Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP) -- Autism Research Program (ARP) -- Career Development Award

Funding Agency:
Department of Defense

The FY24 ARP Career Development Award supports early-career, independent investigators and/or the transition of established investigators from other research fields to conduct innovative, high-impact ideas or early-phase, proof-of-principle clinical trials with the potential to have a major impact on ASD. Applications are strongly encouraged to address one of the FY24 ARP Career Development Award Areas of Interest or provide justification that the proposed research addresses a critical problem, question, or need in ASD.

This award enables such investigators to compete for funding separately from investigators with established programs of ASD research. Previous experience in ASD research is allowed, but not required. However, in FY24 Career Development Award applications that name a Principal Investigator (PI) with limited background in ASD research, the ARP strongly encourages the inclusion of collaboration with investigators who are experienced in ASD research and/or possess other relevant expertise in order to strengthen the application. PIs must meet specific eligibility criteria as described in Section II.C, Eligibility Information.

Research funded by the FY24 ARP should be responsive to the needs of people with ASD, their families, and/or caregivers. Researchers are therefore encouraged to establish and utilize effective collaborations and partnerships with community members to maximize the translational and impact potential of the proposed research.

CDMRP encourages research on health areas and conditions that affect women uniquely, disproportionately, or differently from men, including studies analyzing sex as a biological variable. Such research should relate anticipated project findings to improvements in women’s health outcomes and/or advancing knowledge for women’s health.

• Required Pre-Application Deadline:  May 16, 2024
• Invitation to Submit an Application: June 2024
• Application Submission Deadline: Aug. 15, 2024

Agency Website

Areas of Interest

To meet the intent of the funding opportunity the ARP encourages applications that address critical needs of the ASD community in one or more of the FY24 ARP Career Development Award Areas of Interest:
• Assessment of novel therapeutics using valid preclinical models
• (New for FY24) Community supported and participatory research interventions
• Create tools and strategies to increase the speed with which evidence-based practices are deployed in community-based settings
• Cultural, socioeconomic, and gender factors in diagnosis, treatment efficacy, delivery, and access to services
• Development of health care provider-focused training or tools to improve health care delivery for individuals with ASD across the life span and the continuum of care (i.e., primary care, urgent/emergent care, and disaster relief)
• Environmental risk factors
• (New for FY24) Factors impacting quality of life for current and former military families.
• Factors promoting success in key transitions to independence for individuals living with ASD

• (New for FY24) Gender identity and sexual health, including puberty and sexual education for autistic individuals
• Improve diagnosis and access to services across the life span
• Interventions to support ASD adults, including transition to adulthood, mid-life, and late-life needs
• Long-term treatment outcomes from previous clinical trials for ASD core symptoms or to alleviate co-occurring conditions
• Mechanisms of heterogeneous clinical expression of ASD
• Mechanisms underlying sex differences (i.e., prevalence, biological mechanisms, phenotypic expression, core and comorbid syndrome expression and outcomes, developmental trajectories, diagnosis, and treatment response)
• Mechanisms underlying conditions co-occurring with ASD (e.g., pain, sleep disturbances, gastrointestinal issues, inflammation, aggression, depression, anxiety, attention deficit, and seizures)
• Mental health issues (such as grief, masking, suicide risk, trauma, etc.) or disorders in autistic individuals
• Tests of implementation strategies to increase use of evidence-based practices
• (New for FY24) Uncovering new advances using a strength-based model
• Understanding heterogeneity in treatment response, including identification of psychosocial or biological factors that (1) impact treatment outcomes or (2) can be used to prospectively identify treatments that are most likely to benefit particular subgroups of individuals
• Understanding key factors to support ASD adults, including transition to adulthood
• Understanding physical health and related issues in aging autistic adults, including cardiovascular issues, joint pain, asthma, obesity, etc.

Eligibility Requirements

The investigator named by the organization as the PI on the application may select one of the following eligibility categories. These eligibility criteria pertain as of the application submission deadline:
○ An independent investigator at or below the level of Assistant Professor or equivalent; or
○ An established independent investigator in an area other than ASD at or above the level of Assistant Professor seeking to transition to a career in ASD thereby bringing their expertise to the field.

In addition, the PI must:
○ Not have received a Career Development Award (or equivalent) previously from any program within the CDMRP.

○ Not have received more than $300,000 in total direct costs for previous or concurrent ASD research as a PI of one or more federally or privately funded, non-mentored, peer-reviewed grants.
○ Must hold a Ph.D., M.D., M.D./Ph.D., or equivalent at time of pre-application submission.
○ Not be a graduate student, postdoctoral fellow, or other “mentored” researcher.



Amount Description

The anticipated direct costs budgeted for the entire period of performance for an FY24 ARP CDA should not exceed $550,000. Refer to Section II.D.5, Funding Restrictions, for detailed funding information.

Funding Type



Junior Faculty


Medical - Basic Science
Medical - Clinical Science
Medical - Translational

External Deadline

May 16, 2024