Funding Opportunities

SFARI offers grant programs to support bold, imaginative and rigorous research, relevant to the SFARI mission. Our standing Request for Application (RFA) programs include Pilot Awards and Bridge to Independence Awards. We also feature ad-hoc targeted RFAs and SEED Awards on a rolling basis. SFARI also continues to be a key participant in the Shenoy Undergraduate Research Fellowship in Neuroscience (SURFiN).

Please read our blog post for more information about SFARI's 2024 funding initiatives.

Past RFAs

Award Type
Status
Past Awards
Description
Light drawing with a silhouette of two rats

Autism Rat Models Consortium – Request for Applications

Grants awarded through this RFA are intended to capitalize on the rat as a model system to advance our understanding of the behavioral and circuit neuroscience mechanisms driving autism. This RFA will support a consortium of investigators to collaboratively use SFARI autism rat models to examine the biological basis of complex behaviors and the underlying neural circuits relevant for autism. We welcome applications from individual labs, as well as collaborative applications of up to three (3) principal investigators.

Each lab may request a maximum of $300,000, inclusive of 20 percent indirect costs, for each year of funding over a period of two (2) to three (3) years.

Test tubes

Maternal COVID-19 as a potential risk for autism: Supplemental funding for ongoing pregnancy cohorts – Request for applications

Grants awarded through this RFA will supplement funding from other agencies for ongoing pregnancy cohorts to broaden biospecimen collection and to extend post-natal family tracking. These cohorts and biospecimen collections can be leveraged in future research to understand the effects of gestational infection and inflammation on autism risk in children.

The maximum budget is $250,000 for projects recruiting at a single site, and $400,000 for projects recruiting at two or more sites.

2020 SFARI Collaboration on Sex Differences in Autism — Request for Applications

Collaboration

SFARI Collaborations are a new funding mechanism that will provide substantive and stable funding support to multidisciplinary teams of investigators tackling critical issues in the autism research field. Collaborations will be led by a director who oversees interdisciplinary, synergistic research efforts across multiple laboratories. Investigative groups within a Collaboration will focus on the same conceptually unified topic but will incorporate different scientific disciplines, multiple levels of analysis, and will include a robust data-sharing infrastructure.
 
SFARI Collaborations have a maximum budget of up to $8,000,000, including 20 percent indirect costs, over an initial period of four years, with a possible three-year extension.
 
For our first Collaboration RFA, SFARI solicits applications to investigate sex differences in autism.

2020 Research Award – Request for Applications

Annual

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. SFARI welcomes risk and novelty in Research Award proposals, but potential impact on the autism research field will be the most important criterion. 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.

2019 Novel Outcome Measures in ASD Request for Applications

Targeted

Grants awarded through this request for applications are intended to develop and validate outcome measures that are suitable for use in intervention studies that target the core symptoms of autism spectrum disorder. Such measures should provide objective data with strong psychometric properties, be scalable for use in large, multisite studies, not be unduly burdensome to participants and families, and have evident clinical relevance. They would ideally capture naturalistic rather than laboratory behavior and be applicable to subjects across a wide range of ages and levels of functioning.

We expect to fund several awards through this mechanism. The maximum budget is $300,000 per year, including indirect costs, for up to three years. Higher budgets will be considered, but such budgets must be strongly justified.

2019 SPARK Clinical Site Network Request for Applications

Targeted

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.

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.

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