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Request for Pilot Study Applications

Due date: February 28th  - Information Session: February 11th  - See below for details


The AJ Drexel Autism Institute wishes to provide Drexel University faculty with an opportunity to develop projects that are consistent with the Institute’s mission and that will lead to applications for larger state, federal or foundation grants and contracts. To facilitate this effort, the Autism Institute will fund a limited number of pilot projects led by investigators outside the Institute that utilize the Institute’s Clinical Core.

We are now requesting applications for such pilot projects.  These projects may be developed by teams of university faculty or individual faculty members, but must incorporate the use of the Clinical Core resources at the Institute.  The resources available include our in-place clinic at 3020 Market Street and our mobile clinic, MobileREACH, as well as the staff-time needed to perform behavioral and neurodevelopmental assessments in these clinical settings.  Regulatory requirements must be met, including IRB submission and approval, if appropriate, for the proposed projects.

Available Funding:

Autism Institute funding will be provided to cover direct project costs up to $20,000.  However, at least two-thirds of the funds requested must be applied to Autism Institute Clinical Core staff time and the supply costs related to assessments performed.  Use of clinical space or MobileREACH travel costs do not need to be budgeted.  No funds can be budgeted for any Drexel faculty time.  However, funds from other sources can augment the proposed budget and there are no restrictions on their use.   Applications should indicate how any funding from outside this Autism Institute pilot program will be used and should describe the funding source.

Eligible projects must have no longer than a 12 month performance period (6 months preferred) and must start by April 1st, 2014.

All faculty planning to submit proposals must first consult with the Institute Clinical Core director, Dr. Jim Connell (, for guidance on developing their proposals and budgets.

Application Process:

Proposals should be submitted (2-3 pages) to Dr. Connell via email ( by February 28th, 2014.  Funding decisions and notification will be made by March 15th.  Each proposal should include:

  • Title
  • Principal investigator
  • Other Non-Clinical Core Autism Institute Faculty/Staff involved (brief description of their role)
  • Scientific objectives and rationale
  • Approach
  • Summary of anticipated outcomes and how these will support future external funding.

Also include budget documentation (1-2 pages) that describes:

  • Autism Institute Clinical Core resources, including:
    • Personnel (with timetable and justification)
    • Clinical materials and supplies  (with justification)
  • Other expenses, including:
    • Non faculty personnel from outside the Autism Institute Clinical Core (with justification)
    • Materials and supplies (with justification)
    • Other (with justification)

To assist faculty in the preparation of their applications, a brief summary of Autism Institute Clinical Core Resources is provided below.

Available Clinical Core Resources:

Space – Available are three - 10x10 assessment rooms with functioning AV data capture technology.  Each room is viewable through an adjacent observation room. Also available is MobileREACH, the Institute’s mobile assessment clinic.

Staff – Clinical Core staff include individuals with MA, EdS, and PhD training in Psychology with experience in a range of clinical and educational settings.

Supplies – The Clinical Core has, or can acquire, assessment instruments/kits needed for psycho-social/educational evaluations, screenings, and diagnoses.

MobileREACH – The MobileREACH is a large, 15’ sprinter van customized to serve as a fully mobile neurodevelopmental assessment clinic with video capture technology that integrates with the playback system in our clinical space.

Information and Q&A Session:

The Institute will also hold an Informational and Q&A session on February 11th from 2:00pm to 4:00pm in the Institute’s Welcome Center, 5th floor, across from elevators, 3020 Market Street. Tours through the space, including the MobileREACH will occur between 2:00-3:00pm, followed by an open format follow-up Q&A session (3-4pm) with Dr. Connell and the Clinical Core where faculty can talk with the Clinical Core team about potential projects and get their questions answered.  If you are interested in attending the session, please RSVP by noon on February 10th.