Seed Grants

MIT and Boston-area researchers interested in autism research are invited to apply for funding under a Simons Center Seed Grant. The project must involve a PI and a Co-PI from different labs: we seek innovative research projects that are directly relevant to autism, and that bridge at least two different labs at Boston-area institutions. MIT faculty researchers are encouraged to apply as PIs. If the PI is from a non-MIT institution, we prefer that the Co-PI be a MIT faculty researcher. The expectation is that these seed funds will enable the researchers to collect data on bold new projects, bringing the work to the point where it can be funded through standard channels after the first year. This mechanism will provide a single year of support, at a maximum level of $150,000 in direct costs, plus 20% in indirect costs. We also seek applications for early-stage exploratory projects with appropriate, lower budgets. Successful applicants can apply later for a second year of funding, but the application will be considered in competition with all submitted applications (including new ones).

How to Apply

Applications must include four components: a cover page, a project proposal, budget materials, and PI materials. The project proposal must include the following sections: proposal summary, specific aims, background, preliminary data if any, and experimental design and methods. The budget materials include a budget summary and budget justification. PI materials include NIH-format CVs for PI and Co-PI, and a brief letter from each outlining how this project will enable his or her lab to expand their effort in autism research and how they propose to continue the project after the first year. The lead PI should submit the cover page as well as a combined file including all other components via email to

Seed Grant Cover Page
Seed Grant Budget Template

Deadline: February 27, 2015.


Applications will be reviewed by a panel of expert reviewers. Funding decisions will be made by the steering committee of the SCSB.