Autism Speaks announces new grant opportunity for autistic scientists

As part of our mission to be a catalyst for life-enhancing research breakthroughs, Autism Speaks is proud to announce our new Predoctoral Fellowship Program for Autistic Scientists. Through this fellowship program, we hope to increase autistic representation in the field of autism research and empower a greater number of autistic scientists to pursue long-lasting research careers. 

The Predoctoral Fellowship Awards for Autistic Scientists will be granted to qualified predoctoral students who have at least two years remaining before completing their program. Researchers will be awarded $37,000 USD per year for two years. The fellowship awards are available to current graduate students or researchers, both in the U.S. and internationally. 

“With this fellowship program, we hope to support autistic individuals whose combination of academic expertise and lived experience can greatly impact the field of autism research. This grant opportunity will allow us to fund innovative research that resonates with the autistic community and makes a meaningful impact for people across the spectrum and throughout the life span,” says Andy Shih, chief science officer at Autism Speaks. 

The fellowship program will place high priority on research related to topics including: 

  • Transition and adulthood 
  • Behavior dangerous to self and others 
  • Co-occurring medical and mental health conditions 
  • Development and validation of measures examining outcomes important to autistic community members 
  • Gender, sexual health and/or reproductive health 
  • Technology to enhance reach and impact of services, particularly in low resource settings 
  • Pre-clinical studies aimed at reducing the most disabling challenges associated with autism 
  • Interactions with service systems that can inform systematic policy changes 
  • Research that benefits intersectional communities 
  • Mental health and well-being of autistic people (as defined by them) 
  • Studies that focus on individuals who experience autism with intellectual disability, who use augmentative and alternative communication (AAC), or those for whom communication solutions are unavailable 

Letters of Intent are due on or before December 6, 2022 at 8:00 p.m. ET. 

Please view the Request for Applications (RFA) on our grants page to find complete information about the grant opportunity and detailed application instructions.  

A webinar explaining the application process and answering questions will be offered October 26, 2022 at 4 p.m. ET. Click here to register.

Note: Non-autistic doctoral students are directed to the general Predoctoral Fellowship RFA, which will most likely be released in December 2022. Join the RFA notification list to get an email when any RFA is released.