The Simons Foundation Powering Autism Research (SPARK) program is committed to providing support to funding autism research. Grants of up to $20,000 to USA IHEs and research groups to encourage diverse participation in autism research. Funding is intended for researchers to provide incentives for African American or Black individuals and their families to participate in these studies. Priority will be given to studies that address issues or topics of high impact or address a specific need for Black communities.

The SPARK Research Match Diversity, Equity, and Inclusivity RFA aim to address historic disparities in research participation by Black or African American individuals by soliciting studies on autism that recruit Black or African American participants. Funding will provide a per-person participant incentive (e-gift cards) for participation in projects that utilize SPARK Research Match to recruit participants into new research studies. 

Proposals may be on any topic related to autism provided that the study prioritizes the participation of (e.g., by recruiting 50 percent or more of the total study participants), or only recruits Black or African American participants.

Applications will be reviewed on the basis of alignment with SPARK’s mission to advance the Foundation’s understanding of autism, the potential to engage participants, benefit to participants, and scientific merit.