Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative Invites LOIs for Bridge to Independence Program

The mission of the Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative (SFARI) is to improve the understanding, diagnosis, and treatment of autism spectrum disorders through funding of innovative research of the highest quality and relevance.

To that end, SFARI is inviting Letters of Intent for its Bridge to Independence Award Program, which engages talented early-career scientists in autism research by providing grant funding to facilitate their transition to research independence at the start of their professorships. Through the program, fellows receive a commitment of $495,000 over three years, activated upon assumption of a tenure-track research professorship at a U.S. or Canadian research institution.

The BTI program welcomes LOIs that span the breadth of science that SFARI normally supports, including genetics, molecular mechanisms, circuits and systems, and clinical science. While the organization encourages applications from scientists who are working on autism-related projects, the program is also open to researchers who are not currently working on autism but who are interested in starting research projects in autism and who have expertise that could be brought to bear on the disorder.


To be eligible, applicants must hold a PhD, MD, or equivalent degree and have fewer than six years of postdoctoral or mentored training. (Given the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the research community, the 2020 calendar year will not be counted toward the program’s postdoctoral term limits.)

Letters of Intent are due April 12. Upon review, selected applicants will have a year in which to secure a tenure-track professorship at an academic institution in the U.S. or Canada and submit an approval application.

See the SFARI website for complete program guidelines, application instructions, an FAQ, and a list of previous fellowship awardees.

View another RFP related to medical research

Deadline: March 21, 2021