Call for Policy Brief Proposals

Policy Brief Call for Proposals – 2020 - Closed

Opens:  July 10, 2019

Closes:  August 12, 2019

As part of its strategic plan, INSAR has set a goal of ensuring that autism research has a broad impact on society, reflected in a strategic initiative to “disseminate science-based knowledge to inform research priorities, policy, professional practice, and public understanding.”  To this end, INSAR has committed annual funds to support a 1-2 day meeting of scientists, thought leaders, stakeholders, and policy makers to discuss a topic that:

i)                 is of importance to the quality of life of those affected by autism;

ii)                has been studied rigorously; and

iii)               has significant implications for policy and/or practice. 

The purpose of the meeting is for attendees to present and discuss relevant research regarding this topic and, following the meeting, create an INSAR Policy Brief, which will summarize the research relevant to this topic and serve as an informational resource document for a diverse set of stakeholders, including INSAR members, those affected by autism, policy makers, practitioners, and the public. 

INSAR Policy Briefs will be published on the INSAR website and distributed widely through INSAR’s mobile app and other mechanisms available to INSAR’s leadership and members. INSAR Policy Briefs will be written in lay language and include a succinct executive summary, description of the nature and significance of the topic and its timeliness (why it matters), overview and synthesis of the scientific research (what the research tells us), an implications statement describing how the existing scientific research informs policy and practice (implications), and any recommendations for next steps or actions (recommendations).  Given that INSAR is an international organization, policy briefs must consider how global research and implementation of any recommendations will be influenced by cultural, economic, and other contextual factors.

Amount of Award

Restricted funds of up to $15,000 will be made available to support the meeting and writing of the brief.  Funds can be used to support the meeting of scientists, thought leaders, stakeholders, and policy makers by supporting travel (economy airfare, train, bus, car, taxi), hotel, meeting facilities, food, writing, data collection, and communication expenses.  No portion of these funds shall be used to cover indirect costs.

Proposal Submission

Submission is closed.

Deadline for submission of proposals is Monday, August 12, 2019.  Proposals are to be submitted online. The following information needs to be submitted via the online form.  Only complete proposals submitted online by the deadline will be considered.

Title and contact information.  Include contact information for person(s) submitting the proposal, and the named individual(s) responsible, at least in part, for leading the meeting and drafting the brief.  At least one of those named must be a current Full member of INSAR.

Proposal.  Include the following:

1.      Short description:  Succinctly state the topic that will be addressed.

2.      Significance: Explain why the topic matters, including a statement describing how the proposed topic has importance to the quality of life of those affected by autism.

3.      Background: Explain why a review and synthesis of the evidence regarding this topic would be useful, the degree of existing scientific support related to the topic, and its timeliness.

4.      Methods: Explain the methods that will be used to review and synthesize the scientific evidence supporting the implications and recommendations statements.  Note: A full systematic review of the literature is not required.

5.      Impact: Explain how the policy brief is relevant for policy and practice.

6.      Intended audiences:  Include a description of the audiences that would be expected to have a significant interest in the INSAR Policy Brief.


7.      Inclusion. Explain how consultation with individuals with ASD has helped shape your proposal.

Meeting leader(s) and attendees.  Specify who will provide leadership for convening and running the meeting and attendees of the meeting, including their titles, backgrounds and qualifications. In addition to scientists who conduct research on the proposed topic, attendees of the meeting must include representation from those directly affected by autism, including at least one person on the autism spectrum and at least one person who is currently involved in establishing policy and/or guidelines for practice relevant to the topic.

Meeting location, date, and agenda.  Provide a proposed location, date, and draft agenda for the meeting. The meeting must occur within 9 months from the date the award is given

Plan for writing the brief.  Describe who will take leadership and responsibility for writing the INSAR Policy Brief, process for writing the document, and timeline for completion. Briefs are to be completed within six (6) months of the date of the meeting.

Budget.  Provide a summary budget that outlines how the funds will be used. 

Proposal Review and Disbursement of Funds

Proposal review. Proposals will be reviewed and selected by the INSAR Board on the basis of importance and impact of the topic, scientific evidence available, and timeliness of the brief. The award decision will be made by October 1, 2019. 

Disbursement of funds.  For the accepted proposal, the proposed budget must be approved by the INSAR Board before expenditures are made.  A detailed expense report and receipts documenting all expenses must be submitted to Jennifer Gentry at for reimbursement following the meeting.

Review of Policy Brief

Policy briefs are to be submitted to the INSAR Board within six (6) months after the date of the meeting for review and feedback from the INSAR Scientific Standards Committee.  After review by the INSAR Scientific Standards Committee, the brief will be sent to the INSAR Board for final review and approval.  The INSAR Scientific Standards Committee and INSAR Board reserve the right to provide input and request modifications to the draft brief.  The brief is considered an INSAR publication (property of INSAR) and requires final approval by the INSAR Board before it can be published on the INSAR website and/or distributed in any way to INSAR members.  The INSAR Board reserves the right not to publish or distribute the submitted brief. Further, INSAR Board approval is required before the brief or any reformulation of the content in the brief is submitted for publication or disseminated through any other channels. 

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