Michigan Drug Discovery grant program increases researcher support


Michigan Drug Discovery is adding a new grant program to its support for University of Michigan researchers.

Project Grants represent the third funding opportunity to be offered by Michigan Drug Discovery, in addition to Screening Grants to support screens conducted in partnership with the Center for Chemical Genomics or the Natural Products Discovery Core, and the SPARC-MDD Partnership Grants, which fund translational therapeutic projects in the areas of oncology, neurodegeneration and immunoinflammatory diseases.

Together, these three grant types offer support to academic drug discovery projects in nearly every stage, from initial screening through late-stage translational research.

Designed to help researchers navigate the challenges between identifying new biologically active compounds and developing them into clinical candidates, Project Grants will offer greater financial support, longer project timeframes and increased scientific support compared to Screening Grants. In this way, Project Grants are intended to provide a bridge to significant external grant funding and investments.

The award was created to advance projects for which compounds active against the intended biological target have been already identified, as well as projects that can benefit from the combined expertise and capabilities of multiple drug discovery research cores.

“We see these new grants as an opportunity to help investigators advance their projects through lead optimization, develop high quality tool compounds for use in their disease models and identify potential therapeutics,” said Michigan Drug Discovery Director Peter Toogood.

University researchers working across all therapeutic areas are eligible for a Project Grant. Funded projects will receive $100,000 per year for up to three years and will be conducted in partnership with Michigan Drug Discovery and drug discovery experts from the research cores.

Project teams that have already successfully completed a Michigan Drug Discovery supported screening campaign are encouraged to apply for Project Grants. However, prior support through Michigan Drug Discovery is not a prerequisite.

The application window for Michigan Drug Discovery Project Grants will open March 22, with funding beginning July 1 for accepted projects. More information about the application process and instructions for requesting a pre-submission meeting are available at drugdiscovery.umich.edu/resources/funding-opportunities/.

New and resubmitted applications will be accepted in the spring of each year. Interested researchers can sign up on the website to be notified when the next funding cycle opens.

Michigan Drug Discovery is a campuswide program established to mentor, support, identify and coordinate resources for investigators with an interest in pursuing drug discovery research — with the goal of advancing drug discovery projects and speeding the development of new medicines in all therapeutic areas.


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