Chair: Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) Treatment and Care Research

Health Canada has partnered with the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Autism Speaks Canada, the Canadian Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) Alliance, NeuroDevNet and the Sinneave Family Foundation to support a Chair in Autism Spectrum Disorders Treatment and Care Research.

The purpose of this funding opportunity is to support an investigator (with less than seven years of independent research experience) bringing new innovative approaches, including translational research, to the treatment and/or care of autism spectrum disorders. Research will be relevant to the following areas: improvement of treatment and/or care for ASD; and/or approaches for the translation of research evidence into better treatment and/or care for ASD.

Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are a group of developmental brain disorders with a wide range of symptoms, skills, and levels of impairment, or disability. All children diagnosed with ASD demonstrate deficits in social interaction and verbal and nonverbal communication, as well as display repetitive behaviors or interests. In addition, they will often have unusual responses to sensory experiences such as certain sounds or the way objects appear to them.

While there is no demonstrated single best treatment regime package for all children with ASD, it appears that they respond well to highly structured, specialized programs. It is generally agreed that early intervention is important.

There are existing chair programs in ASD in Canada, but none are specifically for research in the areas of treatment and/or care. This is a significant gap for the translation of research into relevant and efficient treatments and/or standards of care for children and adults with ASD. This Chair in Autism Spectrum Disorders: Treatment and Care Research is funded to bridge this gap.

The specific objectives of this funding opportunity are to:

  • engage stakeholders (e.g., people living with ASD and their family members, health providers, non-governmental organizations, etc.) to determine the needs and gaps in treatment and care;
  • stimulate innovative approaches in ASD research and knowledge translation;
  • support high quality treatment and care research in the field of ASD in Canada for children and adults;
  • foster formal linkages with decision makers to support the timely and effective application of research into policies, programs and practice in health related sectors;
  • educate and mentor the current and next generation of ASD researchers (i.e., graduate students, post-graduate students and junior faculty) both in applied research methods and facilitating opportunities for knowledge exchange and linkage with decision makers.

Additional Information

Please see CIHR's website for additional information on this funding opportunity.

Interested individuals must apply to CIHR. Please see CIHR's website for eligibility requirements and other application information.

Partner/Collaborator Description

Note: Additional partners/collaborators, including partners/collaborators from industry and the private sector may join this funding initiative over the coming year.

Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)
The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) is the Government of Canada's health research investment agency. CIHR's mission is to create new scientific knowledge and to enable its translation into improved health, more effective health services and products, and a strengthened Canadian health care system. Composed of 13 Institutes, CIHR provides leadership and support to more than 14,100 health researchers and trainees across Canada.

The CIHR - Institute of Neurosciences, Mental Health and Addiction (INMHA) supports research to enhance mental health, neurological health, vision, hearing, and cognitive functioning and to reduce the burden of related disorders through prevention strategies, screening, diagnosis, treatment, support systems, and palliation.

Autism Speaks Canada
At Autism Speaks Canada our mission is to change the future for all who struggle with autism spectrum disorders. We are dedicated to funding global research into the causes, prevention, treatments, and cure for autism; to raising public awareness about autism and its effects on individuals, families, and society; and to bringing hope to all who deal with the hardships of this disorder. We are committed to raising the funds necessary to support these goals. Autism Speaks Canada aims to bring the autism community together as one strong voice to urge the government and private sector to listen to our concerns and take action to address this urgent global health crisis. It is our firm belief that, working together, we will find the missing pieces of the puzzle.

The Canadian Autism Spectrum Disorders Alliance (CASDA)
The Canadian Autism Spectrum Disorders Alliance (CASDA) is a coalition of organizations and individuals developing a comprehensive National ASD Framework. It is committed to ensuring the implementation of a comprehensive National ASD Strategy that addresses critical gaps in funding and policies, which are preventing individuals with ASDs and their families from exercising their equal rights as Canadians.

NeuroDevNet is a Canadian Network of Centres of Excellence (NCE) dedicated to helping children overcome neurodevelopmental disorders. Network investigators seek to understand the causes of neurological deficits, and to transfer this knowledge to health care professionals, policy makers, and communities of interest. NeuroDevNet works with its partners in academia, the community, not-for-profit sector, industry, and government, and across traditional disciplinary boundaries and sectors, to ensure generated knowledge is translated into tangible diagnostic, preventative, therapeutic, social, economic, and health benefits for all.

The Sinneave Family Foundation (SFF)
The Sinneave Family Foundation (SFF) is a national organization dedicated to building successful futures for adolescents and adults living with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Established in 2008, it has gained rapid recognition as an important funder and partner with leading autism service and research organizations across North America.

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