How to become a BRAIN Investigator?

At this time, the Request for Proposals is closed. We expect to open the next call for applications in Spring 2024.

Who can apply

A PI associated with a research institution or private enterprise who can work with their organization to accept a grant from a non-profit and obtain an IRB for their work, if needed.


We can only support research in the US at this time. (If you are outside the US perhaps you could collaborate with someone in the US).


If you are already covered under last year’s grant, please wait till the next year so that we can support more researchers.

2023 limitations

Due to the number of continuing grants from last year, the 2024 grant review process is likely to be highly selective and competitive.

New to autism research?

If you are new to research benefiting individuals with autism, we welcome your proposals!


Our maximum budget is $90K per year, for a maximum 2 year grant.

Indirect Costs:

Institutional overheads are not supported by the BRAIN Foundation and cannot be included in the budget.


Our primary focus is fostering basic and interdisciplinary translational research that leads to the development of effective therapeutics to mitigate the core disabilities in autism, and improve the functioning of individuals with ASD. This includes research leading to breakthroughs in understanding and characterization of pathophysiology of autism, basic research, discovery of biomarkers and therapeutic targets for one or more core symptoms, drug repurposing and development of novel drug compounds, devices, and other related areas.

We believe that the most effective use of our funds is to target high need and high impact yet under-served areas of focus within the landscape of investments in research.

Proposals are solicited in these broad areas. (Other related areas that will catalyze research in new directions and lead to novel therapeutics are welcome as well):

  • Basic Science: animal models, tissue cultures, organoids, and others.
  • Translational research/human studies leading to new therapeutics, FDA approval of repurposed drugs or new protocols in clinical care.
  • Biomarkers that will help measure treatment response in one or more core symptoms
  • Translational clinical trials that will catalyze a therapeutic towards FDA approval (possible academic/industry collaboration)
  • Devices for therapy

Specific areas of focus include:

  • Immunology: testing and characterization
  • Neurology, specifically epilepsy, novel EEG/MEG studies
  • Mitochondrial testing and treatment
  • GI basic science and treatment, including IBD and microbiome studies
  • Any promising new areas that have remained unfunded

Subgroups that are priority areas:

  • Studies targeting discovery and characterization of rare disease subgroups within the ASD population, with and without genetic characterization
  • Adults with ASD (>18 years of age)
  • Non-speaking children and adolescents (> 8 yrs of age) with dyspraxia and ASD  (basic research to characterize unique medical differences in this group, computational methods and systems biology modalities to analyze unique characteristics, therapeutic targets and treatments for improved motor and/or speech outcomes)
  • Regressive autism


Never miss an update. Subscribe to our list: