The Eagles Autism Foundation has announced that 20 projects specializing in cutting-edge autism research and care will receive $4.1 million in funding. The grants are a direct result of the proceeds raised by participants from the 2022 Eagles Autism Challenge, as well as other foundation-related fundraising initiatives throughout the year.
Forty-one letters of intent were received for research grant funding, which led to 30 full proposals being selected after a comprehensive evaluation process. These projects underwent careful review by independent scientists with demonstrated dedication to autism research, services, and programs. Ultimately, Boston Children’s Hospital (BCH), Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), Cleveland Clinic – Lerner Research Institute, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and the University of Iowa were awarded nine pilot studies.
According to Jeffrey Lurie, Chairman and CEO of the Philadelphia Eagles, the Eagles Autism Challenge has raised over $20 million and supported 83 research and community grants since its launch in 2018. Dr. Emanuel DiCicco-Bloom and fellow professionals oversaw a thorough evaluation of proposals resulting in the identification of 20 promising projects with groundbreaking potential for autism research; notably including the first-ever global project funded by the organization. Overall, it was an exceptional year for progress on this important issue.
Nine organizations were granted community grants this year, addressing a range of topics including neurodiverse employment, speech-language pathology, community inclusion, and behavioral health. Recipients included Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia – Center for Autism Research, Evidence-Based Practice & Innovation Center, KenCrest, Kinney Center for Autism Education and Support, Popcorn for the People, Salus University: The Speech-Language Institute, Special Olympics Pennsylvania, The Arc Alliance, and Variety – The Children’s Charity of the Delaware Valley.
two-year pilot grants are being offered to young investigators in related disciplines who wish to specialize in autism. These post-doctoral fellowship awards, which are sponsored by CHOP and Drexel University, offer the opportunity for researchers to continue their work under the guidance of experienced scientists in Philadelphia. By supporting these efforts, we hope to attract talented individuals to our city and create a pipeline for future research. Eligible applicants must have completed their doctoral or medical degrees and hold a full-time tenured or tenure-track faculty appointment, or equivalent full-time non-tenure position.
n ensuring that all research proposals were thoroughly examined for their potential impact in the field of autism. To achieve this, Dr. Emanuel DiCicco-Bloom from the Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and 17 respected researchers with expertise in relevant areas were selected to evaluate each proposal based on several criteria such as significance, innovation, approach, the investigator, and environment. In addition to these factors, measurable outcomes and transformational impact were also taken into account when assessing the merit of each application. The Eagles Autism Foundation is committed to supporting research initiatives that have a positive impact on individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and their families by promoting innovative and promising research projects in this field.
To build on this incredible work and expand the impact, Eagles Autism Challenge participants will receive a $100,000 matching gift for fundraising in 2023. An anonymous Eagles Autism Foundation donor has made this match possible. From Tuesday, March 14, at 9:00 AM ET, the first $100,000 in online donations will be matched, dollar for dollar. Donations can be as large or as small as they like.
Ryan Hammond, Executive Director of Eagles Autism Foundation, expressed gratitude for the community’s immense support over the past six years. Without this assistance, both financial and invaluable resources provided to families in need, such progress would not have been possible. The foundation is dedicated to promoting compassion and inclusivity so that those with autism can thrive. In particular, the peer review panel and generous donors who continue to champion their mission have been instrumental in facilitating their growth as an organization.
The Eagles Autism Foundation
We raise funds for innovative autism research and care programs through the Eagles Autism Foundation. By providing the necessary resources to doctors and scientists at leading institutions, we will be able to assist those currently affected by autism, as well as future generations. Eagles Autism Foundation hopes to inspire and engage the community, enabling us to provide much-needed support in the field of autism. Please visit Eagles Autism Foundation.