The Governor's Council for Medical Research and Treatment of Autism

Current Grant Initiatives

In addition to supporting research and treatment of autism, the Department of Health assists families affected by autism through its Early Intervention Services program.


NJ Autism Center of Excellence

The New Jersey Autism Center of Excellence (NJACE) at Rutgers University partnered with the Children’s Specialized Hospital to create the NJACE funded by the Governor’s Council for Medical Research and Treatment of Autism (Council) in 2018. The work carried out at the NJACE supports the Council’s commitment to advance and disseminate the understanding, treatment, and management of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) by (1) supporting and stimulating basic and clinical ASD research and (2) providing a statewide system of training and continuing education programs for health care professionals to improve the clinical care of children, adolescents and adults with ASD.

The NJACE is creating an innovative collaborative network across New Jersey using existing programs and leveraging the leadership’s extensive network to build and disseminate new innovative initiatives for research, education and service serving individuals with autism across their lifespans. Direct feedback from the New Jersey autism community through a Consumer Advisory Board is tailored to identify unmet needs in services and research.  A Professional Advisory Board will integrate researchers, biopharmaceutical companies and local businesses across New Jersey to open a dialogue with affected stakeholders. This exchange will promote new cutting-edge concepts useful to enrich education and diversify clinical care.


Concept Projects

Concept Projects will test innovative ideas that address important problems relevant to autism. Bold and “out of the box” ideas that are based on sound scientific premise are needed to make a significant impact in ASD research; thus, these are high-risk studies have the potential to reveal entirely new avenues for investigation. Concept Projects will support the initial exploration of untested but potentially transformative ideas that may radically change the way we understand autism, or provide alternative approaches, process, or guidelines to improve and impact the lives of those with autism.


Clinical Research Pilot Projects

Clinical Research Pilot Projects aim to elucidate the etiology, epidemiology, diagnosis, and optimal means of service delivery in relation to ASD, while improving the physical and/or behavioral health and well-being of individuals with ASD. This grant program aims to support new discoveries and the development of best practices to improve the lives of people with ASD in New Jersey while encouraging the development of new clinical inter- and multidisciplinary teams. The Annual Reports provide details of each grant award including research topic and amount of funding.


Basic Research Pilot Projects

The Basic Research Pilot Projects will explore the mechanisms underlying ASD. Basic Research Pilot Projects may explore genetic, biochemical, morphological, or other mechanisms contributing to the development and characterization of ASD.

Projects are designed to:

  1. Take new technical or intellectual tactics that may link different levels of understanding with one another (genetic, developmental, circuit, behavioral, animal, human),
  2. Propose work that may open long-term possibilities for eventual treatment or diagnostic options,
  3. Propose work to understand the biological basis for heterogeneity in ASD, or
  4. Explore the effects of the immune system, infectious disease, epigenetics, or the environment, including toxins, on brain development.

The Annual Reports provide details of each grant award including research topic and amount of funding.


Fellowship Program

The Council’s grant programs are designed to promote and support research capable of advancing the mission of the Council with the issuance of 2 Fellowship opportunities:


  1. Predoctoral Fellowship awards are designed to enhance the research training of promising researchers early in their training period, who have the potential to become productive investigators in autism research, as well as to support research capable of advancing the mission of the Council and offer funding for research Projects.
  2. Postdoctoral Fellowship awards are designed to aid researchers in their endeavors to promote new approaches to examine the origins, mechanisms, and treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), as well as to guide postdoctoral applicants on the their path to becoming independent researchers.
Last Reviewed: 5/9/2022