Autism Science Foundation: Grants for Brain Research and Treatment

OVERVIEW: This funder supports autism researchers and organizations in the stages of pre- and post-doctoral training and early career. Priorities are on genetics, treatment, public education, early diagnosis and early intervention.

IP TAKE: A lot of the ASF grants go toward students and fellowships, but the foundation also has a treatment grants program. RFAs come out in August for this program, which funds human clinical trials and trials for medication, vocational training and behavioral interventions.

PROFILE: Founded in 2009, the Autism Science Foundation supports autism research by funding scientists and organizations. It typically supports young investigators in the stages of pre- and post-doctoral training and early career researchers.

Its funding mission is largely focused on the following topics:

  • Research into the genetics behind autism and triggers.
  • Treatments to enhance the quality of life of autistic children and adults.
  • Early diagnosis and intervention.
  • Dissemination of research to inform parents and the public about developments.

In the foundation’s first five years, ASF committed nearly $2 million to autism research, and funding levels are increasing every year. You can view a list of current and past grantees on the foundation website.

Take a look at ASF’s funding calendar for RFA out, application due, and notification dates the following funding opportunities:

  1. Undergraduate Summer Research Grant: Eight weeks of summer research for undergraduates in an autism lab.       
  2. IMFAR Travel Awards: Stipend to cover attendance at the International Meeting for Austism Research (IMFAR) for stakeholders, including parents, siblings, individuals with autism, grad students, undergraduates, special education teachers, therapists, nurses, etc. The award is $1,000.
  3. Research Accelerator Grants: Grants to expand the scope or increase the efficiency of currently funded autism research. These grants are up to $5,000.
  4. Pre-and Post-doc Fellowships: One year awards for pre- and post-doc training in basic or clinical research. Post-doctoral and pre-doctoral fellowships have been granted to researchers at institutions such as the University of California, San Diego, Massachusetts General Hospital, UT Southwestern Medical School, and Washington University School of Medicine. The award is $25,000 for pre-doctoral students and $35,000 for post-doctoral scholars.
  5. Medical School Gap Year Fellowships: One-year awards for medical school students interested in taking a year off to do research in an autism clinic. The award is $25,000.

The foundation believes that vaccines do not cause autism and that vaccine safety research should continue to instill confidence in the public, but it is not investing research dollars into this cause at this time.

Interested researchers can get in touch with the staff here. Questions about proposal submission, proposal content and review, or applicant eligibility should be addressed to Casey Gold, Director of Operations.

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