Research Match

Research Match is a service that enables approved researchers to recontact participants from SFARI autism cohorts, including SPARK (Simons Foundation Powering Autism Research), Simons Searchlight and Simons Simplex Collection (SSC), for recruitment into new research studies. Since Research Match launched in 2017, more than 180 projects have been conducted with participants recruited through this service, of which more than 70 projects are currently in progress. In addition, 34 papers and preprints have been published based on these studies.

To date, 108,000 families participating in SPARK have been invited to join a study through Research Match, and 51,000 families have responded to Research Match invitations. In addition, 2,588 families participating in Simons Searchlight have been invited to join a study; 1,435 of these families have agreed to join studies through Research Match.

A list of Research Match projects can be found here.

How does Research Match work?

Interested researchers can request to use Research Match services via SFARI Base, SFARI’s clearinghouse for data and biospecimens generated through SFARI autism cohorts. Detailed information about how to create an account in SFARI Base and submit requests can be found here.

All requests are reviewed by the Participant Access Committee (PAC), which evaluates them based on their scientific merit, burden vs benefit to participants, and significance to advance research about autism and other areas of research. The PAC also takes into consideration whether any current participants are an appropriate fit for the proposed project.

If an application is approved, the Research Match team identifies participants who would qualify for the researcher’s study and sends them information about the study. The participant can then choose to accept or decline the invitation or ask for additional information. If the prospective participant accepts the invitation, the approved researchers receive further details about how to contact the participants directly or participants complete surveys inside the Research Match platform.

Applications for recruiting SPARK participants are reviewed on a quarterly basis. The quarterly deadlines for applications are December 31, March 31, June 30, and September 30.

Applications for recruiting Simons Searchlight and SSC participants are reviewed on a rolling basis throughout the year.

Questions? Email [email protected]

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