Funding Opportunities

The University of Michigan is committed to accelerating the path forward for novel therapeutic projects — helping them reach the clinic and benefit patients sooner.

Here are the top standing opportunities from the campus units most centrally involved in drug discovery efforts. Additional, specialized opportunities may be available through individual units and departments.

Preclinical & Clinical Research

Coulter Translational Research Partnership Program

Amount:
Average of over $100,000
Deadline:
Annual (February)
Eligibility:
Collaboration: engineering faculty & U-M clinician

The U-M Coulter Translational Research Partnership Program is a commercialization fund that seeks to accelerate the development of university technologies into new products to improve health care. Each project must involve a collaboration between U-M faculty from any college of engineering department and a practicing clinician from a clinical department. Each project aims to generate a new medical device, surgical tool, diagnostic assay or other biomedical tool and is mentored by a team of industry experts to guide projects to the point of start-up, partnering with industry, and/or follow-on funding.

Sponsoring Unit(s):
Biomedical Engineering
Discovery & Optimization
Preclinical & Clinical Research

Fast Forward GI Innovation Fund

Amount:
Two tiers; up to $100,000
Deadline:
Annual (March)

The U-M Fast Forward Gastrointestinal (GI) Innovation Fund is a three-year, $500,000+ fund supported by a donation from entrepreneur alumna Mary Petrovich and matched by the U-M Medical School’s Department of Internal Medicine and its Division of Gastroenterology, as well as the College of Engineering, where Ms. Petrovich received her undergraduate degree. The three-year program, which began in 2016, targets discovery and development of future technologies to help patients suffering from gastrointestinal disease.

Sponsoring Unit(s):
Fast Forward Medical Innovation (FFMI)
Discovery & Optimization
Preclinical & Clinical Research

FFMI Personalized Funding Consultation

Eligibility:
U-M Medical School researchers

If you’re a U-M Medical School researcher with a proof-of-concept technology, an early-stage biomedical venture, or you’re exploring commercialization opportunities, a personalized funding consultation with an FFMI commercialization expert can help you plan, secure funding, and advance your innovation. Our experts will help improve your ability to license or secure capital by offering: funding matchmaking, Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program proposal support.

Sponsoring Unit(s):
Fast Forward Medical Innovation (FFMI)
Discovery & Optimization
Preclinical & Clinical Research

Forbes Institute for Cancer Discovery Grant

Amount:
Up to $200,000
Deadline:
Twice Annually
Eligibility:
Co-PI’s from 2 or more U-M Departments required

The Forbes Institute for Cancer Discovery will fund team science awards based on competitive peer review. The awards will be up to $200,000 with potential for future funding based on peer reviewed progress, need and potential impact. Inter-school collaborations are encouraged.

Sponsoring Unit(s):
Rogel Cancer Center
Preclinical & Clinical Research

Massey Foundation Traumatic Brain Injury Fund

Amount:
Up to $600,000

Every year, the Massey Foundation and U-M’s Michigan Center for Integrative Research in Critical Care (MCIRCC) hold the Massey Foundation Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Grand Challenge. The event supports high-impact proposals by funding milestone-driven research over a 12-month timeframe. Funds the development of diagnostic, device, therapeutic, or health IT solutions that address the initial “golden hours” of care after severe TBI (generally the first 48 hours). Treatment administered during this critical timeframe can determine patient survival and have a significant effect on long-term function and disability.

Sponsoring Unit(s):
Fast Forward Medical Innovation (FFMI)
Discovery & Optimization
Preclinical & Clinical Research

MCubed

Amount:
Up to $60,000
Deadline:
Cyclical
Eligibility:
Collaboration between at least two campus units

Mcubed stimulates innovative research and scholarship by distributing real-time seed funding to multi-unit, faculty-led teams.  Through this revolutionary research funding program, faculty from at least two different campus units can form a collaborative trio, or “cube,” and request either $60K or $15K to advance their idea right away.

Cost Sharing:
Yes
Sponsoring Unit(s):
MCubed
Discovery & Optimization

Mi-Kickstart Early-Stage Funding

Amount:
Up to $42,500
Deadline:
Quarterly (Nov., Feb., May, Aug.)
Eligibility:
50% cost share from the investigator/institution

Mi-Kickstart Awards are a part of the MTRAC for Life Sciences Innovation Hub — a statewide program that accelerates the transfer of technologies from Michigan’s institutions of higher education to the private sector for commercialization. Made possible by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, MTRAC for Life Sciences Innovation Hub, the William Davidson Foundation, the U-M Medical School Office of Research, and the Michigan Institute for Clinical & Health Research (MICHR), Mi-Kickstart Awards offer early-stage funding to biomedical researchers across the state of Michigan.

Cost Sharing:
Yes
Sponsoring Unit(s):
Fast Forward Medical Innovation (FFMI)
Michigan Institute for Clinical & Health Research (MICHR)
Preclinical & Clinical Research

Mi-TRAC Mid-Stage Funding

Amount:
Up to $250,000
Deadline:
Annually (January)
Eligibility:
50% cost share from the investigator/institution

Mi-TRAC Awards are a part of the MTRAC for Life Sciences Innovation Hub – a statewide program that accelerates the transfer of technologies from Michigan’s institutions of higher education to the private sector for commercialization. Made possible by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, and co-managed by FFMI and U-M Office of Tech Transfer, the awards provide mid-stage, translational research funding and resources for proof-of-concept and late-stage translational studies with a high potential of commercial success.

