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Wendy Klag Center for Autism & Developmental Disabilities

Funding Opportunities

The mission of the Wendy Klag Center is to promote public health research into the origins, detection, measurement and prevention of conditions that affect behavioral, socioemotional and/or cognitive development, and evaluation of services and policies that support optimal development of affected children and their families.   The WKC provides funding for faculty and students to support innovative research in areas that are consistent with the center’s mission, particularly research showing the power of public health approaches in autism research. 

A call for research proposals went out January 17, due in March 17, 2023.  

The Wendy Klag Center will hold an optional grant prep workshop and Q&A session before the application due date. WKC leaders will offer an overview of the grant application, plus answer attendees' questions about the grant application and structure. The session, which will be recorded, will be from noon to 1 p.m. Monday, February 27. Email for the Zoom link.

What types of projects are eligible?

Student/Post-Doctoral Projects

Research project funding up to $15,000 can be requested.  Eligibility is restricted to students in good academic standing who are currently enrolled in a degree program at BSPH or who are postdoctoral fellows at BSPH.  The proposal must describe a well-formulated research project. Awards can be used to support research or training needs and for stipend support. Students receiving these awards will be designated as Wendy Klag Scholars, continuing a tradition of scholarship already in place through the Wendy Klag Memorial Fund.

Faculty Projects

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

Pilot studies that can be leveraged into competitive grant applications are particularly consistent with the goals of this fund, as are proposals that serve to stimulate collaboration among investigators to tackle these important issues. 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.

What is the application format?

Faculty projects: The body of the application can be no longer than five single-spaced pages and should contain the following: 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 problem of autism and developmental disabilities and how pilot data might generate further research and grant submissions. 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.

Student/Post-doctoral projects: The body of the application can be no longer than five single-spaced pages. Instructions for the faculty project application should be followed. Include research goals, a detailed budget justification, and a current BSPH transcript. A letter of support from a full-time BSPH faculty advisor who will supervise the project is required. Collaborations with other institutions, including the Kennedy Krieger Institute, state or local governments, or non-profit associations, require both a letter of support from the affiliated program supervisor and a letter from a BSPH faculty member to confirm that student skills (e.g., analytical) are commensurate with project demands.

How do I apply?

Follow the above directions and send your completed application to Michelle Landrum,

How are awards decided?

Applications will be 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 BSPH, JHU, and the Kennedy Krieger Institute. This includes seminars, journal clubs, and symposia held throughout the year.

Grant awardees from prior years