Simons Foundation: 2023 Human Cognitive and Behavioral Science in Autism

The Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative (SFARI) is pleased to continue the Human Cognitive and Behavioral Science request for applications (RFA) program, which is specifically dedicated to supporting basic science studies in humans with clear value for improving outcome measures and treatment options in autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

The Human Cognitive and Behavioral Science RFA prioritizes research that produces foundational knowledge about the neurobehavioral differences associated with ASD. These projects are expected to inform or relate to the development and refinement of tools needed for translational efforts, such as biomarkers and outcome measures. Special emphasis is placed on objective, quantitative measures that may be used in conjunction with standardized clinical measures and genomic information to better characterize phenotypic and neurobiological variability within and across individuals with ASD.

Three tracks are offered within this RFA solicitation: Explorer, Expansion and Collaboration.
The Explorer track is appropriate for early-stage projects in which establishing feasibility and proof-of-concept are the most relevant outcomes of the grant period. The total budget is $500,000 or less, inclusive of 20 percent indirect costs, over a period of up to two (2) years.
The Expansion track is appropriate for more mature projects with evidence of feasibility and preliminary validity, for which goals such as scalability, generalizability and/or more comprehensive measure validation are now the most relevant translational outcomes. The total budget is $900,000 or less, inclusive of 20 percent indirect costs, over a period of up to three (3) years.
The Collaboration track is appropriate for multi-lab, cross-institutional collaborative projects. The total budget is up to $750,000 per lab, for up to four (4) labs, over a period of up to three (3) years. Collaborative proposals should be built around transdisciplinary teams tackling a critical issue in the neurobehavioral differences of autism, with clear translational implications. Collaborations among different institutions are strongly encouraged. SFARI will consider funding a limited number of Collaboration proposals. As such, the proposal must provide a strong rationale for how synergies across multiple disciplines will be leveraged.
All applicants and key collaborators must hold a Ph.D., M.D. or equivalent degree and have a faculty position or the equivalent at a college, university, medical school or other research facility. Applications may be submitted by domestic and foreign nonprofit organizations; public and private institutions, such as colleges, universities, hospitals, laboratories and units of state and local government; and eligible agencies of the federal government. There are no citizenship or country requirements.

Applications selected for funding will be announced in late August 2023, with funding expected to begin in fall/winter of 2023.