Small Molecule Drug Discovery Project Awards
About this scheme
Applications are accepted from scientists, clinicians or health care workers in UK universities, medical schools, hospitals and some research institutions.
We are willing to support collaborative projects between an academic partner and a commercial partner if appropriate.
Applications are judged based on the potential value of research findings to develop a new preventative or therapeutic approach, with evidence of a project plan that charts a route to develop the findings, including specific achievable milestones and endpoints.
Please contact the Research Funding Manager in order to discuss your proposal and open an application through eGMS.
This award funds milestone driven projects at all stages of drug discovery from target identification/validation to early preclinical studies.
Award applications will also be considered in the following areas:
- Associated assay/technology development
- Drug repositioning studies
We would particularly welcome applications at the target identification and target validation stages.
Applications will not be considered for preclinical development studies (e.g. bulk synthesis/manufacture to GMP, toxicology to GCP). Learn more about the stages of small molecule drug discovery.
Funding support is provided for:
- Typically 12-36 months*
- Typically £100,000 per annum*
- Salaries for researchers and technical staff
- Running expenses
For a detailed breakdown of costs which are permitted, please see Costs Guidance.
* If your proposed project timeline falls outside of this range or the sum you wish to apply for is significantly greater than £100,000 per annum, please contact the Research Funding Manager to discuss your proposal before starting an application.
Applications are assessed by the Small Molecule Expert Review Panel (SMERP). Final funding decisions are made by the Drug Discovery Committee (DDC).
Our translational research funding schemes award money raised through our charity fundraising, including by Stand Up To Cancer UK.
How to apply to this scheme
Overview of the application process
Applications for Drug Discovery Small Molecule Project Awards are considered twice a year and follow a two-stage process:
- Outline: you must submit a short outline application, which will be reviewed by the Small Molecule Expert Review Panel (SMERP) prior to being invited to submit a full application.
- Full application: if your outline application is successful you will be invited to submit a full application. All applicants will have an interview with the SMERP.
All applications must be made through our electronic Grants Management System (eGMS). Outline applications are open from the beggining of September. Please contact the team if you wish to submit an application.
At the full application stage we encourage applicants to contact one of the CRUK Drug Discovery Units, or another group with appropriate experience, for guidance in structuring the research proposal and associated project plans.
|Outline applications||Full applications||Interviews||Funding decisions|
|22 May 2018||21 August 2018||09/10 October 2018||November 2018|
|13 December 2018||14 March 2019||29/30 April 2019||June 2019|
|16 May 2019||15 August 2019||08/09 October 2019||November 2019|
Before you begin your application
You must read the following documents before starting your application
Please contact the funding manager in order to discuss your proposal and open an application through eGMS.
Target validation and biomarker guidance notes: an overview of the criteria that are necessary in order to confidently validate a target as having a role in the progression of a cancer disease state. Please note that an application need not necessarily possess all of the criteria described in order to progress to a successful award – these are guidelines and are provided to serve as such.
Cancer Research UK contact details
If you have any questions aboout the eligibility of your proposal for this scheme, or require any assistance with your applicaton, please contact the funding manager.
Dr Joo-Hee Sir
Research Funding Manager
+44 (0) 203 469 8668
Edd James, an established immunologist, is using funding from our Small Molecule Project Award to take his first steps into drug discovery and translate his understanding of antigen processing in cancer into a therapeutic context.
To support our investigator-led drug discovery research we have made extensive investment in infrastructure for biotherapeutic and small molecule drug discovery.