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Portfolio Analysis Cover 2015
Portfolio Analysis Report
IACC Autism Spectrum Disorder Research
2014-2015
ASD Research Funders and Funding in 2014 and 2015

Who funded ASD research in 2014 and 2015?

Nine Federal agencies and nine private funders provided their autism funding data for this analysis. These 18 agencies and organizations are listed in Table 1. The New England Center for Children (NECC) submitted ASD research funding data to the IACC Portfolio Analysis for the first time this year. Brief summaries of the mission areas and portfolios of NECC and other funding agencies and organizations that contributed to the 2014-2015 Portfolio Analysis can be found in Appendix A of this report. Some funders included in previous years’ Portfolio Analysis Reports either did not have projects to report in 2014 and 2015 or did not choose to participate in the 2014-2015 analysis.

Agencies and Organizations Included in the 2014-2015 IACC Portfolio Analysis
Federal Agencies Private Organizations

Federal Agencies

  • Administration for Community Living (ACL)
  • Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
  • Department of Defense (DoD)*
    • Army-Autism Research Program (Army)
    • Air Force (AF)
  • Department of Education (ED)
  • Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
  • Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)
  • National Institutes of Health (NIH)
  • National Science Foundation (NSF)

Private Organizations

  • Autism Research Institute (ARI)
  • Autism Science Foundation (ASF)
  • Autism Speaks (AS)
  • Brain & Behavior Research Foundation (BBRF)
  • Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD)
  • New England Center for Children (NECC)
  • Organization for Autism Research (OAR)
  • Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI)
  • Simons Foundation (SF)

* The DoD Autism Research Program and Air Force reported as two separate entities for the purpose of this Portfolio Analysis.

Table 1. Projects from nine Federal agencies and nine private organizations were included in the 2014-2015 IACC Autism Spectrum Disorder Research Portfolio Analysis Report.

How much ASD research was funded in 2014-2015?

Combined, the estimated Federal and private investment in ASD research in 2014 was $309,873,907. The overall funding for autism research was relatively unchanged from 2013 to 2014. However, the relative contributions of Federal and private funders reported during this period were significantly different from the previous year, with the proportion of overall funding provided by the federal government increasing from 76% in 2013 to 81% in 2014. In 2014, the Federal government provided $250 million in ASD research funding, and private organizations provided $59.4 million (19%) of the total funding for ASD research (Figure 3).

Figure 3. In 2014, 81% of ASD research was provided by Federal sources, while 19% of funding was provided by private organizations.

In 2015, the estimated Federal and private investment in ASD research was $342,636,029. The overall funding for autism research increased by $34.2 million from 2014 to 2015, and the proportion of Federal and private funding remained constant over this period. In 2015, the Federal government provided 81% ($277.6 million) and private organizations provided 19% ($65 million) of the total funding for ASD research (Figure 4).

Figure 4. In 2015, 81% of ASD research was provided by Federal sources, while 19% of funding was provided by private organizations.

What funding trends were observed?

  • ASD research funding progressively increased from 2013-2015. In 2013, combined Federal and private investment in ASD research was $305.6 million. In 2014, the total reported funding was $309.9 million. In 2015, the total funding was $342.6 million, an increase of 12%. (Figure 5).
  • Private investment in ASD research was higher in 2015 ($65 million) than in 2014 ($59.4 million) but considerably lower than in 2013 ($72.9 million).
  • The amount of Federal investment in autism research reported in 2015 ($277.6 million) was significantly higher than the 2014 ($250 million) and 2013 levels ($235.9 million).
  • As stated in previous IACC Portfolio Analysis Reports, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), which provided an additional $63.9 million in 2009 and $59.9 million in 2010 to support autism research projects, created a temporary increase in total autism research funding levels during those years, resulting in a high of $408.6 million in 2010. In 2011, levels significantly decreased in comparison to 2010, but have been slowly rising since then. Nevertheless, current funding in 2015 was still far below the 2010 high.
  • While one new private funder (New England Center for Children) was added to the 2014-2015 Portfolio Analysis, the new funder contributed a small proportion of ASD research funding, so the impact on the total funding was relatively small.

Figure 5. This figure illustrates levels of autism research funding from combined Federal and private sources during 2008-2015 based on data collected for the IACC Portfolio Analysis of those years.

Where is research being funded in the U.S.?

