Applied Research Competition Open for Applicants | Organization for Autism Research

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OAR invites researchers to submit pre-proposal applications for its annual Applied Research Competition. Since the program was established in 2002, OAR has awarded more than $3.7 million in grants to fund over 115 applied research studies. OAR hopes to build on this success in 2019, continuing its support of research studies that offer meaningful outcomes to individuals with autism and their families.

The purpose of this competition is to support pilot studies that expand the body of autism research in a way that produces practical results to enhance the quality of life for persons with autism and their families.

Beginning this year, the maximum award amount will increase from $30,000 to $40,000. Proposed studies must begin January 1, 2020 or later, and have a duration of one to two years.

The application process occurs in three phases: pre-proposals, full proposals, and final review. Pre-proposal applications will be accepted through Monday, March 25 at 11:59 p.m. ET. A limited number of applicants will be invited to submit full proposals in June. Winners will be announced in early December.

OAR promotes evidence-based practices delivered from research in the following broad 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 welcome to submit proposals on any relevant area of research or intervention, OAR is placing an emphasis this year 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

Interested researchers should review the 2019 request for proposals as well as OAR’s funding guidelines. For more information on OAR’s Applied Research Competition, contact or call 703-243-9762.


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