The mission of the Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative (SFARI) is to improve the understanding, diagnosis and treatment of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) by funding innovative research of the highest quality and relevance.
To this end, we solicit applications for SFARI awards from individuals who will conduct bold, imaginative, rigorous and relevant research.
Objective of the Pilot Award
The goal of the Pilot Award is to provide early support for exploratory ideas, particularly those with novel hypotheses. Appropriate projects for this mechanism include those considered higher risk with less assurance of ultimate impact, but with the potential for transformative results. Investigators new to the field of autism are encouraged to apply for Pilot Awards. To get a better understanding of SFARI’s different RFAs and whether the Pilot Award may be the best mechanism to support your project, please read our blog post “SFARI RFA reboot: Why, what and how?”
In particular, we encourage applications that propose research to link genetic or other ASD risk factors to molecular, cellular, circuit or behavioral mechanisms of ASD. Please read more about SFARI’s scientific perspectives here. We also strongly advise applicants to familiarize themselves with the current projects and other resources that SFARI supports and to think about how their proposals might complement existing efforts.
The total budget of a Pilot Award is $300,000 or less, including 20% indirect costs, over a period of up to two (2) years. We encourage investigators to take advantage of the flexibility in budget and duration, tailoring the scope of the award as appropriate for their specific aims. For projects that propose two years of research, progress will be critically evaluated at the end of year one before support for the remaining year will be approved. When provided with a compelling justification, we are willing to consider larger budgets for the Pilot Award. One example would be exceptional costs required for some human studies. We strongly encourage investigators considering budgets that exceed our guidelines to consult SFARI science staff before submission (please contact email@example.com).