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Wendy Klag Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities

For researchers

We welcome researchers from across the Johns Hopkins community and at the Kennedy Krieger Institute to become affiliated with our Center and collaborate with Center faculty. Affiliated researchers are eligible to apply jointly with Bloomberg School faculty for pilot grants as described below. 

To become an affiliate, please email Michelle Landrum Trice.  You can also join our listserv to stay updated on new opportunities.

Pilot grants for Bloomberg School faculty

Fund your research project

The Wendy Klag Center sponsors competitive research grants to full-time faculty at the Bloomberg School.

We offer grants of up to $50,000 to faculty with a primary Bloomberg School appointment or to current Center affiliates with collaborators at the Bloomberg School.  

Information for 2024 grants

  • The 2024 call for research proposals went out January 12, 2024
  • Proposals will be due March 15, 2024
  • The Center will hold an optional grant prep workshop and Q&A session before the application due date. Details to be announced later
  • Please contact Michelle Landrum Trice for more information

Who is eligible to apply? 

Research project funding up to $50,000 is available. Applicants must be either (1) faculty with a primary Bloomberg School appointment; or (2) a current Wendy Klag Center affiliated faculty member. Consistent with the mission of the Wendy Klag Center, research proposals must have a population-based orientation, as opposed to a clinical focusApplications submitted by Center affiliates who do not have primary appointments in the Bloomberg School should include collaborators from the school.

What we fund 

Proposal reviewers are looking well-formulated, innovative research projects that are consistent with the Center’s mission, particularly research showing the power of public health approaches in autism research. 

How to apply 

The body of the application can be no longer than five single-spaced pages and should contain an abstract, introduction, specific aims, significance, methods, and any relevant preliminary data or information.  

The significance section should include how this work will bring something new to the field of autism and developmental disabilities.  

The application should also include an NIH-format biographical sketch, a proposed budget, a detailed and reasonable budget justification, other support (including pending applications), figures and references as appropriate. These are not included in the five-page limit.  

If the proposed activity is part of a larger grant, there should be an explicit explanation of the larger grant and how this proposal fits into it. Applications should not collapse description of an R01 into five pages and should be relatively free of jargon. Proposals should be targeted to a fairly broad audience so that reviewers from different backgrounds can understand what is planned and why. 

Completed applications should be compiled into one PDF document and emailed to 

How can awards be used? 

Awards can be used to purchase equipment, supplies, pay student, post-doc, or staff salaries, and support other research needs. Salary support for BSPH faculty is also permitted, as long as the amount of salary support requested is matched by the department. This departmental commitment should be evidenced by a letter from the chair of the department. Awards are for one year of support, with a possibility of a one-year renewal using the same mechanism described below. Faculty cannot receive concurrent funding from the Faculty Innovation or Center for Global Health funding opportunities. 

How are awards decided? 

Applications are reviewed by an ad hoc committee of faculty members with expertise in the area.  Reviews are scored on the overall proposal, the research proposal (approach), the applicability to autism spectrum disorder, and the likelihood of garnering federal support in the future. 

All awardees must agree to engage with the growing community of investigators focused on autism and developmental disabilities across the Bloomberg School, Johns Hopkins University, and the Kennedy Krieger Institute. This includes seminars, journal clubs, and symposia held throughout the year. 

Example of a 2022 funded faculty project  

Johnathon Ehsani, PhD, an assistant professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management, with Stewart Mostofsky, MD, and Mary Beth Nebel, PhD, (both of the Kennedy Krieger Center for Neurodevelopmental and Imaging Research), and Theresa Chirles, PhD, a postdoctoral fellow in the Bloomberg School’s Department of Health Policy and Management, are investigating “Identifying Challenges with Learning to Drive in ASD Pilot Study: Advancing Understanding of the Role of Visual Motor Integration.”