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Funding News - Autism Research Centers of Excellence

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  • The information on this page is for historical and research purposes only.
  • For the most current NINDS funding announcements, please see the NINDS list of Active Funding Initiatives or Follow Us on Twitter for the latest funding news.

The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) request applications to establish Centers of Excellence in Autism Research. These centers will operate under a cooperative agreement by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) called the Studies to Advance Autism Research and Treatment (STAART) Centers Program. *

The goal of this request for applications (RFA) is to establish several research centers, each of which will bring together expertise, infrastructure, and resources focused on major questions about autism. Issues to be addressed will include causes, diagnosis, early detection, prevention, and treatment (including approaches such as developmental neurobiology, genetics, and psychopharmacology).

Examples of potential areas of research include: development of new or improved treatments in behavioral/psychosocial, pharmacological, and other biological modalities; development of methods for early diagnosis and screening, including biological and behavioral indices for early detection; investigation of neural bases and pathways for abnormal behaviors; investigation of potential environmental etiologies and risk factors; description and characterization of co-morbidities and how they relate to etiology, pathology, and prevention; neuroimaging investigations using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), brain mapping, other new technologies to determine neuroanatomic and localized functional abnormalities and how they change over time; genetic studies including gene-environment interactions, candidate genes, and genotype-phenotype correlations; studies of language and disorders of communication; interventional, descriptive, and neuroimaging studies; and development of novel animal models.


For more information, potential applicants should contact Dr. Deborah Hirtz, Program Director, Clinical Trials Cluster, NINDS, Neuroscience Center, 6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 2212, Bethesda, MD 20892; telephone: 301-496-5821; fax: 301-480-1080; e-mail:

*: For a more detailed description of this RFA, please visit the NIH web site at: