Autism Speaks Postdoctoral Fellowships in Translational Research

Letter of Intent:  December 12, 2012
We are pleased to announce the third year of the Autism Speaks Postdoctoral Fellowship in Translational Research, designed to support promising, well-qualified postdoctoral scientists pursuing training in autism spectrum disorders (ASD) translational research. The program is open to applicants from public or private institutions working in preclinical or clinical research arenas. Successful applicants will detail a project that bridges basic laboratory research and behavioral or biomedical clinical research, and a training plan that includes mentoring in both basic and clinical research environments. Projects must have the fundamental translational research aim of accelerating the conversion of basic scientific discoveries into novel and more effective methods or products used to diagnose, prevent, or treat ASD. “Bench-to-bedside” approaches that delineate a path from preclinical models of ASD to well-defined patient populations, and “back-translational” projects that enrich the skill sets of behaviorists and clinicians through basic research on ASD biology and mechanisms of therapeutic intervention are encouraged. The results should have the potential to lead to or facilitate preclinical or clinical trials to improve outcomes for people with ASD.

A critical objective of the Translational Research Fellowship is to foster frequent and impactful communication and collaboration among basic scientists, applied researchers and clinicians across a diversity of research environments from academia to industry. To this end, applicants must describe regularly-occurring local opportunities for two-way communication between basic and clinical researchers (e.g., monthly department meetings, Grand Rounds, multidisciplinary lab meetings). In addition, trainees are required to have a primary mentor (i.e., the principal investigator with whom they directly carry out their research), and one or two secondary mentors that enable training experiences in different disciplines. Clear integration of these elements in the training plan and local environment will be weighted heavily in the evaluation on of applications. More details and instructions for applying can be found in the RFA here.

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