All research funded by us is subject to rigorous independent review before recommendations for funding are made to our Board of Trustees.

How do we decide which applications to fund?

We announce substantial calls for research proposals based on our research priorities. Each of these calls follow a process of review.

Initial triage

Eligibility requirements for applications are included within each call for proposals. At initial triage, the Autistica science team assures that each proposal matches the requirements on a simple “yes/no” basis. No evaluation of the proposal is made at the triage stage.

Letter of intent review

The first stage of application is the Letter of Intent. At this stage, researchers write a brief proposal of the planned project. These are then reviewed by our Scientific Review Panel (SRP), which includes experts by experience as well as clinical and academic experts. They evaluate and score the letters of intent.

Scientific Review Panel


  • Professor Emily Siminoff PhD (Chair)
  • Professor Sarah Parsons PhD (Vice-Chair)
  • Professor Dermot Bowler, PhD
  • Professor Mark Brosnan, PhD., CPsychol
  • Leneh Buckle
  • Professor Lucy Henry, DPhil, DClinPsych
  • Dr Catherine Jones, PhD
  • Dr Michael Absoud FRCPCH PhD
  • Dr Hannah Hobson PhD
  • Dr Ewelina Rydzewska PhD
  • Claudia Klaver

Full application review

Researchers are invited to submit a full application if their Letter of Intent has scored highly with our SRP

We assign two peer, scientific reviewers and two autism community reviewers to give their opinions on each application. These written reviews are shared with our SRP, who then discuss and evaluate each application.

By bringing together a broad range of community and scientific experts, we can feel assured that the projects that score highly are advancing the field, scientifically rigorous and fitting with the priorities of our community.

The SRP's review criteria and scoring system can be viewed by clicking here