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Research Funding Opportunities

Stanford IMA 2022 Molecular Therapeutics Request for Proposals

About: Stanford University’s Innovative Medicines Accelerator (IMA) is accepting proposals that address two major challenges in drug development: identifying drug leads and optimizing drug prototypes.

Interest Areas: Through this broad call for proposals, the IMA is soliciting Letters of Intent (LOI) for projects that fall under one of the following modules:

  • High-Throughput Screening Assay Development: Design, optimization, and miniaturization of biochemical or cell-based assays in 384-well microplate format for use in high-throughput, small-molecule screening. Competitive projects require a strong, novel therapeutic hypothesis and aim to identify small molecule leads for a defined molecular target.
  • Small Molecule Drug Prototyping: Engineering small molecule leads to improve their potency, selectivity, pharmacokinetics and/or pharmacodynamics. Competitive projects will have a strong therapeutic hypothesis, a novel biological target, one or more small molecule leads as starting points for medicinal chemistry, and appropriate assays for lead optimization.
  • Prototyping of Protein Therapeutics: Discovery and/or engineering of a monoclonal antibody with sufficiently promising properties to advance as a drug prototype. Projects requiring engineering of non-antibody protein leads with therapeutic potential are also eligible to apply. Competitive projects will have a strong therapeutic hypothesis, a novel biological target, and assays for protein drug prototyping.

The IMA aims to accelerate the translation of scientific discoveries at Stanford University into new medicines through prototyping of innovative therapeutics and vaccines while enabling hypothesis-driven studies that impact human health. Basic research, including target identification, is outside the scope of the current LOI solicitation.

Support Provided:

  • High-Throughput Screening Assay Development: Selected projects will receive access to the Sarafan ChEM-H / CSB High-Throughput Screening Knowledge Center (HTSKC) facility. Support will include access to HTS compound libraries, instrumentation fees, associated consumables, expert training, and assay development guidance for high-throughput screening projects.
  • Small Molecule Drug Prototyping: Selected projects will receive access to the Sarafan ChEM-H Medicinal Chemistry Knowledge Center (MCKC) to facilitate the design, synthesis, and screening of novel small molecules to identify lead drug prototypes. Support will focus on improving pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics of established molecular targets.
  • Prototyping of Protein Therapeutics: Selected projects will receive access to the Sarafan ChEM-H Protein Engineering Knowledge Center (PEKC) facility for tasks including discovery of monoclonal antibodies to serve as a therapeutic lead, structure-based and/or evolutionary-guided optimization of a lead antibody or non-antibody protein therapeutic, and recombinant protein production for structure-activity relationship analysis.
  • Animal Pharmacology: Projects requiring the establishment and/or scale-up of animal models to achieve their goals will receive appropriate support of this nature from IMA’s animal pharmacology and veterinary services experts.

Selected projects will be supported for 6–24 months with critical go/no-go decision points defined for the project period. The specific level of support will vary by project need.

Eligibility: All Stanford faculty with PI eligibility are eligible to apply.

Timeline:  All application materials are due by 5pm on September 9th, 2022.

More information: For more information on the funding opportunity please visit the IMA webpage at

To submit a Letter of Intent (LOI), please follow the link to the application portal:


For questions about the funding opportunity, please contact:

Angel Cobo, Ph.D.

For questions about the application submission process, please contact:

Katrina Barajas

ADDF-Harrington Scholar Award

About: The Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF) and Harrington Discovery Institute® is issuing a call for proposals for a grant award program for treating, preventing, or curing patients with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias.

Amount of Funding: This program provides dedicated support from a project management team and pharmaceutical industry experts, as well as funding of up to $600,000 for two years.

Eligibility: MD or PhD researchers in the U.S., Canada and U.K.

Timeline: Letters of intent due July 25, 2022. The full proposal deadline is October 24, 2022 for those invited to submit a full proposal. Award recipients will be selected and notified in April 2023.

Submission: To access and submit your online application, go to

More Information: For more information see these additional resources:




Submission Portal

Merck SSF Emerging Discovery Science (SEEDS) Program

About: The MRL SEEDS program is a MRL SSF initiative seeking research collaborations with academic researchers to advance the most innovative discoveries for therapeutic targets, pathways and technologies.
The MRL SEEDS program launched in 2020 with the selection of research collaborations with three San Francisco Bay Area universities: Stanford University, the University of California, Berkeley and the University of California, San Francisco. New for 2022, we are excited to announce we are expanding the program to Southern California to include the University of California, Los Angeles and the University of California, San Diego. The MRL SEEDS program and subsequent collaborations underscore the importance of industry and academic interactions in the early discovery space.

Interest Areas:

RFP-01: Tackling fibrosis to enhance tissue regeneration

RFP-02: Role of immune and endothelial cells in tissue regeneration

RFP-03: Endogenous mechanisms of cell plasticity and regeneration

Funding Amount: Up to $125,000 in direct costs plus institutional indirect costs

The amount of funding will be project-specific and will be discussed and agreed upon for accepted proposals as part of the confidential discussions and work plan development process after acceptance of the pre-proposal. Our goal is to enable the specific aims of the selected proposals.

