Submission deadline extended to 26 May

Autistica is inviting proposals to adapt and pilot an Autism Personalised Support Assessment to identify more effective care pathways and optimise supports that focus on individual strengths and needs of autistic children and young people with considerations for how the toolkit can be adapted to autistic people across the lifespan.

The work will include integrating an existing digital toolkit that has been developed from the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) Autism Core Set (Bölte et al., 2019). The aim of the ICF is to identify environmental and personal factors that are barriers and facilitators to the everyday functioning, health and wellbeing, and participation for autistic people.

Applications must be submitted via the Autistica Grants Platform.


The programme of work will be developed in partnership with Autistica and Karolinska Institutet, Sweden (led by Professor Sven Bölte), who will provide governance across the development of the project.

Specifically, the governance would be related to the involvement of the autistic community in accessible and participatory ways that enable inclusive research design, protocols for safeguarding of autistic people, implementation within a UK NHS context and dissemination of the pilot study findings and post-implementation reports.

Additionally, technical support from the ICF development team will be provided on a monthly retainer that should be included in the project costs (see Award Funding).

Award Funding

Autistica is funding one research proposal up to a value of £300,000. This grant funding will cover the Directly Incurred costs associated with research expenses, materials and dissemination of outputs, but will not cover Directly Allocated or Indirect costs related to existing salaries or estates costs.

The technical partnership costs for support across a two-year project are estimated at between £45,000-£67,000 (approximately £2,800 per month) and must be included in the project proposal scope.

Award Duration

Proposals should plan for a programme of work spanning one to two years. Applicants should provide a justification for the research staff time allocated to the project activities and demonstrate that the work can effectively be developed and trialled within the proposed timeframe.

Who can apply?

Applications are invited from qualified researchers at any career stage. They should include multidisciplinary teams to demonstrate expertise in a UK health and social care context, specifically the NHS. Applicants should include an outline of community involvement and co-production of the proposed activities.

Eligibility requirements

In addition to the criteria set out above, to progress beyond Expression of Interest stage the lead investigator (main applicant) must meet the following criteria:

  • Hold a PhD or similar qualification (applicants must have been awarded their PhD by the start of the proposed work);
  • Be based at an eligible UK institution (higher education, public sector, non-academic health and/or social care facility);
  • Hold continuous employment with the host organisation for the duration of the award.

Please note: Autistica do not pay staff costs for salaried employees, unless specifically recruited for the planned research (eg, Research Assistant, Post-Doctoral Researcher)


The application process will include two online sessions for potential applicants hosted by Autistica and Professor Bölte. These sessions will be recorded and made available on this page for the duration of the open call (July 2022). We will also make a Q&A document available for Stage 1.

Stage 1: Briefing session (open access)

On Thursday 21 April 2022 Autistica led an information session on the call rationale, aims and outputs in line with Autistica’s 2030 Goal of ensuring all autistic people have proven support from day one. Professor Bölte provided a general overview of the ICF and rationale for developing the digital toolkit, as well as giving information about how it was created, its purpose and its functions in healthcare and diagnostic settings.

The recording of this session is below. Please forward by 45 seconds to the start of the presentation.

Stage 1 Researchers Briefing: Autism Personal Support Toolkit

Stage 2: Interactive Q&A session (invitation only)

Tuesday 21 June, 14:00 British Summer Time (GMT+1)

Autistica will lead a Q&A session for applicants invited to submit a full proposal for Stage 2.

Professor Bölte will be available to answer specific questions about the toolkit.

Timeline for applications for proposals for Autism Personal Support Assessment applications

  • 17 March: Applications open
  • 21 April: Stage 1 briefing session (open access)
  • 26 May: Stage 1: deadline for Expressions of Interest
  • May-June: Stage 1 review
  • 21 June: Stage 2 live Q&A (invitation only)
  • 28 July: Stage 2: deadline for Full Proposal
  • August-September: Stage 2 review
  • October: Award and project start

Additional information

For more about the call for proposals, you can download the full information pack (PDF download).

We encourage applicants to review the Autistica website for more information about Autistica’s 2030 Goals and Goal 1: Proven support from day one.

Any questions can be directed via email to Dr Ned Redmore, Research & Partnerships Manager.