Autism Speaks Research on Central Auditory Processing Disorders (CAPD) -- Pilot Grant and Fellowship Funding

Funding Agency:
Autism Speaks

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is often associated with co-occurring conditions that can compromise physical and mental health and impact behavior, development and educational outcomes. Better understanding of these co-occurring conditions is critical to improving outcomes. However, identification and treatment of co-occurring conditions is often complicated by the core impairments that characterize ASD. Furthermore, the underlying biology of ASD can affect the manifestations of these conditions and their response to treatment. 

Central auditory processing disorder (CAPD), also known as auditory processing disorder (APD), includes a range of conditions within the ear and brain that affect the way individuals process information that they hear. Research estimates that CAPD affects between 2% and 7% of children (Chermak & Musiek 1997, Bamiou 2001), with much higher rates among adults (Cooper & Gates, 1991). CAPD can occur independently or co-occur with more global dysfunction, such as attention deficit disorder and other learning disorders or development disorders, including autism (ASHA 1996, Chermak 1999, lliadou 2009). These diverse differences affect a wide range of auditory processing skills, such as differences in localizing, discriminating and processing speech and non-speech stimuli, ranging from various physical properties (pitch, loudness) to perception and understanding of more complex auditory information (ASHA 2008, O’Conner 2012). 

Much research is needed to better understand neural correlates of auditory processing and their impact on behavioral outcomes; how auditory processing changes with age; correlations between autism severity and CAPD; understanding how CAPD presents in and impacts people with autism compared to other disorders; clinical approaches for evaluating CAPD; and the potential for CAPD-targeted treatments to improve the functioning of affected individuals. Ideally, studies to address these questions will be performed in a timely, statistically robust manner and generate results that are generalizable to the broad neurodevelopmental disorder community. 

Autism Speaks, with generous support from the Royal Arch Research Assistance, anticipates funding the following three awards focused on understanding, evaluating and/or treating individuals with CAPD, particularly as it relates to ASD:

• One pilot research study, at up to U.S. $60,000 for one year, inclusive of 10% indirect costs

• One predoctoral fellowship, at up to U.S. $40,000/yr for two years ($25,000 stipend + $15,000 research allowance)

• One postdoctoral fellowship, at up to U.S. $55,000/yr for two years (at least 50% stipend)

Letter of Intent (LOI) due: January 16, 2024


Agency Website

Eligibility Requirements

Eligibility for Pilot Award: Investigators holding full-time tenured or tenure-track faculty appointments or equivalent full-time, non-tenure track appointments at accredited academic, medical or research institutions are eligible to apply for the pilot grant award. • Applications will NOT be accepted from individuals or from proprietary organizations to support the research and development of products for profit • As Principal Investigator or Co-Investigator, all applicants are restricted to one submission for a pilot grant. Multiple submissions will not be reviewed 

Predoctoral Fellows: The candidate must possess the following qualifications: • 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 • Must have two or more years remaining in their program • Must spend at least 80% of their professional time engaged exclusively in their Autism Speaks research-related activities for the duration of the award • Cannot simultaneously hold another fellowship award during the support period • International applications are encouraged 

Postdoctoral Fellows: The candidate must possess the following qualifications: • Hold an M.D., Ph.D. or equivalent terminal degree • Cannot have more than 5 years of postdoctoral experience at the commencement of the award • Must spend at least 80% of their professional time engaged exclusively on the fellowship research activities for the duration of the award • May not simultaneously serve in an internship or residency, hold a tenure-track faculty appointment or hold another named fellowship award during the award period 

Funding Type



Grad/Prof Students
Junior Faculty
Post Doctoral Fellows


Medical - Clinical Science
Medical - Translational

External Deadline

January 16, 2024