Open Grants & How to Apply

Grants Programs

Autism Speaks supports global biomedical research into the diagnosis, causes, prevention, and treatment of autism or its disabling symptoms. Our mission is to improve the future for all who struggle with autism spectrum disorders. In support of that mission we provide funding along the entire research continuum - from discovery to development to dissemination - for innovative projects that hold considerable promise for significantly improving the lives of those affected by autism.

Autism Speaks will hold a variety of topic-specific grant calls in 2014. We are pleased to be able to support many different types of projects, each critical for advancing all phases of autism research. In addition to our research grants, we also offer the Weatherstone Predoctoral Fellowship and the Meixner Postdoctoral Fellowship in Translation Research. Fellowships provide the necessary resources to support and encourage the development of young scientists who benefit from the mentorship of prominent researchers. We believe the investment in autism research training will grow exponentially as many of our fellows later assume teaching roles and join departments around the country and the world, many of which currently have no representation in autism research.

Autism Speaks research funding will be restricted to projects that address one of the following priorities:

  • Identify risk factors for ASD that can lead to prevention and improved diagnosis and treatment
  • Reduce age of detection and improve access to early intervention for children with ASD
  • Enhance quality of, and access to, medical care for individuals with ASD
  • Promote the development of safe, effective interventions and medicines to reduce core and associated symptoms of ASD throughout the lifespan
  • Improve the health and outcomes of adults with ASD from a lifetime perspective 

Please refer to the specific Request for Applications (RFA) for the details of eligibility, the application process and access to the Autism Speaks grant system.


Open Requests for Applications (RFAs)

GI and Neurobehavior RFA – Closed as of June 18, 2014Now in Review. This RFA seeks proposals for clinical research that will elucidate the relationship of gut-based processes to the neurobehavioral manifestations of ASD, the potential for treatments directed at GI pathology to affect neurobehavior positively, and best clinical approaches to the evaluation of gut and other medical co-morbidity in patients presenting with new neurobehavioral concerns. See RFA for more information and instructions. [RFA Updated 4-8-2014 - See ORCID Policy]

Suzanne and Bob Wright Trailblazer Award - No deadline; Letters of Intent accepted anytime. $100,000 max, up to 12 months. [Updated 4-8-2014 - See ORCID Policy]

12 month awards for highly novel "out of the box" transformative projects. See RFA for further information. 

Closed Requests for Applications (RFAs)

Meixner Postdoctoral Fellowships in Translational Research for 2014 - Closed as of February 5, 2014. Now in Review.

Dennis Weatherstone Predoctoral Fellowships for 2014 - Announced March 18, 2014


Other Application/Grant Information

Basic and Clinical and Treatment Research (Full & Pilot Levels) will no longer be offered

Announcements of new RFAs will appear on this page and in the e-Speaks newsletter. Researchers can sign up to receive email notification of new RFAs by clicking here:

Autism Speaks Review Process

Autism Speaks' Science Program Policies - Updated 4-8-2014

Apply Online:

All proposals must be submitted online via the Autism Speaks Science Grants System. Through its various user-friendly features, applicants and institutional officials can monitor the status of their applications and grants. System access instructions can be found in the RFAs.

Electronic submissions are mandatory. No paper or e-mailed applications will be accepted. For inquiries, please contact:

Joan L. New, Grants Manager (for Scientific Research Grants)
Autism Speaks
1060 State Road, 2nd Floor
Princeton, NJ 08540

Phone: (609) 228-7313 | Fax: (609) 430-9163 |

For information on Family Services Community Grants, click HERE.