ASF Launches 2nd Request for Proposals for Profound Autism Pilot Grants

NEW YORK — July 17, 2023 — The Autism Science Foundation (ASF), a nonprofit organization dedicated to funding innovative autism research and supporting families facing autism, today announced a second request for proposals for research on individuals with “profound autism”. Last summer, ASF issued its first request for profound autism grant proposals and in the fall of 2022 announced funding for four projects

In December 2021, The Lancet Commission on the future of care and clinical research in autism – a group of autism researchers, advocates and experts – called for the use of the term “profound autism” to distinguish individuals who have high dependency needs and have historically been underrepresented in research. Per The Lancet, the term “profound autism” applies to autistic people who are minimally verbal or nonverbal, have an IQ below 50, and require 24-hour access to an adult who can care for them. In April 2023, the Centers for Disease Control reported that 27% of people diagnosed with autism meet the criteria for “profound autism”.

“We are committed to investing in research to detect the causes of profound autism, identify avenues for prevention, and improve the lives of those with profound needs” said Alison Singer, president of the Autism Science Foundation. “People with profound autism often face a lifetime of pain and their families a lifetime of worry. These families have been ignored for too long.”

These funds can also be used to add cohorts or individuals with profound autism to existing research projects, as well as to focus on issues around severe and challenging behaviors. 

“These grants are designed to focus on basic science and translational medicine opportunities for those with profound autism and severe and challenging behaviors”, added Dr. Alycia Halladay, ASF’s Chief Science Officer. “This work is also an important step toward addressing the disparity in who benefits from research.”

Applications for the profound autism pilot grants are due on Sept. 15 by 5 p.m. ET. To view the full request for application, click here.

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About the Autism Science Foundation

The Autism Science Foundation (ASF) is a 501(c) (3) public charity. Its mission is to support autism research by providing funding to scientists and organizations conducting autism research. ASF also provides information about autism to the general public and serves to increase awareness of autism spectrum disorders and the needs of individuals and families affected by autism. To learn more about the Autism Science Foundation or to make a donation, visit  

Media Contact

Julie Berger
Autism Science Foundation