Figure 6 shows the distribution of autism research projects across the U.S. funded by both Federal agencies and private organizations in 2015. The map shows that research is concentrated along the east and west coasts of the U.S. and in major metropolitan areas or areas with large universities in the middle portion of the country. Table 2 provides some additional information about the institutions and states that had a large number of projects in 2014 and 2015.

Figure 6. A map of the U.S. and Canada displaying the distribution of autism-related research projects in 2015 funded by Federal agencies and private organizations.

Which U.S. institutions received the most autism research funding in 2014 and 2015?

Institution 2014 Funding 2014 Project Count

Institution

National Institutes of Health - Intramural Research Program

2014 Funding

$23,654,941

2014 Project Count

20

Institution

University of California, Los Angeles

2014 Funding

$19,131,129

2014 Project Count

51

Institution

University of California, Davis

2014 Funding

$15,992,131

2014 Project Count

57

Institution

University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

2014 Funding

$12,950,335

2014 Project Count

41

Institution

Yale University

2014 Funding

$9,802,235

2014 Project Count

37

Institution

Vanderbilt University

2014 Funding

$7,353,330

2014 Project Count

41

Institution

Emory University

2014 Funding

$7,284,749

2014 Project Count

26

Institution

Boston Children’s Hospital

2014 Funding

$6,959,687

2014 Project Count

19

Institution

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

2014 Funding

$6,913,905

2014 Project Count

16

Institution

Stanford University

2014 Funding

$6,690,041

2014 Project Count

36

Institution 2015 Funding 2015 Project Count

Institution

National Institutes of Health – Intramural Research Program

2015 Funding

$23,571,416

2015 Project Count

17

Institution

University of California, Davis

2015 Funding

$17,581,758

2015 Project Count

55

Institution

Yale University

2015 Funding

$15,386,762

2015 Project Count

47

Institution

University of California, Los Angeles

2015 Funding

$14,969,102

2015 Project Count

49

Institution

University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

2015 Funding

$14,265,467

2015 Project Count

38

Institution

University of California, San Diego

2015 Funding

$8,359,906

2015 Project Count

25

Institution

Stanford University

2015 Funding

$7,828,949

2015 Project Count

34

Institution

Vanderbilt University

2015 Funding

$7,136,490

2015 Project Count

35

Institution

Boston Children’s Hospital

2015 Funding

$6,958,946

2015 Project Count

11

Institution

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

2015 Funding

$6,912,012

2015 Project Count

14

Which states had the highest levels of funding in 2014 and 2015?

Institution 2014 Funding 2014 Project Count

Institution

California

2014 Funding

$64,958,473

2014 Project Count

289

Institution

Maryland

2014 Funding

$39,311,594

2014 Project Count

69

Institution

Massachusetts

2014 Funding

$36,215,168

2014 Project Count

207

Institution

New York

2014 Funding

$30,546,027

2014 Project Count

143

Institution

North Carolina

2014 Funding

$15,644,937

2014 Project Count

63

Institution

Pennsylvania

2014 Funding

$14,599,464

2014 Project Count

87

Institution

Connecticut

2014 Funding

$14,247,234

2014 Project Count

50

Institution

Georgia

2014 Funding

$13,406,969

2014 Project Count

42

Institution

Texas

2014 Funding

$8,617,018

2014 Project Count

51

Institution

Washington

2014 Funding

$7,359,330

2014 Project Count

45

Institution 2015 Funding 2015 Project Count

Institution

California

2015 Funding

$71,224,493

2015 Project Count

287

Institution

New York

2015 Funding

$46,770,187

2015 Project Count

158

Institution

Maryland

2015 Funding

$40,977,880

2015 Project Count

62

Institution

Massachusetts

2015 Funding

$33,767,096

2015 Project Count

190

Institution

North Carolina

2015 Funding

$17,907,155

2015 Project Count

59

Institution

Connecticut

2015 Funding

$17,774,925

2015 Project Count

55

Institution

Pennsylvania

2015 Funding

$14,168,386

2015 Project Count

77

Institution

Georgia

2015 Funding

$11,954,686

2015 Project Count

43

Institution

Texas

2015 Funding

$9,060,685

2015 Project Count

37

Institution

Washington

2015 Funding

$7,731,124

2015 Project Count

28

Table 2. Institutions and states with the most ASD-related research funding from Federal and private sources in 2014 and 2015.

