To create each IACC Portfolio Analysis Report, a comprehensive analysis of the autism spectrum disorder (ASD) research portfolio of major Federal agencies and private organizations is conducted for a given funding year. Each agency or organization is asked to provide a list of the research projects that they have funded in the funding year of interest, including the project title, the name of the principal investigator, a description of the research, and the amount of funding awarded that year.
Each project is assigned a "Question" code corresponding to one of seven key ASD research areas defined in the IACC Strategic Plan for ASD Research. Additionally, within each question, projects are assigned an "Objective" code corresponding to the specific research objectives in the IACC Strategic Plan, which represent gaps and research priorities identified by the committee.
Because the Portfolio Analyses examine the extent to which current funding and research topics align with the IACC Strategic Plan, they can be used by Federal agencies and private research organizations to help guide future funding priorities by outlining current gaps and opportunities in ASD research, as well as serving to highlight current activities and research progress.
In addition to mapping funded research projects to specific objectives in the Strategic Plan, all of the research projects in the 2010 IACC Portfolio Analysis are assigned to a research "Subcategory." These subcategories provide a more detailed breakdown of research funding and also help identify the types of research addressed by projects that do not correspond to specific objectives of the Strategic Plan. (This subcategory analysis is new to the 2010 Portfolio Analysis and thus subcategories are not included in the 2008 and 2009 data.)