Application period now open!

The UCLA Center for Autism Research and Treatment (CART) and CTSI invite applications for grants to fund pilot and/or feasibility studies for biomedical, epidemiological, or behavioral research.

This funding is made available with departmental “Autism Initiative” funds to CART and matching funds via the UCLA CTSI Voucher Fund. UCLA CART houses several ACE Networks funded by NIH as part of a nationwide set of research programs. UCLA CART activities are wide-ranging and include the integration of clinical, imaging, genetic, and basic science research to create a synergistic milieu that maximizes the productivity of theparticipants and attracts other investigators to the field of autism.


The purpose of these awards is to foster interactions and interdisciplinary research projects in the basic and clinical areas of autism. Preference will be given to projects that are likely to lead to successful future funding (by R01-type awards, etc). Proposals addressing the mechanism and treatment of autism are encouraged. Projects can also build upon the UCLA CART’s mission and current research activities. Descriptions of CART’s mission and research, including the previously funded pilot grants, are available at our UCLA CART website.


Funds are available to the UCLA academic community, faculty associated with UCLA CTSI institutional partners (Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science and Lundquist Institute for Biomedical Innovation at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center), and UCLA affiliates (VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System, Olive View-UCLA Medical Center, Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center, and RAND), in any series (including adjunct and professional research) including new investigators, investigators from other fields willing to bring their research expertise to autism studies, and for investigators whose proposed research would constitute feasibility testing. Funds are not intended to supplement ongoing supported research of an established investigator. Only full-time faculty are eligible. Postdoctoral fellows are not eligible.  

Award Terms: 

These pilot project awards are for one-year only and are limited up to $25,000 (direct costs only) per project. Funds will not be awarded for equipment costs, for salary or benefits for the principal investigator, or for postdoctoral fellows or any study personnel who hold an academic appointment. An investigator is eligible only once for the pilot support unless the additional proposed study constitutes a substantial departure from the previous research. All applications involving humans or animals must have IRB or ARC approval at UCLA or an UCLA-affiliated institute before the funds will be released. The funding period for the FY 2024-2025 award is July 1, 2024 - June 30, 2025.

Application Guidelines: 

The proposals must present a testable hypothesis, clearly delineate the question(s) being asked, detail the procedures to be followed, and discuss how the data will be analyzed. Specifically, the proposals may be up to 5 pages and must include: Abstract (250 words or less), Specific Aims, Background, Preliminary Studies, Experimental Design and Methods, and Significance. In addition, the literature references should be attached along with the following NIH (PHS 398) standard forms: the investigator’s 5-page biographical sketch, budget with detailed justification, and other outside funding support. If funded, the investigator will also need to provide a summary of the project in lay language and be willing to present the findings at a CART lecture series and meetings.

Please email the complete application as one PDF with the subject line: “CART/CTSI Pilot Grant,” on or before Friday, May 10, 2024, by 5 pm to the CART Director of Operations: Monica Belli Haley,


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The UCLA Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI) is a research partnership of UCLA, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science and the Lundquist Institute for Biomedical Innovation at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. Its mission is to bring biomedical innovations to bear on the greatest health needs of Los Angeles—one of the most ethnically and economically diverse counties in the United States. Our vision is to catalyze research that translates discoveries into tangible improvements in health care, disease prevention and health in our community. The UCLA CTSI is one of more than 50 research hubs supported by the Clinical and Translational Sciences Award (CTSA) program of National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS). NCATS—one of 27 Institutes and Centers at the National Institutes of Health (NIH)—was established to transform the translational process so that new treatments and cures for disease can be delivered to patients faster.