Launched in 2005, the Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative (SFARI) is a discrete scientific research program within the Simons Foundation's . Although the foundation’s mission is to advance the frontiers of research in the basic sciences and mathematics, SFARI is the foundation's only program whose scope is tightly focused on the science underlying just one medical condition.
SFARI's immediate priority is to drive research that benefits individuals challenged by autism spectrum disorders, but its research programs are expected to yield insights into the neural mechanisms of fundamental human capabilities, thereby complementing the foundation’s work in other basic sciences.
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.