Graduate Research Grant Competition

Our Graduate Research Grant Competition offers grant awards of $1,000 for students conducting autism research as a requirement in pursuit of a master’s degree and $2,000 for students who are doctoral candidates or post-doctoral students. This competition is a one-step application and review process. The proposals are due in February annually. The RFP sets the specific due date. OAR announces its grant awards in May. International students and students outside the U.S. are eligible to apply.

Since 2004, we have awarded 161 grants totaling over $288,156 to graduate students in the U.S. and abroad.

We fund studies that will likely produce practical and clearly objective results that may aid parents, families, professionals, and people with autism to make more fully informed choices that will lead to healthier and happier lives. Note that these grants are for independent research studies only.

The open application period is currently: CLOSED

Online Application
Important Dates

September 14, 2020 – Application Portal Opens

February 8, 2021, 11:59 PM ET – Proposals Due

May 2021 – Results Announced

July 1, 2021 – Grant Period Begins


Application Materials

resume-application-graphic-iconRequest for Proposals

Learn more about the competition


donation-between-hands-money-graphic-iconFunding Guidelines

See what qualifies for budget spending

school-raisinghand-question-ask-listen-graphic-iconFrequently Asked Questions

We answer your most commonly asked questions


Studies Funded by OAR

We fund research that serve the immediate needs of the autism community. See our previously funded studies.
Research Projects

Each year, I am impressed with the high quality of the proposals we receive. The future of autism research is in good hands with these promising individuals.

— Peter Gerhardt, Ed.D., Scientific Council Chair

I am continually impressed by the quality of each application we receive, and the ability of my Scientific Council peers to identify the most promising studies. The future of applied autism research is bright and these students are leading the way.

— Peter Gerhardt, Ed.D., Scientific Council Chair

Each year the number of young researchers applying for an OAR graduate grant increases as does the quality of their applications. Our hope is that all the applicants, whether or not they received an OAR grant, will continue pursing intervention research as one part of their future professional lives. This is the real, long-term benefit of this program.

— Peter Gerhardt, Ed.D., Scientific Council Chair

question-icon2Contact Us

If you have any questions, please contact us at or 703-243-3466.
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