Cost Sharing:
Yes
Sponsoring Unit(s):
Fast Forward Medical Innovation (FFMI)
Office of Technology Transfer
Discovery & Optimization
Preclinical & Clinical Research

Michigan Drug Discovery Early-Stage Grants

Amount:
Up to $75,000
Deadline:
Twice annually (April & October)

Twice per year, 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 90 percent of awarded funds will be used in the following drug discovery-associated core laboratories:

  • Center for Chemical Genomics
  • Center for Structural Biology
  • Vahlteich Medicinal Chemistry Core
  • Pharmacokinetics Core
  • Natural Products Discovery Core
Sponsoring Unit(s):
Michigan Drug Discovery
Discovery & Optimization

MICHR Seed Grants

Amount:
Up to $5,000
Deadline:
Quarterly

Traditional Seed Grants are small awards that have flexibility in allowable expenses and will support any aspect of promising and innovative clinical and translational research. Funds can be used for a new stand-alone research project or to enhance an existing project.

Sponsoring Unit(s):
Michigan Institute for Clinical & Health Research (MICHR)
Preclinical & Clinical Research

Monroe-Brown Seed Fund

Amount:
Up to $300,000
Deadline:
Rolling
Eligibility:
Only companies (not research teams) will be funded

The Monroe-Brown Seed Fund, a collaboration between FFMI and the College of Engineering’s Center for Entrepreneurship, is a funding vehicle designed to advance the process of transitioning commercially viable biomedical and healthcare projects to market. With a $3 million gift from the Monroe-Brown Foundation, the Monroe-Brown Seed Fund awards seed money to biomedical startup companies with U-M licensed technology in the domain of therapeutics, devices, diagnostics, or health IT.

Sponsoring Unit(s):
College of Engineering
Fast Forward Medical Innovation (FFMI)
Discovery & Optimization

Rogel Cancer Center Idea Grant

Amount:
Up to $40,000
Deadline:
Monthly (Sept. to June)
Eligibility:
Rogel Cancer Center members only

Available for an investigator who has a novel and innovative idea for cancer research. Preliminary data to support the feasibility of the proposed studies are not required. However, preliminary data may be helpful in assessing the merits of the application and applicants are encouraged to include preliminary data if they are available.

Sponsoring Unit(s):
Rogel Cancer Center
Discovery & Optimization
Preclinical & Clinical Research

Rogel Cancer Center Innovation Grant

Amount:
Up to $150,000
Deadline:
Twice annually (May & November)
Eligibility:
Rogel Cancer Center members only

Innovation Grants are intended to foster the development of new and innovative research initiatives, particularly multi-investigator and multi-disciplinary initiatives. A principal goal is to support preliminary collaborative research studies emanating from at least two of our Rogel Cancer Center Research Programs.

Sponsoring Unit(s):
Rogel Cancer Center
Discovery & Optimization
Preclinical & Clinical Research

Rogel Cancer Center Research Grant

Amount:
Up to $75,000
Deadline:
Monthly (Sept. to June)
Eligibility:
Rogel Cancer Center members only

Available for an investigator for cancer-related research, or for any interesting and innovative collaboration between scientists.

Sponsoring Unit(s):
Rogel Cancer Center
Preclinical & Clinical Research

Tech Transfer Impact Fund

The Tech Transfer Impact Fund provides resources to enhance our capabilities and accelerate the impact of the world-changing research discoveries from the University of Michigan. Specifically, the U-M Tech Transfer Impact Fund:

  • Provides critical resources to improve our assessment and modeling of new discoveries
  • Expands our capabilities to accelerate the development and risk reduction of promising technologies and startup concepts
  • Attracts scarce early-stage venture funds for projects that can become new startup opportunities, by providing matching funds to encourage private investment
  • Supports U-M leadership by expanding our tech transfer capabilities, ensuring we don’t miss “the next big thing.”
Sponsoring Unit(s):
Office of Technology Transfer
Discovery & Optimization

Therapeutic Innovation Fund

Amount:
Up to $150,000
Deadline:
Annual (July)

The U-M Therapeutic Innovation Fund, offered by the Michigan Center for Therapeutic Innovation (MCTI) and Fast Forward Medical Innovation (FFMI), is a five-year, $2.5 million fund created in 2016 to accelerate the discovery and translation of therapeutic candidates at the University of Michigan. The fund supports the discovery and optimization of small molecule lead compounds for projects with a specific, novel, and testable drug discovery hypothesis.

Sponsoring Unit(s):
Fast Forward Medical Innovation (FFMI)
Michigan Center for Therapeutic Innovation (MCTI)
Preclinical & Clinical Research

Translational Science Award

Deadline:
Twice Annually

MICHR provides pilot grant funding to promote the development of collaborative, innovative, and novel research projects. We encourage applications for projects at all stages of translation (T1-T4) that use one of the following approaches to research: investigator-initiated research, collaborative research, or community-based participatory research (CBPR).

Sponsoring Unit(s):
Michigan Institute for Clinical & Health Research (MICHR)