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Applied Research Grant

Applied Research Competition

The annual Applied Research Competition is the most competitive line of funding we offer. Researchers can now apply for 1-2 year grants of up to $50,000.

Our Scientific Council, augmented by highly qualified professionals from the autism community, evaluates and recommends the most promising research proposals through three rounds of review: letters of intent, full proposals, and final selection. Our Board of Directors approves all grant awards based on the recommendations of the Scientific Council and established research priorities.

The application period is now CLOSED.

Online Application

Important Dates

December 15, 2023
Application period for 2024 grants opens

March 18, 2024, 11:59 PM ET
Letters of Intent due

May 2024
Second application round begins
(by invitation only)

July 15, 2024, 11:59 PM ET
Full proposal applications due

December 2024
Winners announced

January 1, 2025
Grant period begins

Application Materials

request for applications

Request for Applications

Read about the competition timeline and application process.

Download Request for Applications

Download Application Overview

budget guidelines

Budget Guidelines

What are considered eligible expenses?

Download Budget Guidelines

Download Budget Sample

studies funded by OAR

Studies Funded by OAR

We fund research that serves the immediate needs of the autism community. See OAR’s previously funded studies.

Funded Studies

Applied Research Grant FAQs

  • 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.

No, applicants can only submit one application per cycle.

OAR funds pilot studies that range from 1-2 years. The maximum grant amount is $50,000 regardless of study duration.

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 $50,000 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.

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

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.

Please address the cover letter to “Scientific Council, Organization for Autism Research”

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.

APA style, Arial 11-point font or larger.

Please use the newest version available.

If you have any questions, please contact OAR at