Request for Information (RFI): Research Priorities for the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee Strategic Plan for Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)

Notice Number: NOT-MH-08-003

Key Dates
Release Date:  December 19, 2007
Response Date:  January 4, 2008

Issued by
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH, (


The purpose of this time-sensitive RFI is to seek input from ASD stakeholders such as individuals with ASD and their families, autism advocates, scientists, health professionals, therapists, educators, state and local programs for ASD, and the public at large about what they consider to be high-priority research questions.


The Combating Autism Act of 2006 (Public Law 109-416) re-established the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC) and requires that the IACC develop a strategic plan for ASD research. The IACC includes both Federal and public members who are active in the area of ASD research funding, services, or advocacy. In its inaugural meeting on November 30, 2007, the IACC approved a process for developing the strategic plan that includes multiple opportunities for stakeholder input. This RFI is a first step in receiving broad input at the beginning stages of plan development.

To identify research priorities for possible inclusion in the strategic plan for ASD research, the IACC will convene several scientific workshops in January 2008. The responses received through this RFI will be collated, summarized, and provided to workshop participants. The scientific workshops will be organized around four broad areas of ASD research:

The development of the strategic plan is expected to take approximately six months and will include several additional opportunities for public input.

Information Requested

We are interested in receiving your input and ideas about what are high-priority questions and issues for advancing research on ASD.  We ask for your constructive and specific suggestions in the following areas (please refer to the above descriptions for each area).

What topics or issues need to be addressed to advance research on the:

  1. Treatment of ASD?
  2. Diagnosis of ASD?
  3. Risk factors for ASD?
  4. Biology of ASD?
  5. Other areas of ASD research?


Please send responses to no later than January 4, 2008.

Please limit your response to two pages and mark it with this RFI identifier NOT-MH-08-103 in the subject line.  The responses received through this RFI will be collated, summarized, and provided to scientific workshop participants in January 2008.  Summarized results will also be made available to the public. Any proprietary information should be so marked. Respondents will receive an email confirmation acknowledging receipt of their response, but will not receive individualized feedback.


Inquiries regarding this notice may be directed to:

Diane Buckley
Office of the Director
National Institute of Mental Health
6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 8235, MSC 9669
Bethesda, MD 20892-9669
Telephone:  301-443-1220
FAX:  301-480-4415

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