Parent Coaching Intervention Research Project


ACT – Autism Community Training, in collaboration with the British Columbia Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD), the Pacific Autism Family Centre (PAFC) and the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research (MSFHR), invites applications from teams consisting of researchers partnered with service providers to develop, implement and evaluate evidence-based parent coaching intervention(s) for children aged 15 to 30 months who are at risk of or diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), hereinafter referred to as the Parent Coaching Intervention Research Project or “The Project”.

The Project has been funded as a one-time only initiative; the findings of this research program are intended to assist in informing the continuous development of BC’s autism service model.


In December 2015, MCFD announced one-time funding for a Parent Coaching Intervention Research Project for toddlers at risk of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).  The Project is grounded in emerging evidence that demonstrates the effectiveness of interventions with very young children – specifically, toddlers aged 15 to 30 months – who are identified as being at risk of ASD or who have been diagnosed with ASD. These emerging interventions are known as Naturalistic Developmental Behavioural Interventions (NDBIs).

NDBIs integrate behavioural methodologies and developmental considerations and target pivotal developmental domains.  Skills are taught to children through systematic interactive and meaningful exchanges with caregivers in typical daily interactions, experiences and routines. Recent studies have demonstrated that a collaborative process known as parent coaching can help enhance NDBI delivery through parent-child interactions. (Please see Appendix A – Parent Coaching Research References) Parent coaching, in the context of children who may have ASD, recognizes that many parents often require specialized coaching because of the significant social and communication challenges that ASD presents to the typical parent-child dyad. Parent coaching interventions focus on coaching parents to use NDBI techniques to help their children.

Research into the effectiveness of NDBIs (and parent coaching interventions generally) is still in its infancy, but a number of studies have demonstrated the efficacy of parent coaching interventions.  In order to better understand the potential impact of the use of parent coaching to deliver NDBIs specifically in the BC context, this request for applications seeks researchers and service providers who will partner to develop, implement and evaluate a parent-coached NDBI research project.

Award Amount and Duration

The maximum amount for the award is $2,850,000.

The maximum period of funding is three years. Funding will be allocated to a single Applicant Team composed of both researchers and service delivery partner/s.

Download full documents here:

Request for Applications –  Parent Coaching Intervention Research Project

Request for Expressions of Interest from Service Providers  – Parent Coaching Intervention Research Project


All inquiries regarding this RFA and EOI are to be directed by email to Deborah Pugh at [email protected].

Key Competition Dates

The timeline for this RFA is summarized as follows:

Action Target Date
Issue RFA August 2, 2016
Deadline for response to Call for Expressions of Interest and Researcher Registration processes September 19, 2016
Information session (web streamed and in person) September 29, 2016
Deadline for response to RFA November  18, 2016
Review meeting held Early January 2017
Applicants notified of funding decision Mid-January 2017
Project start February  2017
Project completion January 2020