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The 2019 Doctoral Student AAC Research Think Tank will be held on the University Park campus of Penn State University from May 19-21, 2019 The Think Tank will bring together doctoral students and faculty to discuss strategies for developing research careers in AAC. The Think Tank is supported by funding from the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR grant #90RE5017) to the RERC on AAC, and The Hintz Family Endowed Chair in Children’s Communicative Competence.

Faculty and graduate students, please contribute ideas using the 2019 Think Tank Content Survey

Doctoral students, please apply using the  2019 Think Tank Application form


We also are proud to share information on 2017 Doc Student Think Tank.  Twenty-two doctoral students from across the country  participated in 3 days of interesting presentations and discussions! We received the following feedback (19 of the 22 participants provided [anonymous] feedback).

  • 100% of the participants rated the Think Tank as a  7  (1=poor and 7=outstanding)
  • 100% of the participants said they would recommend the Think Tank to others

Comments included

2017 ThinkTank Participants

2017 ThinkTank Participants

This was such a unique opportunity to meet and begin to build relationships with both active and key scholars in the field, as well as, our academic peers.  I gained both confidence in the importance of my work, the breadth and depth of the field at large as it continues to grow, and the pure desire of others to challenge and expand one another’s thinking. 

After leaving the Think Tank, I feel more knowledgeable about both the content and process of AAC research, and I feel energized to apply that knowledge to evaluate interventions to improve the lives of individuals who use AAC.

As a student, I feel the opportunity to meet and talk with leaders in the field of AAC as well as other doctoral students was particularly valuable. There were so many great discussions not only about personal research but also career goals, collaboration and development that have made me reflect on where I want to go as a researcher and how I can contribute to the work in AAC to support individuals with complex communication needs.

 I am awed and inspired by both the diversity of interests in AAC and the unity of passions to improve the lives of people who use AAC.  As one participant said at the closing session, “We are an army!”