ORGANIZATION FOR AUTISM RESEARCH (OAR)
"Research that helps families today"

REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS – 2003
Pre-proposals due June 15, 2003

Background
The Organization for Autism Research (OAR), seeks applied autism research proposals for its 2003 Autism Research Competition.  Through this competition, OAR intends to promote research in the analysis, evaluation, or comparison of assessment or treatment models in

· Applied aspects of early education, behavioral, or communication intervention
OR
· Adult issues such as continuing education, employment, housing models and “later intervention”

OAR seeks to fund studies that will likely produce practical and clearly objective results that may aid parents, families, caregivers, and people with autism to make more fully informed choices that will lead to healthier and happier lives. 

OAR’s Scientific Council will evaluate the proposals it receives for scientific and technical merit.  Review criteria for the evaluation include: 

· Significance (Does the study address an important problem? How will the study advance scientific knowledge in the field?)
· Approach (Are the concepts, design, methods, and analyses adequate and appropriate?  Are alternate approaches accounted for?)
· Innovation (Does the project employ novel approaches or methods? Are its aims original?  Does it challenge existing paradigms?)
· Investigator (Is the investigator and/or the research team appropriately trained and well-suited for the research?)
· Environment (Does the scientific environment in which the work will be done contribute to its probability of success? Does the work take advantage of any unique features of the environment or employ useful collaborative arrangements?) 
· Practical relevance (How relevant is the study and its outcomes to the everyday challenges posed by autism?  Does it offer practical findings?)

OAR’s Board of Directors will make grant awards based on these evaluations and the recommendations of the Scientific Council.  OAR places special emphasis on studies that offer to produce outcomes that will be meaningful to the autism community and have potentially broad application to the practical challenges of autism.

Competition
The maximum grant award will be $30,000.  OAR will consider making four awards.  Pre-proposals are due by June 15, 2003.  OAR will invite full proposals for selected pre-proposals and will complete the final review by November 30, 2003.  OAR will notify awardees during December 2003, and funding will begin January 1, 2004, for one year. 

Application Process
The application and review process will proceed in two distinct phases: (1) application, screening and review and (2) final review.

Application, Screening and Review – April 1, 2003 to July 15, 2003

During this period OAR will receive and review pre-proposals prepared in accordance with the guidelines that follow.  Interested researchers should submit pre-proposals by 5:00 p.m. EST on Monday, June 15, 2003.  Screening and review will begin immediately and will be completed by July 15, 2003.  The objective of the pre-proposal process is to identify 12-15 proposed studies which best offer to meet the criteria described above.

Final Review – July 16, 2003 to November 30, 2003

Once the initial screening and review is complete, OAR will invite those Principal Investigators whose pre-proposals are selected for further review to submit full proposals. At the same time, OAR will notify all other applicants that their proposed study is not among those selected for final review.  Full proposals will be due by September 15, 2003.

OAR’s Scientific Council will conduct the final review between September 16, 2003, and November 30, 2003.

Pre-proposal
The pre-proposal is a scaled-down version of the full proposal and focuses primarily on the study’s topic, design, methodology, and expected outcomes. In three to five pages, please provide the following: 

I. Title.  Self-explanatory

II. Background.  Please include a brief analysis of relevant historical and contemporary knowledge and research related to the proposed topic.  Demonstrate that your proposed research group has the experience and resources necessary to complete the study and accurately assess its outcomes. 

III. Methodology.  Please describe and justify the proposed research design and methodology you will use.

IV. Evaluation.  Please explain what evaluation and assessment measures and qualitative and quantitative analyses you intend to use and provide your rationale.

V. Outcome Recommendations.  Please provide an overview that is based on predicted results of your project.  What meaningful outcomes or recommendations may result from the project? 

VI. Biographical Information.  Please include the CV of the principal investigator and main research team.  At the minimum, please provide the names, titles, current positions, and information on relevant research experience of key members of the research team. 

Please send an original and three copies of the pre-proposal to:

Organization for Autism Research
Applied Research Competition 2003
2111 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 600
Arlington, VA  22201

Visit the OAR website  
For more information about the research grant competition contact Mike Maloney at OAR: (703) 351-5031, or send an email to mmaloney@researchautism.org