionnaires. It is reasonable to expect that time and effort taken to participate will contribute to a piece of research that is not solely for a dissertation.
  • It is therefore recommended that if the research is for a dissertation only, and findings are not intended to be disseminated by any other means, potential participants may be recruited through our social media sites only. Where there is a clear intention to disseminate findings beyond the dissertation, the panel will consider enabling recruitment via direct access (email) to our members.

Previously Awarded Grants

SI Network grants have part funded the following projects:

Type of Grant: Recruitment Grant

Researcher: Helen Justice (OT)

Title: “Occupational Therapy for adults with learning disabilities and sensory processing challenges: establishing essential and desirable elements of assessment, intervention, and training for therapists within in-patient care" 

Project status: Recruitment complete, first phase of analysis begun.               

Type of Grant: MSc project

Researcher: Kylie Holdback (OT & Advanced SI Practitioner)

Title: ‘What is the impact of Sensory Integration Therapy for the families of children with sensory integration dysfunction’   

Project status: Ethical approval being agreed            

Type of Grant: Small project grant

Researcher: Tanya Rihtman (OT)

Title:  ‘An investigation into the inter relationship between sensory function and motor performance  and behavior  in pre schoolers’

Project status: Phase 1a complete, to determine the construct validity of the LDCDQ next phase is to assess pre schoolers using the SDQ, SPM and the lDCDQ

Type of Grant : MSc project

Researcher: Sue Allen (Occupational Therapist)

Title: 'A retrospective review to identify the reported incidence of sensory processing difficulties in children with developmental co-ordination disorder'

Project Status: Completed

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