Philadelphia-area health care programs and community groups are getting $3.6 million in new research money for autism from the Eagles Autism Foundation.
The foundation announced the grants Friday. It raised the money from its second-annual Eagles Autism Challenge last May.
The grants will fund research at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, the University of Pennsylvania, Temple University, and Thomas Jefferson University and Jefferson Health.
In addition, six community grants were awarded to A Step Up Academy, Carousel Connections, Center for Autism Research, Elwyn Foundation, Kinney Center for Autism Education and Support, and Special Olympics Pennsylvania.
"The mission of the Eagles Autism Foundation is to fund the very best research and programs so that families in Philadelphia, across the country, and even around the world can benefit from the transformational work we’ve invested in," said Eagles Chairman Jeffrey Lurie.
"It’s one thing to raise funds, but how you distribute them is just as important, if not more," Lurie said. "Collectively, we are trying to gauge both the quality of the research and its impact on society. It’s always a great balance, which is why these discussions are so robust and conducted in an incredibly professional way."
The research grants were analyzed by a team of internationally-recognized researchers, who assessed 30 full proposals based on criteria including how innovative the research is and how significant it could be to understanding autism and caring for people with autism.