Funding Opportunities

*Important notice for applicants*:

SFARI’s requests for grant applications have recently undergone a number of changes. The Pilot and Research Awards program have been rebooted and the Explorer Award program has ended (the last receipt of applications was June 15, 2018).

Please read our blog post for more information.

Current RFAs

Award Type
Deadline
Budget and Duration
Description

2019 Research Award – Request for Applications

Grants awarded through this RFA are intended to provide support for the investigation of key unresolved research questions in autism, particularly those that connect etiology to brain function and behavior. Unlike SFARI Pilot Awards, risk and novelty are welcome but are not required criteria for the proposal to be considered meritorious. Competitive applications will have preliminary data or other relevant groundwork that justifies substantial investment on the proposed topic.

The maximum budget is $1,300,000, including indirect costs, over a period of up to four years.

Past RFAs

Award Type
Status
Past Awards
Description

2019 SPARK Clinical Site Network Request for Applications

SPARK is a SFARI initiative intended to recruit, engage and retain a community of 50,000 individuals with autism, and their family members, in the United States. This research cohort includes children and adults who span the full autism spectrum and individuals of all socio-demographic backgrounds.

Through this RFA, SFARI will add additional clinical sites to its existing clinical site network for the purposes of recruiting SPARK participants. Selected clinical sites will receive funding of up to $200,000/year, including indirect costs, for a maximum of three years.

Winter 2019 Pilot Award – Request for Applications

Biannual

Grants awarded through this RFA are intended to provide early support for exploratory ideas, particularly those with novel hypotheses for autism. Appropriate projects for this mechanism include those considered higher risk with less assurance of ultimate impact, but with the potential for transformative results.

Investigators new to the field of autism are encouraged to apply for these awards. The total budget of a Pilot Award is $300,000 or less, including 20 percent indirect costs, over a period of up to two (2) years.

** Note: The Summer 2019 Pilot Award RFA will open mid-Feb 2019.

Bridge to Independence Award Request for Applications

Annual

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 independent research careers.

This request for applications (RFA) is aimed at senior postdoctoral fellows who intend to seek tenure-track faculty positions during the 2018-2019 academic year. Successful applicants will receive a commitment of $495,000 over three years, activated upon assumption of a tenure-track professorship.

** Note: This RFA will reopen spring 2019.

Genomic Analysis for Autism Risk Variants in SPARK – Request for Applications

Targeted

Grants awarded through this RFA are intended to advance our understanding of the genetic basis of autism. Investigators who are interested in analyzing genomic data in innovative ways from thousands of SPARK families are encouraged to apply.

Available data will include whole-exome and genome-wide genotyping data from approximately 4,500 individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and their biological parents. Approximately half of these families will also have genomic data from an unaffected sibling. In addition, whole-genome sequencing data will be available from approximately 400 other ASD individuals, plus their biological parents and unaffected siblings. A limited phenotypic dataset for all participants will be available.

We expect to fund several awards in the range of $100,000 (direct costs) for 18 months. Higher budgets will be considered, but we expect such budgets to be strongly justified.

‌Explorer Awards RFA

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.

** Note: The Explorer Award program has ended (the last receipt of applications was June 15, 2018). Please read our blog post for more information.

Whole-Genome Analysis for Autism Risk Variants Request for Applications

Targeted

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.

Functional Screen of Autism-Associated Variants Request for Applications

Targeted

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.

2015 Novel Outcome Measures for ASD Clinical Trials request for applications

Targeted

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.

Innate Immune System Impact Request for Applications

Targeted

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.

Circuit Dynamics Request for Applications

Targeted

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.

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