Informational Webinar

Watch a panel of Scientific Council members discuss key background information
about the competition and offer guidance to prospective applicants.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the eligibility requirements?

  • International researchers are eligible to apply.
  • At least one member of the research team must hold a Ph.D., M.D., or equivalent degree and maintain a faculty position or equivalent at a college, university, medical school, or other research facility.
  • Applicants who are in transition between research institutions during the competition period but before the study period begins are still eligible to apply. In such cases, applicants must coordinate with the proper office of sponsored programs, and briefly explain the pending status of IRB approval within the application.


Can I submit more than one application?

  • Applicants may only submit one proposed study as the principal investigator or co-principal investigator.
  • You may apply as a principal investigator for one proposed study and also be a member of a research team (e.g. co-investigator or consultant) for another proposal.


How much funding can I request?

OAR funds pilot studies that range from 1-2 years. The maximum grant amount is $40,000 regardless of study duration.


Which type of OAR grant should I apply for?

OAR currently offers two lines of research funding: the Applied Research Competition and the Graduate Research Grants Program.

  • Applied Research Competition – This is OAR’s most competitive competition available. The ideal applicant is an autism researcher. While there are no eligibility restrictions based on experience or degree, many of the finalists have doctoral degrees and previous experience conducting autism research. Winners receive $40,000 for pilot studies that are 1-2 years in duration and have the potential to impact autism families in a meaningful way.
  • Graduate Research Grants Program – This competition is for graduate students conducting autism research in support of an advanced degree. Grant awards of $1,000 are offered to students for conducting autism research as a requirement in pursuit of a master’s degree and $2,000 for students who are doctoral candidates.


Is my proposal a good fit for this competition?

Please refer to the RFA and review the list of OAR-funded studies.


How can I best prepare for the competition?

  • Review the RFA, Overview of Application Process, and Budget Guidelines.
  • Watch the informational webinar and download the Tip Sheet that appears at the top of this page.
  • Review the entire online application on SurveyMonkeyApply.
  • Access OAR’s research portal for examples of successfully funded studies.
  • Read Tips on Applying for an OAR Research Grant, by Jonathan M. Campbell, PhD, member of the Scientific Council.


Who is the ‘Sponsored Office’ contact person?

A university or research center typically has an office called “Office of Research Sponsored Programs,” “Sponsored Projects Office,” or “Office of Research.” This office is responsible for administering grant materials, such as awards, applications, grant agreements, and budgeting for the organization. Depending on the type of research you conduct, you may be assigned a specific contact person from that office.

If your organization does not have a sponsored office, please identify the individual who will be responsible for processing grant materials and/or funds at your organization.


To whom should I address the cover letter?

Please address the cover letter to “OAR’s Scientific Council.”


How do I format the Letter of Intent?

OAR provides an LOI template for applicants to download and complete. The instructions that appear within the text fields of the template may be overwritten. The LOI must not exceed two pages.

If the applicant chooses not to use the provided template, they must adhere to the following format requirements: 1/2″ margins, Arial 11-point font or larger, maximum (2) two pages in length. The LOI should include the section headers to ease the review process.


How should I format my references?

APA style, Arial 11-point font or larger.


Does it matter what version of NIH biosketch form I use?

Please use the newest version available.


I do not have an eRA user name for the NIH biosketch form. What should I do?

Enter “N/A.”


Still have a question?

Contact OAR at


< Back to Applied Research