Simons Foundation
Deadlines & Opportunities

Bridge to Independence Award Program Request for Information

The Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative (SFARI) is invested in supporting the next generation of top autism researchers. The Bridge to Independence Award program engages talented early-career scientists to pursue autism research by facilitating their transition to research independence and providing grant funding at the start of their faculty positions at a U.S. or international research institution.

Applications from groups that have been historically underrepresented or excluded in the biomedical workforce, including but not limited to racial and ethnic groups, sexual orientation and gender identities, individuals with mental/physical disabilities and those from economically disadvantaged backgrounds, are encouraged.

Request for applications open each year (usually Fall) and are aimed at scientists with a Ph.D. and/or M.D. who are currently in training positions but intend to seek tenure-track research faculty positions during the upcoming academic job cycle. Fellows will receive up to 2 years of postdoctoral fellowship support with an annual salary of $70,000, fringe benefits, an annual resource and professional development allowance of $10,000, and indirect costs (20% of direct costs) followed by a commitment of $600,000 over 3 years, including indirect costs (also 20%) activated upon assumption of a tenure-track research professorship.

  • SAM website opens for applications 
    October 10, 2023 
  • RFA informational Zoom session 
    November 2, 2023 
  • First-stage applications and letters of recommendation due 
    January 10, 2024

From a previous BTI Reviewer:

The ideal candidate is a post-doc/project scientist doing cutting edge neuroscience research and studying something that could be related to autism somehow. This is not just for people who are currently investigating autism. It doesn’t matter which brain region/circuit you study, what species you use, or what your expertise is.  The keys to be selected as a finalist (selected for an interview) are: 1. That you are using the latest approaches in modern neuroscience; 2. That you have a very strong publication record; 3. That your mentors write phenomenal letters of recommendation; 4. That you propose to study at least 1 animal model of autism or that you work with humans with autism; 5.

Bottom line:

If you are doing neuroscience using the latest techniques and have some high-profile paper(s) (journal IF>10) you have a good shot, as long as you can work autism into the proposed project