Started in 2003, the Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative (SFARI) is a discrete scientific research program within the Simons Foundation's overall suite of programs. SFARI's mission is to improve the understanding, diagnosis and treatment of autism spectrum disorders by funding innovative research of the highest quality and relevance.
With a budget of about $60 million per year, SFARI currently supports 175 investigators. Since 2007, this initiative has provided or committed more than $260 million in external research support to more than 250 investigators in the U.S. and abroad.
SFARI is the Simons Foundation's only program focusing on the science underlying a single medical condition. However, SFARI-sponsored research programs are expected to yield insights into the neural mechanisms underlying fundamental human behavior and capabilities, thereby complementing the foundation’s broader work in the basic sciences.