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2023 Predoctoral Fellowship Program for Autistic Scientists

Research Admin Offices:

  • HRS

Funding Type:


Opportunity Type:

  • Fellowship
  • Training


The total CIHR amount available for this funding opportunity is $1,100,000 enough to fund one (1) team grant.


  • Faculty of Humanities
  • Faculty of Social Sciences
  • Health Sciences



Internal Deadline:

January 13, 2023

Sponsor Deadline:

January 31, 2023


The primary purpose of the predoctoral fellowship is to provide funding to support exceptional research training opportunities for highly qualified candidates. Fellows will work directly with mentors who are leading autism researchers across a wide variety of fields broadly related to autism research. We encourage applications on all topics, but applications on the following topics are particularly encouraged:
• Adult transition and life course outcomes (including aging and older adulthood).
• Behavior dangerous to self and others, including certain self-injurious behaviors, and innovative, person-centered supports and interventions (e.g., addressing social or environmental triggers of behaviors) to promote physical and emotional well-being.
• Co-occurring medical and mental health conditions (particularly seizures and GI problems/microbiome), with an emphasis on intervention studies and can also include immunology/inflammation.
• Development and validation of measures: – Examining outcomes important to community members (e.g., well-being) – Including novel or non-traditional modalities (e.g., machine learning, biological measures).
• Gender, sexual health and/or reproductive health.
• Innovative implementation of technology to enhance reach and impact of services, with an emphasis on diagnosis and intervention in low resource settings.
• Pre-clinical studies aimed at helping to ameliorate the most disabling challenges associated with autism.
• Research addressing interactions with service systems that can inform systematic policy changes.
• Research that benefits communities who experience compounded marginalization (for research that involves human participants, Autism Speaks will prioritize study designs that include and benefit the diversity of the community that we serve).
• Studies addressing the mental health and well-being of autistic people (as defined by them).
• Studies that focus on individuals who experience autism with intellectual disability, who use augmentative and alternative communication (AAC), or those for whom communication solutions are unavailable


The candidate must be an enrolled student in a program leading to a research doctorate (such as a Ph.D. or Sc.D.) or a combined degree (such as an M.D./Ph.D.) in an academic department of an accredited university or health/medical institution. Eligible applicants and institutions DO NOT need to be located in the United States. International applications are encouraged. The candidate must have two or more years remaining before completing their program.
• The selected predoctoral fellow must spend at least 80% of their professional time engaged exclusively in their Autism Speaks autism research-related activities for the duration of the award and cannot simultaneously hold another fellowship award during the support period.
• Prior to application, predoctoral candidates must have an identified mentor for their fellowship.
• Autism Speaks is dedicated to equity, diversity and inclusion and encourages applications from Black, racialized/visible minority, Indigenous/Aboriginal people, women, 2SLGBTQ+ persons and all other qualified applicants.

Application/Nomination Process:

Students can only submit one application in response to this 2023 RFA. Mentors can be listed on only one student’s application.
• You must submit all application materials through the Autism Speaks Science Grants System. Before completing your application, you must set up a profile. We recommend using Chrome, Firefox, Safari or Edge. Mobile browsers and tablet-based browsers are not currently supported by our system.
• For this program, the student applicant must be the one to register in the system. If you are new to our system, you’ll need to register with your institutional/school email address and create a password. Once you are registered, you can log in using your email.
• To log into our system, you must use Google Authenticator. Instructions for Google Authenticator can be found in the Authentication Guide.


Additional Details. 


If applying from the Faculty of Health Sciences, unless otherwise indicated, you no longer need to send documents to HRS Intake. Your first point of contact is your assigned Senior Grants Advisor.