Michigan Drug Discovery Funding Opportunities

Michigan Drug Discovery Pilot Grants

Twice per year, the Michigan Drug Discovery provides grant awards of up to $75,000 each for drug discovery research in all therapeutic areas.

Preference will be given to studies on novel drug targets with a clear medical need and commercial viability.

The expectation is that most of the awarded funds will be used in the following U-M core laboratories to accelerate the discovery process:


The budget can include up to $5,000 for work and supplies outside of the pre-approved cores.

Apply for funding

The Winter 2020 round of funding is currently closed. To be notified when we are again accepting applications, please follow the link below and complete the form.

SPARC-MDD Partnership

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 — which represents U-M’s first university-spanning partnership with a major international pharmaceutical research company in almost a decade — will provide 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.

What SPARC offers

Working with Michigan Drug Discovery and the Office of Technology Transfer, SPARC intends to provide funding to U-M labs for early-stage translational therapeutic projects in the areas of oncology, neurodegeneration, dermatology, and ophthalmology, with the goal of translating new therapeutics to the clinic.

Funding and in-kind support will be tailored according to the needs of each project, with a value of up to $1.5M over three years. This funding may include in-kind support provided by SPARC in areas such as medicinal chemistry and preclinical development.

Competitive projects will have

  • a focus on oncology, immunology, or the central nervous system
  • a clear clinical indication in areas of unmet medical needs
  • convincing evidence for a significant improvement over current treatment options with a potentially patentable lead compound or clinical candidate
  • demonstrated promising in vivo data or equivalent proof of concept with said lead compound(s)
  • an invention disclosure on file with the Office of Technology Transfer (if appropriate)

Apply for funding

We anticipate the next round of funding will open in Fall 2020. To be notified when we are again accepting applications, please follow the link below and complete the form.

Looking for other internal
funding opportunities?