Our mission at the Autism Research Institute is to support the health and well-being of people affected by autism through innovative, impactful research and education. Research grants are a critical part of our mission and we are pleased to announce that we are accepting one- to two-page pre-application LOi from qualified applicants now through June 15, 2021.

Review of the pre-applications will be completed on or before July 10, 2021, depending on the number of submissions.  The deadline for those who are invited to submit a full application is August 1, 2021.

Letters of interest must include:

  • Project title
  • Extended abstract: 1.5 page limit
    • Prior work/scientific justification for the proposal
    • Proposed work
    • Impact/Relevance to ARI’s mission
  • Personnel with names of affiliates–quarter page limit
  • Budget and brief justification–quarter page limit

Format: 12-point font and 1-inch page margins

Letters of interest are accepted via email at: [email protected]

About ARI’s Research Grants

Learn more about research we fund


The purpose of the ARI awards is to provide early stage funding for research that has the potential to develop into extramurally funded, scientifically significant research projects.  Support is focused on new areas of research for young investigators and new avenues of research for established investigators.

Who May Apply?

University or Center faculty and post-doctoral students are eligible to submit one proposal per year as the Principal Investigator (PI). Adjunct faculty, research assistants, for-profit companies, research associates and visiting faculty are not eligible to apply.

Grants Funded

In line with our mission, ARI will only accept grants that aim to increase our understanding of the biology and biochemistry of autism as well as medical and nutritional treatment; this includes genetics, neurology, metabolism, immunology, gastrointestinal, and sensory processing in addition to their impact on behavior.

Full Application

If the pre-application is approved, the full complication will include the following: cover page (1 page), narrative section (4-5 pages), budget section (1-2 pages), biographical sketch (2 pages maximum for each investigator). The narrative and budget sections should total a maximum of 7 pages.

Funding Period 

Funding is for a 12-month period starting in the Fall of 2021; however, eighteen months is allowed to complete the project. Renewal grants (continuation of the same project awarded in the previous year) will be considered only in exceptional circumstances.

Amount of Awards

Most grants range from $20,000 to $50,000 (USD).

Priorities for Funding

Priority will be given to: 1) start-up or seed efforts that represent new and promising areas of research; 2) projects that are most likely to attract additional extramural funding; and 3) senior investigators pursuing avenues of research which are new to the investigator.

Allowable Expenses

Expenditures included in the grant may include: 1) equipment, 2) operating expenses including supplies and materials, and 3) salaries for laboratory personnel (e.g., mentored undergraduate and graduate students, post docs, research associates) are allowed but are limited to the year of the grant. No salary or compensation is allowed for faculty or the applicant. No travel expense is allowed unless justified as necessary for the research. No indirect costs are covered.