Application type for proposals requesting support of exploratory experiments that will strengthen hypotheses and lead to the formulation of competitive applications for subsequent larger-scale funding by SFARI or other organizations. Innovative, high-risk/high-impact proposals are encouraged. We especially encourage applications from investigators who are new to the field of autism, but who have expertise that could be brought to bear on this complex disorder. The maximum budget is $80,000, including indirect costs, for one (1) year, non-renewable.
Grants awarded through this RFA are intended to provide funding for investigators conducting bold, creative and rigorous research into the underlying biology, causes and treatment of autism spectrum disorders.
Pilot Awards are intended for investigators who are requesting support for small-scale projects or early-stage experiments that will build on preliminary data or a prior track record and lead to competitive applications for funding by SFARI or other organizations. Investigators new to the field of autism are encouraged to apply for these awards. The maximum budget is $330,000, including indirect costs, for two (2) years.
Research Awards are intended for investigators with demonstrated experience who are requesting support for compelling, high-impact research on an experimental hypothesis for which preliminary data have already been gathered. The maximum budget is $975,000, including indirect costs, for three (3) years.
Grants awarded through the Bridge to Independence Award program are intended to invest in the next generation of top autism investigators by identifying talented early-career scientists interested in autism research and facilitating their transition to an independent research career. This request for applications (RFA) is aimed at senior postdoctoral fellows who intend to seek tenure-track faculty positions during the 2017-18 academic year. Successful applicants will receive a commitment of $150,000 per year for three years, to be used for an autism-relevant project, activated upon assumption of a tenure-track professorship.
Grants awarded through this request are intended to support a network of U.S.-based clinical sites to recruit individuals and families affected by autism spectrum disorders (ASD) to participate in SPARK. The overall goals of SPARK are to recruit, engage and retain a community of 50,000 individuals with ASD, along with their family members in the United States. This research cohort will include children and adults with ASD, who span the full spectrum of autism and include individuals of all socio-demographic backgrounds. Selected clinical sites will receive funding of up to $150,000/year for a maximum of three years.
Grants awarded through this RFA are intended to support a network of U.S.-based clinical sites to recruit individuals and families affected by autism to participate in a national autism cohort. The overall goals of the national autism cohort initiative are to recruit, engage and retain a community of 50,000 individuals with ASD, along with their family members in the United States. Selected clinical sites will receive funding of up to $150,000/year for a maximum of three years.
Grants awarded through this RFA are intended to advance our understanding of the genetic basis of autism, and in particular, to begin to assess genetic variants conferring risk in non-coding regions and in coding regions of the genome that may be less accessible to whole-exome sequencing. Investigators who are interested in developing innovative and efficient ways to analyze whole-genome sequencing data from 500 Simons Simplex Collection (SSC) families are encouraged to apply. The maximum budget is $250,000, including indirect costs, for eighteen months, non-renewable.
Grants awarded through this RFA are intended to advance our understanding of the genetic basis of autism, and in particular the potential role of missense and in-frame deletion variants in conferring risk. Investigators who are interested in developing medium- or high-throughput screens to test the functional effects of missense and in-frame deletion variants identified in the Simons Simplex Collection (SSC) and other autism collections are encouraged to apply.
Grants awarded through this RFA are intended to develop and validate objective outcome measures for use in clinical trials targeting core symptoms of ASD (i.e. social communication impairments and restricted, repetitive behaviors) and disruptive behavioral symptoms (e.g. anxiety, tantrums). Such outcome measures should be objective and yield quantitative data, be feasible and not unduly burden participants and families, capture data from the participant in their natural environment, be scalable and affordable for large clinical trials, and have high test-retest reliability. They should be applicable to individuals with autism within a wide range of functioning levels, as well as being valid for a broad age range.
Grants awarded through this RFA are intended to advance our understanding of the impact of activation of the innate immune system on behavioral, circuit, synaptic and neuronal functions in order to understand the consequences of infection and immune activation on autism-related behaviors. Experiments should include physiologically relevant activation/inhibition of the innate immune system in animal models of autism and should focus on neuronal, synaptic and circuit function.
Grants awarded through this RFA are intended to advance our understanding of the circuit basis for behavioral and cognitive alterations relevant to autism spectrum disorders. The goal is to determine the downstream consequences of autism-associated genetic perturbations on neural circuitry, with an emphasis on how collections of neurons operate in concert during autism-relevant behaviors. Experiments should include investigations of neural circuits in awake, behaving rodent models of autism. It is anticipated that SFARI will work closely with awarded investigative teams on all major aspects of the project, including selection of rodent models, data coordination and dissemination.
This RFA seeks proposals that take advantage of the unique combination of biospecimens and rich phenotypic information collected by the Simons Variation in Individuals Project (Simons VIP). Although SFARI is open to many different approaches, we will likely give priority to those that aim to accomplish a comprehensive characterization of RNA expression differences and correlate such expression patterns with phenotypes. Furthering the ability to include genomic analysis would be an additional strength. The data produced in this effort will be made available to the research community with minimum delay and thus will be a valuable resource for all researchers.