The National Institutes of Health Autism Coordinating Committee (NIH/ACC) is implementing the aspects of the Children's Health Act of 2000 that relate to autism. An important component of the Act is the establishment of Centers of Excellence in Autism Research by NIH. As a first stage in implementing this centers program, the NIH/ACC institutes are releasing this Request for Applications (RFA) to support teams of investigators in planning and developmental activities aimed at maximizing the probability that they will become highly qualified applicants for future Centers of Excellence in Autism Research support. Support under this RFA is intended to facilitate planning and developmental processes so that highly competitive applications for center support can be developed quickly. However, participation in this RFA or the review outcome of this participation, will not itself be a factor in the review of a subsequent Center application. Accordingly, teams with current autism research support, for example, may decide to submit a Center application without first having participated in this developmental RFA.