Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative - Winter Pilot Award 2023


Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative (SFARI)

For More Information

For additional information, please visit the SFARI website  for

  • Program guidelines
  • Application forms
  • Evaluation criteria

To get a better understanding of SFARI’s various funding initiatives in 2023 and whether the Pilot Award may be the best mechanism to support your project, please read our blog post, “Updates to SFARI’s 2023 requests for grant applications.”


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

The goal of the Pilot Award is to provide early support for exploratory ideas, particularly those with novel hypotheses. Appropriate projects for this mechanism include those considered higher risk but with the potential for transformative results. Projects that represent continuations of ongoing work (whether funded by SFARI or other funders) are not appropriate for this mechanism.

This funding mechanism is particularly suitable for investigators who are new to the autism field, though we encourage those new to the field to consult with experts in autism research to ensure their projects are relevant to the human condition.


All applicants and key collaborators must hold a Ph.D., M.D. or equivalent degree and have a faculty position or the equivalent at a college, university, medical school or other research facility.

Applications may be submitted by domestic and foreign nonprofit organizations; public and private institutions, such as colleges, universities, hospitals, laboratories, and units of state and local government; and eligible agencies of the federal government. There are no citizenship or country requirements.

Maximum Project Value

$300,000 total per project

Indirect Costs


Project Duration

Up to 2 years


If College-level review is required, your College will communicate its earlier internal deadlines.

Internal Deadline

Applicant to submit a copy of application along with a complete OR5 form to

There is no signature page.  The application will be submitted on behalf of the Applicant by the ORS signing authority.

External Deadline

Applications must be completed by the applicant via the Simons Award Manager (SAM). Please click on the Funding Opportunities icon and navigate to the Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative – Pilot call. Click the Create Application button to begin. Applications should be started and submitted under the applicant’s own account in SAM.

The application will be submitted on behalf of the applicant by the ORS signing authority via SAM

For Questions, please contact

Administrative inquiries:

Scientific inquiries:

Technical assistance:

Office of Research

Ornella McCarron, Grants Officer
Research Services Office
519-824-4120 x52832

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