2020 Applied Research Competition Now Open | Organization for Autism Research

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Since 2002, OAR has funded more than 120 studies through its Applied Research Competition, totaling more than $4 million total in research funding. OAR hopes to build on this success in 2020 and continue to support research studies that offer meaningful outcomes to individuals with autism and their families.

2020 Applied Research Competition

OAR invites researchers to submit research pre-proposals for the annual Applied Research Competition. The maximum award is $40,000 for pilot studies beginning in 2021 with a duration of one to two years. International researchers are eligible to apply. Pre-proposals will be accepted through Monday, March 23, 2020 at 11:59 PM ET.

Interested researchers may apply online. All applicants should first review the 2020 request for proposals. OAR funds studies that will likely produce practical and clearly objective results that can help parents, families, professionals, and people with autism make more fully informed choices, leading to healthier and happier lives.

OAR will promote evidence-based practices delivered in the following areas:

  • The analysis, evaluation, or comparison of current models of assessment, intervention, or systems of service delivery, including policy analysis
  • Applied aspects of educational, behavioral, or social/communicative intervention
  • Effective intervention across the lifespan for individuals considered to be severely impacted by autism
  • Adult issues such as continuing education, employment, residential supports, sexuality instruction, quality-of-life determinants, and “later intervention”
  • Issues related to family support, social and community integration, assessment and intervention with challenging behavior, and the use of technology in support of learners with autism spectrum disorders

While applicants are always free to submit proposals on any relevant area of research or intervention described above, this year OAR is placing an emphasis on research that addresses the following targeted areas:

  • Community-based assessment and intervention for challenging behavior
  • Effectiveness of augmentative communication systems
  • Improving access to and effectiveness of existing systems and services
  • Integrated employment
  • Intersectionality, equity, and diversity
  • Mental health assessment and intervention
  • Mid-life and older adults
  • Residential/community services and supports

OAR will invite a select number of applicants to submit full proposals in June. Grant recipients will be announced in early December 2020, and studies will begin as early as January 1, 2021.

For more information about the Applied Research Competition, please contact OAR at  or call 703-243-9762.


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