Michigan Drug Discovery

Funding Opportunities

Michigan Drug Discovery offers three funding opportunities to support to academic drug discovery projects in nearly every stage, from initial screening through late-stage translational research.


The infographic summarizes the grants, and you can learn more about each grant below.


Reach out with questions: we are available to help you figure out the best way to advance your drug discovery project!

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Michigan Drug Discovery Project Grant Program is not accepting any proposals at this time.

Please check back for our next round of funding.

Michigan Drug Discovery Project Grant

Up to $100,000/year for up to two years for collaborative drug discovery research

Michigan Drug Discovery Project Grants are designed to help researchers navigate the challenges between identifying new biologically active compounds and developing them into clinical candidates. They provide a bridge to significant external grant funding and investments.

The Project Grants will 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 experts.

U-M researchers working across all therapeutic areas are eligible for a project grant. Funded projects will be conducted in partnership with Michigan Drug Discovery. 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.

Michigan Drug Discovery Screening Grant

Collaborative high-throughput screening for drug discovery project

Small molecules:  up to $75,000 for use within 12 months
Natural products: up to $100,000 for use within 24 months

DNA-encoded libraries: up to $100,000 for use within 24 months

The Michigan Drug Discovery Screening Grants include both funding and scientific support for high-throughput screening of small molecules, DNA-encoded libraries, or natural product extracts with the goal of identifying chemical matter for modulating novel therapeutic targets. At the end of the grant, researchers should have identified and confirmed a set of high-quality hit compounds with the potential to be further developed into tool compounds and therapeutic agents.

To be eligible for funding, the proposal must present a clear statement of the scientific hypothesis to be tested, supported by strong target validation or phenotypic data. A prerequisite for funding is a validated screening assay requiring minimal optimization, e.g., translation from 96-well to 384-well format.

Immunoferment assay microplate with coloured liquid (immunoferment reaction product) in it.
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The Michigan Drug Discovery Screening Grant Program is accepting proposals at this time. The cycle will close on October 11th, 2023 at 11:59 PM.


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Apply for funding

A pre-submission meeting is required before applying for a SPARC-MDD Grant.

Proposals are accepted on a rolling basis with reviews scheduled two to three times per year. Sign up above to be notified of future review cycle deadlines.

SPARC-MDD Partnership Grant

A  partnership between the University of Michigan and Sun Pharma Advanced Research Company (SPARC) provides financial support and industry resources to accelerate the development of potential new medicines for a wide range of diseases.

This partnership provides up to a total of $10 million in financial support and in-kind industry resources to move various promising drug-discovery research projects within the university toward the ultimate goal of new therapies for patients.

SPARC-MDD Partnership Grant

The SPARC-MDD Partnership Grant provides funding and collaborative support for therapeutics projects led by U-M faculty. Selected projects have the potential to receive the equivalent of up to $1.5 million over a three-year period, including in-kind support in areas such as medicinal chemistry and preclinical development.

U-M researchers are encouraged to submit proposals for translational therapeutic projects with a focus in the areas of oncology, neurodegeneration, and immunoinflammatory diseases, and complex drug delivery or formulation of existing drugs for these indications.

Please see the SPARC-MDD FAQs and the application and for full details on the application process and requirements.

Looking for other funding opportunities at U-M for drug discovery projects?