How much ASD research funding did each funder provide in 2014?

The 18 stakeholders, agencies, and organizations that participated in the 2014 Portfolio Analysis supported 1,441 ASD research projects totaling $309,873,907 (Table 3).

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) was the leading Federal (and overall) contributor of funding for ASD research in 2014 with a total of $197.1 million, funding 457 projects. NIH funding for autism research increased by $21.2 million from 2013 to 2014. The next largest Federal funder was the Department of Education, with $17.3 million, followed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), with $15.2 million. The Department of Education experienced a $5.4 million decrease in funding, and CDC had a $4.1 million decrease from 2013 to 2014. As in previous years, the Simons Foundation and Autism Speaks were the largest private funders of ASD research in 2014, with investments of $44.0 million and $12.6 million, respectively. The percentage of overall ASD research funding provided by each agency is depicted in Figure 7.

2014 ASD Research Funding by Agency/Organization
Funding Agency/Organization 2014 Funding Project Count

Funding Agency/Organization

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

2014 Funding

$197,079,206

Project Count

457*

Funding Agency/Organization

Simons Foundation (SF)

2014 Funding

$44,017,469

Project Count

271

Funding Agency/Organization

Department of Education (ED)

2014 Funding

$17,323,061

Project Count

106

Funding Agency/Organization

Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC)

2014 Funding

$15,157,020

Project Count

25

Funding Agency/Organization

Autism Speaks (AS)

2014 Funding

$12,588,143

Project Count

192

Funding Agency/Organization

Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)

2014 Funding

$9,137,969**

Project Count

45

Funding Agency/Organization

Department of Defense – Army (DoD-Army)

2014 Funding

$5,533,865

Project Count

59

Funding Agency/Organization

National Science Foundation (NSF)

2014 Funding

$2,881,721

Project Count

42

Funding Agency/Organization

Administration for Community Living (ACL)

2014 Funding

$1,656,454

Project Count

5

Funding Agency/Organization

Brain & Behavior Research Foundation (BBRF)

2014 Funding

$1,005,098

Project Count

60

Funding Agency/Organization

Department of Defense – Air Force (DoD-AF)

2014 Funding

$966,000

Project Count

1

Funding Agency/Organization

Centers for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD)

2014 Funding

$769,850

Project Count

20

Funding Agency/Organization

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

2014 Funding

$639,214

Project Count

1

Funding Agency/Organization

Autism Science Foundation (ASF)

2014 Funding

$405,000

Project Count

41

Funding Agency/Organization

New England Center for Children (NECC)

2014 Funding

$204,683

Project Count

69

Funding Agency/Organization

Autism Research Institute (ARI)

2014 Funding

$186,566

Project Count

17

Funding Agency/Organization

Organization for Autism Research (OAR)

2014 Funding

$179,984

Project Count

23

Funding Agency/Organization

Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality (AHRQ)

2014 Funding

$142,604**

Project Count

6

Funding Agency/Organization

Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI)

2014 Funding

$0

Project Count

1

Funding Agency/Organization

Total

2014 Funding

$309,873,907

Project Count

1,441

*The NIH project number shown reflects unique NIH projects. Projects funded by more than one NIH institute (“co-funds”) were combined and only counted as a single project. This approach differs from that used in the NIH RePORT database, where each co-fund is counted as a separate project.

**The annual funding amount for some projects reported by AHRQ and HRSA are prorated estimates for the autism-related portion of a larger project.

Table 3. The table lists the total funding and number of projects provided by the 18 Federal agencies and private organizations included in the Portfolio Analysis for 2014. Together, the agencies and organizations funded 1,441 projects, representing an overall investment of $309,873,907.

Figure 7. The figure illustrates the percentage of total ASD research funding contributed by the 18 Federal agencies and private organizations included in 2014. NIH provided the largest proportion of funding (63.3%), while Simons Foundation was the largest private funder (14.3%).

How much ASD research funding did each funder provide in 2015?

In 2015, the 18 stakeholders, agencies, and organizations that participated in the Portfolio Analysis had 1,410 ASD research projects totaling $342,636,029 (Table 4).