Eligibility: MRL SEEDS program RFPs are open to researchers at the following universities collocated in California with our MRL SSF Discovery Hub: Stanford University, the University of California, Berkeley, the University of California, San Francisco, the University of California, Los Angeles and the University of California, San Diego.

Proposal Submission Process: Submit a completed pre-proposal form to the Merck SEEDS Program at by June 17, 2022.

A pre-proposal form is a brief 1-2 page non-confidential summary of your project proposal that should provide sufficient information for a pre-review by the MRL SEEDS Scientific Review Committee. If the pre-proposal is of interest to MRL, you will be notified that your pre-proposal has been selected. As required, you may be contacted by an MRL SEEDS program representative for clarification of the pre-proposal or further discussion of the concept. A full project proposal and plan will be developed by the applicant or may be co-developed with Merck’s Scientists and the applicant.

Key Dates:

June 17, 2022: Pre-proposals due (Submit to

June 27, 2022: Selection of pre-proposals

July 18, 2022: Full project proposals due

July 25, 2022: Selection of winning Proposals

Contact: To learn more or to ask a question, please contact the Merck SEEDS Program at

More Information: Please see the full program description for additional details - Download PDF

Chiesi Global Rare Diseases Academic Request For Proposals 2022

About: Chiesi looks forward to hearing from researchers and physician-scientists who are keen to collaborate with a global pharma company with a strong track record of translational R&D in rare diseases.

This should enable researchers to generate relevant pre-clinical data or demonstrate preclinical proof of concept for technologies enabling effective biodistribution of macro- molecules (for example: nucleic acids, proteins) to the following tissues of interest, characterized by challenges in delivery (any or all):

  • Bone
  • Skeletal/cardiac muscle
  • Central nervous system

for the treatment of rare metabolic diseases, for example inborn errors of metabolism, including lysosomal storage disorders. The technology might be brought into the Chiesi Global Rare Diseases pipeline and ultimately benefit patients.

We are seeking new technologies with key attributes including some of the following:

  1. Potential for platform development (for example to address multiple indications)
  2. Preliminary pre-clinical evidence to support feasibility of technology
  3. Innovative models for technology validation (e.g. organoids)
  4. Strong potential for clinical impact

Funding Amount: Successful applicants will be funded through sponsored research, with up to $275K available per project for 2 years duration.

Eligibility: To be eligible for funding, the applicant must be a research scientist or physician-scientist at an accredited worldwide university, academic medical center or research institution.

Proposal Submission Process: The first step in the process is submission of a Pre-Proposal (download template here) which should contain a brief, non-confidential 2-3 page overview of the target, mechanism (including evidence for link to disease), and the proposed therapeutic opportunity. A more detailed Full Proposal will be solicited by invitation only.

Key Dates

  • May 30, 2022 – Pre-Proposal submission deadline
  • September 2, 2022 – Full Proposal submission deadline* (Full Proposal solicitations by invitation only)
  • October 2022 – Awardees will be notified. Chiesi will work with the investigator’s institution to enter into a Sponsored Research Agreement (SRA). The research project may begin once the SRA is complete. *Investigators will be given at least one month to prepare for Full Proposal submission.

More Information:

Please review the RFP Guidelines, FAQ, and other program information here.
For inquiries please contact:

2023 Sanofi Innovation Awards (iAwards)

About: Sanofi iAwards initiative is a multi-institutional partnership program designed to support collaborations with academic investigators to accelerate innovative early stage, disease-relevant research towards the clinic. With this program, Sanofi aims to fund cutting-edge translational research that can contribute to our early-stage pipeline and ultimately benefit patients.

Amount of funding: Up to $125,000 research funding including institutional direct and indirect costs for 12 months with 9 awards given in the 2023 cycle

Award winning proposals will also receive:

  • Sanofi R&D expertise and guidance
  • In-kind resources such as reagents, tool compounds, data etc. may be provided
  • Successful projects can be converted to Sponsored Research Agreements which can receive increased additional funding for up to 3 years

Areas of Interest:

Overall areas of interest include:

  • New and actionable knowledge about disease relevant targets, pathways and mechanisms
  • Early-stage compounds or biologics targeting novel disease mechanisms
  • New models for validating disease relevant targets
  • Technology platforms with the potential to significantly improve drug discovery and development (examples –gene therapy, biologics development)
  • Novel therapeutic modalities

See full program details for more specifics on therapeutics areas of interest.


May 5th - Open portal and send Call for Pre-Proposals
June 5th  - Submission portal closes for Pre-Proposals
June 15th - Feedback from Therapeutic Areas received for Pre-Proposals
July 15th - Open portal and send call for Full Proposals (approximately 30)
September 1st - Submission portal closes for Full Proposals
October 15th - Feedback from Therapeutic Areas received, informational meetings scheduled
November 1st - Announcements made to TTO’s for 2023 iAward winners

Deadline: Pre-proposals due June 5, 2022. Full proposals due September 1, 2022.


Instructions for pre-proposal submission:

  1. Fill out the pre-proposal form here.
  2. Fill out the iAwards Proposal Submission (
    1. Copy and paste your “non-confidential summary” from the pre-proposal form into the “abstract” field.
    2. Attach your completed pre-proposal form.
  3. Submit

More details: Download a pdf file of the full program details here.