As in previous years, the NIH was the leading Federal (and overall) funder of ASD research in 2015 with a total of $216.7 million, funding 500 projects. NIH funding for autism research increased by $40.8 million from 2014 to 2015. The next largest Federal funder was the Department of Education, with $26.4 million, followed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), with $15.8 million. The Department of Education experienced a $3.7 million increase in funding from 2014 to 2015, however CDC had a $3.5 million decrease in autism research funding. For private funders, the Simons Foundation and Autism Speaks continued to be the largest funders of ASD research in 2015, with investments of $48.4 million and $12.3 million, respectively. The percentage of overall ASD research funding provided by each agency is depicted in Figure 8.

2015 ASD Research Funding by Agency/Organization
Funding Agency/Organization 2015 Funding Project Count

Funding Agency/Organization

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

2014 Funding

$216,657,540

Project Count

500*

Funding Agency/Organization

Simons Foundation (SF)

2014 Funding

$48,443,781

Project Count

293

Funding Agency/Organization

Department of Education (ED)

2014 Funding

$26,362,194

Project Count

93

Funding Agency/Organization

Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC)

2014 Funding

$15,789,418

Project Count

25

Funding Agency/Organization

Autism Speaks (AS)

2014 Funding

$12,324,957

Project Count

136

Funding Agency/Organization

Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)

2014 Funding

$9,618,017**

Project Count

40

Funding Agency/Organization

Department of Defense – Army (DoD-Army)

2014 Funding

$5,440,886

Project Count

64

Funding Agency/Organization

Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI)

2014 Funding

$1,695,006

Project Count

3

Funding Agency/Organization

Administration for Community Living (ACL)

2014 Funding

$1,528,535

Project Count

6

Funding Agency/Organization

National Science Foundation (NSF)

2014 Funding

$1,291,726

Project Count

39

Funding Agency/Organization

Brain & Behavior Research Foundation (BBRF)

2014 Funding

$1,290,484

Project Count

52

Funding Agency/Organization

Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality (AHRQ)

2014 Funding

$576,949**

Project Count

6

Funding Agency/Organization

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

2014 Funding

$343,850

Project Count

1

Funding Agency/Organization

Center for Autism & Related Disorders (CARD)

2014 Funding

$314,060

Project Count

9

Funding Agency/Organization

Autism Science Foundation (ASF)

2014 Funding

$330,000

Project Count

43

Funding Agency/Organization

Organization for Autism Research (OAR)

2014 Funding

$229,755

Project Count

20

Funding Agency/Organization

New England Center for Children (NECC)

2014 Funding

$219,416

Project Count

63

Funding Agency/Organization

Autism Research Institute (ARI)

2014 Funding

$179,456

Project Count

17

Funding Agency/Organization

Total

2014 Funding

$342,636,029

Project Count

1,410

*The NIH project number shown reflects unique NIH projects. Projects funded by more than one NIH institute (“co-funds”) were combined and only counted as a single project. This approach differs from that used in the NIH RePORT database, where each co-fund is counted as a separate project.

**The annual funding amount for some projects reported by AHRQ and HRSA are prorated estimates for the autism-related portion of a larger project.

Table 4. The table lists the total funding and number of projects provided by the 18 Federal agencies and private organizations included in the 2015 Portfolio Analysis. Together, the agencies and organizations funded 1,410 projects, representing an overall investment of $342,636,029.

Figure 8. The figure illustrates the percentage of total ASD research funding contributed by the 18 Federal agencies and private organizations included in 2015. NIH provided the largest proportion of funding (63.2%), while Simons Foundation was the largest private funder (14.1%).

Summary of ASD Research Funding in 2014 and 2015

As outlined in this section, numerous Federal and private funders invested in ASD research conducted across the U.S. in 2014 and 2015. Since the last Portfolio Analysis Report in 2013, funding for autism research increased from $305.6 million to $342.6 million in 2015, representing a 12% increase in funding. Funding for the overall autism research portfolio increased 10.6% from 2014 to 2015, with Federal funding growing 10.8% and private funding increasing 9.6%. Over the eight-year span from 2008-2015, funding increased by 54.2%, which suggests a continued overall growth in support of ASD research. However, over the period from 2008 to 2015, ASD funding has gone through some periods of significant change and other periods of incremental change. Autism research reached a peak in funding (including ARRA) in 2010 and then experienced a decrease, which eventually plateaued through 2015. The new 2016-2017 IACC Strategic Plan calls for a doubling of the ASD research budget to $685 million by 2020. In future years, funding trends will continue to be monitored to determine whether this ambitious new IACC budget recommendation is met.


Research Funders

 
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